What is a Facelift?

A facelift is the most comprehensive approach to treating facial wrinkles and sagging caused by aging. The surgery varies in range from minimally invasive ‘lunchtime lifts’ to more extensive, sophisticated surgery.

A facelift removes excess skin, tightens underlying tissues and muscle and redrapes skin on the face and neck. It can correct midface sagging, marionette lines, jowls and a double chin, maintaining its reputation as the ‘gold standard’ for facial rejuvenation. Every year, thousands of people undergo successful facelift surgery and are pleased with the results.

A brow lift or forehead lift reverses the effects of gravity and tightens the soft tissues of the forehead to restore a more youthful contour to your forehead skin, upper eyelids and eyebrows.

A neck lift enhances the appearance of the neck by tightening the skin and underlying muscles and improving the contour of the jawline. This procedure is often performed in conjunction with liposuction, a facelift, or a cheek lift but may also be done as a stand-alone procedure.

Who is it for?

Facelift

  • If you feel that your face does not reflect your youthful spirit and energy level
  • If you determine that your facial sagging and excess skin is a social or career obstacle
  • If you show signs of facial aging but still have some skin elasticity
    One day you look in the mirror and realize that time, gravity, sun exposure and heredity have taken a toll and you simply do not look like yourself any more.

Brow and Necklift

  • If you have excess skin and wrinkles on your neck
  • If you feel your neck is too fat
  • If you have lost the distinct jawline of your youth and want to restore it
  • Sagging or low eyebrow position creates a tired, sad or grumpy appearance
  • You have deep horizontal creases across the forehead
  • You have frown lines or furrows between the eyebrows or across the top of your nose
  • You have excess skin or fatty tissue hanging over your eyes

Pre-op essentials

In advance of your procedure, your surgeon will ask you to:

  • Stop smoking at least six weeks before undergoing to promote better healing.
  • Avoid taking aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs: Advil, Motrin, Aleve), and vitamins/homeopathic regimens that can increase bleeding.
  • Regardless of the type of surgery to be performed, hydration is very important. Appropriate hydration before and after surgery is critical for safe recovery and optimal outcomes.
  • Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery and to stay with you at least for the first night following surgery.

What to expect during surgery

  • You will receive medications to keep you comfortable during the surgical procedure.
  • Local anesthesia combined with sedation is commonly used during facelift surgery, though general anesthesia can be used instead. An anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist may be present to administer sedatives (or general anesthetic) and assist in monitoring.
  • For your safety during the surgery, various monitors will be used to check your heart, blood pressure, pulse, and the amount of oxygen circulating in your blood.
  • Your plastic surgeon will follow the surgical plan discussed with you before surgery. Once the operation has begun, we may decide to combine various techniques or change a technique to ensure the best result. It is important that you feel comfortable and trust your doctor to make these decisions.
  • Your incisions will likely be covered with bulky bandages that provide gentle pressure to minimize swelling and bruising. A small tube might be placed under the skin behind one or both of your ears to drain any excess blood or fluid.

After Surgery

  • You may be placed in a compression garment or wrap immediately after surgery. Wear this exactly as directed. Remove it only as directed for cleansing incisions or showering.
  • To minimize swelling, recline rather than lie down. This will be more comfortable for you, and can reduce swelling. Always keep your head elevated. Do not bend forward or over.
  • You will have a mild to moderate amount of pain and discomfort. This should be easily controlled with oral medications. If it is not, call your surgeon.
  • The discomfort and pain should begin to decrease within forty-eight hours after surgery. If you have a significant increase in pain after this period, call us immediately.
  • Expect bruising and swelling. These symptoms will peak within the first thirty-six to forty-eight hours after surgery and will gradually subside over the next ten to fourteen days. To minimize swelling, sleep with your head elevated for a couple of weeks after the surgery.
  • It is not unusual to have some slight drainage for the first forty-eight hours. A bulky cotton compression dressing with drains will cover your scalp and face for one to two days to help prevent blood collections under the skin.

Limitations and Risks

All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Some of the potential complications of all surgeries are:

  • Adverse reaction to anesthesia
  • Hematoma or seroma (an accumulation of blood or fluid under the skin that may require removal)
  • Infection and bleeding
  • Changes in sensation
  • Scarring
  • Allergic reactions
  • Damage to underlying structures
  • Unsatisfactory results that may necessitate additional procedures.

You can help minimize certain risks by following the advice and instructions of your board-certified plastic surgeon, both before and after your eyelid surgery.

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