As we age we all begin to notice changes in our skin and facial shape. Volume and fullness that was higher in the cheek region during younger years slowly descends over time, deepening fold lines around the mouth and nose. These changes lead to jowling and loss of jaw line definition creating a more oval-shaped face. Often excess skin and muscle in the neck region accentuates facial aging by creating banding or cords within the neck. Sun exposure, bone structure, amount of fatty tissue and genetics contribute to the extent of facial aging that each person experiences.
At theCosmetic Surgery Clinic, it is our belief that facial rejuvenation should be a natural enhancement of your facial features and not a tightened or unnatural appearance that is all too familiar amongst media types and Hollywood figures. We recognize that our patients are seeking to erase the signs of aging not their individuality or unique features. Facial rejuvenation can be accomplished in a natural manner restoring youthful facial features and contours without creating a “done” or operated appearance. Using the latest techniques and advances in cosmetic surgery our surgeons will assist you in choosing a procedure that is right for you.
Your preoperative consultation with one of our surgeons is an important first step in the surgical process. Our goal is to fully educate you about the Facelift procedure you have elected to undergo. Specifically, you will be told how to prepare for surgery, what you should expect on the day of surgery, and the guidelines that you will need to follow postoperatively to ensure optimal results. You must be aware that all surgery carries some risk, even when the procedure is elective. Complications are infrequent, but we want you to fully understand the possible risks involved. We believe that education is the cornerstone of a successful outcome, not high-pressure salesmanship.
During your preoperative consultation one of our surgeons will ask you questions about your medical history, current medications, and social habits. This information will help the medical team to provide you optimal care. Please feel free to ask any and all questions. After your appointment, we encourage you to read through all information provided and review this information and contact us with any remaining questions. It is important to us that you are fully informed about the Facelift procedure to ensure that you have as smooth and pleasant a surgical experience as possible.
Is A Facelift Or Neck Lift Right For Me?
A Facelift is an appropriate procedure for people with sagging facial skin and loose neck skin. By removing excess fat, tightening muscles and skin you can attain a more youthful and smoother facial appearance. This procedure is typically preformed in people over 40, although some may benefit from it at an earlier age. In some instances, a Neck Lift can be performed without a Facelift to address only excess skin and “bands” within the neck.
Face And Neck Lifts Options
At the Cosmetic Surgery Clinic, we recognize that there can be great confusion within the area of facial rejuvenation. For many people, a surgical procedure is not necessary and less invasive procedures with soft tissue fillers (i.e. Resylane ®, Juvéderm®, Botox®) can be performed to soften deep folds and wrinkles around the mouth. Please visit the “Fillers” area of our website to become better informed about these minimally invasive procedures. Facial rejuvenation essentially lifts sagging tissues, restoring volume within the face and gently tightens lose skin establishing a “V-shaped” vector of beauty. This “V-shape” is indicative of youthfulness with greater volume in the upper cheek bone region and a well defined jaw line with correction of jowling. By tightening loose neck skin the entire lower face can be tastefully rejuvenated creating a healthy and refreshed look.
The term “full Facelift” is often used to describe a Facelift and combined Neck Lift procedure. As these two terms imply, this procedure improves the entire lower 2/3 of the face and neck region creating significant improvement in those patients with signs of both lower facial aging as well as neck laxity. All Facelift procedures involve an incision (scar) in front of the ear region. With a “full Facelift” the incision is carried behind the ear, within the crease behind the ear, and in some cases into the hairline to allow removal of excess neck skin in a discrete fashion. Incisions that are in front of the ear are carefully and discretely placed into the creases around the ear to “hide” these scars as much as possible. Generally, these scars fade extremely well with time, but healing can be different from person to person. In some instances, a small soft tube is placed beneath the skin (called a drain) that allows swelling and fluid to be carried out from under the skin into a collection bulb. This tube is usually removed 24-48 hours after surgery. A dressing is gently wrapped around the face and neck region at the time of surgery. Your surgeon will inform you when these dressing can be removed. Most patients will experience swelling and bruising during the first 1-2 weeks. Sutures are removed from in front of the ears 5 days after surgery and from behind the ear approximately 10 days after surgery. Recovery periods vary from person to person and each individual will have a different comfort level with returning to a social setting after surgery. For these reasons it is important to allow ample time for full recovery prior to returning to work and social activities.
A Mini-Facelift addresses only the lower face and does not include a Neck Lift procedure. Because a Mini-Facelift is more limited, it only involves an incision in front of the ear, eliminating the incision behind the ear and in the hairline behind the ear. This procedure is usually best for younger patients and those with better skin tone, though some older patients may benefit from a Mini-Facelift. Recovery may be slightly shorter and no drainage tube is used. Some people refer to a Mini-Facelift as a Mini-lift, an S-lift or recently, a Lifestyle Lift™
A Neck Lift can be performed alone, but is most frequently performed along with a Facelift to restore youthful harmony to the entire lower 2/3 of the face. The incisions for the Neck Lift begin in the crease behind the ear and in some instances extend into the hairline behind the ear to remove excess skin and tighten the muscles of the neck. In some instances, a small incision is placed just beneath the chin to remove fatty tissue from under the chin and further tighten the neck region to recapitulate a youthful neck contour eliminating problem “double chin’s” and bands within the neck region. Without question, rejuvenation within the neck region is one of the most dramatic changes in plastic surgery, often melting years away from one’s appearance overnight.
Preparing For Surgery
At least 1 month before surgeryStop smoking at least 1 month prior to your procedure. Smoking reduces circulation to the skin, impedes healing, and can result in major postoperative complications.
2 weeks prior to surgery Stop all medications that can thin the blood 2 weeks prior to surgery. These include drugs such as Aspirin, Coumadin, Lovenox, Ibuprofen, Vitamin E, and multiple herbal preparations. These medications may cause bleeding during and after surgery. 1 week prior to surgeryReport any sign of a cold or infection that appear the week prior to your surgery. You may need to postpone your procedure to avoid unnecessary complications. The day before surgery Do not eat or drink anything after midnight before your surgery. This includes water, ice, or hard candy. The only exception is that you may take your blood pressure or heart medication with a sip of water the morning of surgery. The day of surgery Plan to wear comfortable clothes to the procedure. Wear a button down top so it does not have to be put over your head. Do not wear jewelry or bring valuables with you on the day of surgery. The day before the morning of surgery you may wash your surgical site with regular soap. Do not wear cream or makeup on your face the day of surgery. You must arrange to have a responsible adult drive you home after your procedure.