Facelift

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Facelift Basics

As we age, our skin goes through changes, especially the skin on our face. Facial skin and muscles experience greater loss of volume and elasticity as the years go on. Many factors such as gravity, sun, and stress can take a toll on our face, contributing to the effects of facial aging. We may begin to notice folds, creases, and contours that make us appear older, tired, or stressed. A facelift is a facial procedure that helps to reduce these aging changes and restore a youthful facial appearance by smoothing lines and restoring volume.

Facelift Benefits

Is a Facelift Right for Me?

As we age, skin begins to lose elasticity and volume which may cause "jowls" on the lower face, deep wrinkles, and loose skin on the neck. While this is a natural part of growing older, if you are bothered by these signs of aging a facelift may be the right choice for you. While some aspects of aging can be improved with non-surgical procedures such as Botox, filler, or facial fat grating, some patients may need more. Dr. Stiller is highly skilled in making sure your facelift is natural, giving you the perfect amount of lift without giving you that "operated" appearance.

It is not uncommon to hear the term “facelift” when referring to some form of operation for facial rejuvenation, and oftentimes there is a misconception that a facelift includes operating on the whole face, eyes, brow, cheeks, and chin.

However, a facelift on its own tackles only the lower two thirds of the face, which rejuvenates the appearance of the skin from the cheeks down to the neck. This is why some patients also desire a more complete facial rejuvenation, combining a facelift with a brow lift or upper/lower eyelid surgery. The skin, muscles, and underlying tissues surrounding the neck, brows, and eyes are distinct and require different surgical techniques. However, a combination of these procedures can be performed at the same time as your facelift. No matter what you want to achieve, Dr. Stiller will guide you to make the decisions that are right for you.

Facelift Procedure

A facelift procedure is tailored to the individual depending on your own skin elasticity, structure, and extent of facial wrinkles and folds. A facelift procedure begins by making incisions just inside the hairline, starting near the temples, following the natural fold along the front of the ear, and continuing behind the ear lobe to the lower scalp. Once the skin is lifted from the underlying tissue, the facial muscles and tissues beneath are pulled and tightened with sutures. The skin is stretched and delicately re-draped over the improved facial structure to ensure a natural look. Any excess skin is removed and the incisions are closed. With these incisions, structural issues around the cheeks are lifted and tightened to correct jowling and refine the jawline, giving the face a smoother more youthful contour without over-tightening the skin.

Recovery

Recovery after a facelift procedure can vary among patients. Dr. Stiller will provide a pain management regimen to help manage your discomfort and get you through recovery as easily as possible. A facelift is an outpatient procedure, so after a short period of recovery time, you will go home the same day as your surgery. You will need a person 18 years or older with you the day of surgery.  

When you awake from your surgery, your head will be wrapped in a compression garment to prevent swelling, which we recommend wearing around 2 weeks. There will be deep dissolvable stitches; however the top stitches will be removed in 1 week along with the staples along the hairline. It is normal to experience bruising, swelling, and a feeling of tightness for about 2 weeks. Even so, many patients feel comfortable going out in public about a week or so after the procedure. You may also experience some burning and numbness to the lower face and along the incision lines which can last up to 3 months.

Most patients return to work after 10-14 days, however some may take longer or return sooner depending personal preference. As the face heals, patients can usually return to normal activity around 2 weeks. As you ease back into your routine, it is especially important to apply sunscreen to the face for protection. Several weeks after surgery, you will be more vulnerable to sunburn, plus staying out of the sun will help scars heal as inconspicuously as possible.

Results

A facelift is designed to produce results that not only look natural now but will also naturally age with you when carried out by an experienced, board-certified cosmetic surgeon. Even though nothing will stop the natural aging process, you can still look years younger than you would have without the facelift.  

However, in order to keep your results looking their best, there are some things you can do. It is important to maintain a safe, steady weight, as major weight changes will cause the skin to stretch out again. To keep your skin safe and secure from unnecessary aging, you should also follow a regular, high-quality skin care routine.