As we age, our faces begin to show the effects. The skin thins and relaxes, causing us to have fold lines, jowls, and neck excess. We lose fat in our faces, which makes the smile lines and crow’s feet more prominent. We see the effects of sun damage, with fine lines, brown spots, and spider veins. Facelifting can address all of these problems, and give you an improved, more youthful appearance.
Many of my patients worry that they will look funny after facial surgery. They see celebrities with bad plastic surgical outcomes. I tell my patients: “You don’t recognize good plastic surgery… you only recognize bad plastic surgery! “My goal is for you to return to your coterie of friends and have no one say “Oh, my God! You’ve have a facelift!” Your friends might comment on your improved appearance by asking if you’ve lost weight or changed your hairstyle! They’ll notice the improvement, but you’ll look completely natural and they may not be able to put a finger on the cause of your improved appearance.
During your consultation, I will listen to your concerns regarding your face. The kind of surgery I recommend is based on what bothers you the most, and how much you’re willing to invest both financially and in recuperation. Sometimes, inexpensive treatments like improved daily skin care or a peel might be all you need. More aggressive non-surgical skin treatment, like a fractional laser or volume replacement with off-the-shelf fillers might do the trick. However, in some people the best treatment may well be surgery, as facelifting is the most effective way to remove the excess skin, reposition and replace the fat, and smooth the contours of the face.
Facial surgery is performed in our surgery center using local anesthesia and sedation. You are “asleep” during the entire procedure, but it is not general anesthesia with a breathing tube and gases. You are comfortable and relaxed. Surgical times vary but can be as short as 3 hours (for a necklift or upper facelift only), 4 hours (for a full facelift), or even a bit longer if you add in a browlift or eyelid lift. Other add-ins might include neck/jowl liposuction, fat transfer into the lips, skin folds, or cheeks, as well as skin smoothing techniques like laser resurfacing. You recuperate in our center for a couple of hours after surgery, and then you can go home. You usually have a bandage covering any incisions, and sometimes a drain is place to suck out any weeping blood or serum to reduce bruising and swelling. The bandage is removed the following day back here at the office, and you can shower and wash your hair on day 2 after surgery. You will usually be presentable to the public in 10-14 days. You will continue to notice small changes in your face over time: improved sensibility, texture, less dryness and tightness, etc. for some time. It is usually about three months after surgery before you start forgetting that you had it done!
Facelifting results are long-lasting. We “turn back the clock”, but the clock continues ticking. However, the clock ticks a bit more slowly, as the surgery “splints” the skin a bit. You’ll look better than your peers immediately, and continue to look even better than they do over time (unless you refer them to me for surgery!).
A Word about “Mini-Lifts”. Some patients ask about having only a “mini-lift” : something small with minimal recuperation. They’ve seen advertisements and infomercials touting a short facelift or “weekend” facelift. Certainly mini-lifts are possible. But the results are usually “mini” as well. Simply removing a bit of skin, without repositioning the undersurface structures, adding back fat, etc. usually results in a short-lived improvement. And some of these “mini” surgeries are quite pricey. Remember, you need to ignore the hype and carefully listen to your plastic surgeon’s evaluation of the best way to resolve your concerns with your appearance. I believe my patients receive the best and most cost-effective solutions. Do your homework, and always make sure your doctor is a Board-certified Plastic Surgeon.