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.
What to Expect During your Initial Facelift Consultation
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.
Facelift Surgery Procedure
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.
Visit our facelift before and after photo gallery
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!
What are the benefits of facelift?
Facelift is considered to be the gold standard of facial rejuvenation because it comprehensively corrects several signs of aging on the face. When appropriate, the procedure can be combined with neck lift to further rejuvenate the lower facial region and create well-defined facial contours. Facelift focuses on aging signs on the middle and lower facial regions. This includes the area below the lower eyelids, cheeks and jaw line. It can address loose skin, displaced fat or sagging tissue on the cheeks, creases beneath the lower eyelids, excess skin and fat along the jawline and furrows between the nose and corners of the mouth.
How long will the results of facelift last?
In general, facelift performed by a skilled plastic surgeon will last about 10 years. The range of results is dependent upon the type of facelift you choose, the resiliency of your skin, and certain lifestyle factors, such as whether you smoke. Limited procedures such as the so-called “mini facelift” may last 2-4 years; and revisions may last up to 7 years. The typical facelift surgery should give you a decade of tight, beautifully proportioned skin.
Facelift turns back the clock, but the clock continues ticking. The good news is that the aging process resets at your new Birthday Savings Time. In addition, the surgery has the effect of slightly improving the strength and resilience of the skin, slowing the tempo of aging.
If I notice droopiness in a few years, will it be necessary to repeat the procedure?
When your facial skin needs a touch-up, there are many non-invasive options to consider. Laser resurfacing can smooth and tighten the skin, and injectables will fill lines, wrinkles and hollows on your face that make you look older. New varieties of dermal fillers not only add volume to targeted facial areas, but also trigger the production of collagen, the natural protein that adds strength and flexibility to the skin.
After the day of surgery, what is recovery like at home?
It’s important not to rush your recovery. Plan to stay home for one to two weeks. You should be able to resume most normal activities in a month, although your face will continue to heal for up to a year. You will notice an immediate change from your facelift, but the final result won’t fully emerge for many months.
As soon as possible, you should begin walking around to boost circulation, support optimal healing and prevent blood clots. Straining, lifting and bending should be avoided, however. By the second day, you will be able to wash your hair, and you can use makeup again in about two weeks. Not surprisingly, you will need to sleep on your back with your head elevated during this delicate period.
Eat healthfully, drinking plenty of water and avoiding high-sodium foods that can aggravate swelling. As a general rule, you should avoid alcohol, niacin and aspirin products. Get plenty of rest, and follow the postoperative routine recommended by Dr. Johnson. You will return to our office the day after your surgery, and again within the week for removal of sutures.
A Word About “Mini-Lifts”
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.
Why Choose Dr. Debra Johnson for Your Facelift
If you are considering a facelift in Sacramento, visit Dr. Debra Johnson for a consultation. Dr. Johnson is a highly-respected cosmetic surgeon that has been practicing in the area for over 25 years. She began her education at Stanford University and has continued undergoing medical training throughout her career to ensure that she is always utilizing the latest cosmetic techniques. Dr. Johnson has served as the President of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and Director of the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Visit Dr. Debra Johnson’s medical profile to learn why she is the best choice when undergoing a facelift in Sacramento.