What Happens During Facelift?

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Facelift surgery in SacramentoThe average facelift patient understands why surgery is performed and what it can achieve, but is less familiar with the specific procedure steps. If you are planning to undergo facelift with Dr. Debra J. Johnson you probably have questions about what exactly happens during surgery.

Though the steps of surgery may vary slightly, depending on your facial anatomy and treatment goals, the components are generally the same for everyone. Here, Dr. Johnson breaks down facelift surgery, step by step.

Facelift Surgery, Step by Step

Dr. Johnson performs facelift in her surgery center. Anesthesia will be administered to keep you completely comfortable and relaxed while the doctor operates. The procedure usually lasts about four hours and you can go home after a short stay in the recovery room after surgery. If you have chosen to have a neck lift (the lower 2/3s of a facelift), that surgery requires about three hours in the operating room.

Dr. Johnson will begin by making the facelift incisions in front of your ears. The incisions will extend along your scalp, nestled in your natural hairline, and continue behind your ear. Dr. Johnson may alter the location and length of the incisions depending on the areas of your face you wish to target.

Through the incisions, Dr. Johnson will separate the skin from the underlying tissue and muscles. She will carefully lift and tighten the facial tissues and muscles to create more youthful contours. Fat deposits can be removed to “thin” certain areas of the face — such as the jowls — or repositioned to plump up certain areas that need volume.

The neck muscles (platysma) are often repaired through a small incision under your chin. Excess neck fat is removed to give the neck a sharper angle.

Dr. Johnson will then re-drape the skin on either side of the face and neck, draping it over the tightened undersurface tissues, thus softening and smoothing any wrinkles and creases. She will remove the skin and carefully sew the incision closed.

When Dr. Johnson is finished, she will place bandages over the incisions. Small drains will be placed to collect blood or fluid for the first 24 hours.

You will rest in a recovery area, where the surgical team will monitor your vitals. After a short period of time, the team will release you to the care of another adult, who should drive you home and stay with you for the rest of that day and night.

You will be seen the following day back at Dr. Johnson’s office to remove the bandages and drains. A smaller bandage will be applied, which you will wear home. On the second day after surgery, you can remove the small bandage yourself. You can then take a shower and wash your hair!

Sutures will be removed in two sessions the following week. These post-op appointments will be arranged for you prior to your surgery.

Complementary Procedures

You may choose to combine facelift with another facial rejuvenation procedure, such as browlift and/or eyelid lift. A combination operation will deliver full-face rejuvenation, so your upper and lower face appear to age simultaneously.

Combination operations will require one to three additional hours, depending on the specific treatment plan. If you are interested in combining multiple procedures into a single operation, please mention your goals to Dr. Johnson during your consultation.

To learn more about what happens during facelift and design a custom treatment plan with Dr. Johnson, please request a consultation at our Sacramento plastic surgery practice today.