A facelift is one of the most common cosmetic procedures, and advances in minimally invasive surgical techniques have made the surgery safer with fewer complications and shorter recovery times. Known as a rhytidectomy, facelift surgery typically reshapes the lower third of the face and neck by removing skin, tightening remaining skin and redistributing tissue into a more pleasing aesthetic configuration. Your surgeon or cosmetic dermatologist might also tighten the underlying tissue and muscle to restore a younger appearance. Complementary procedures often enhance the rhytidectomy, and these include brow lifts, cheek procedures, liposuction, and eyelid surgery to rejuvenate sagging skin around the eyes. Loose skin, loss of elasticity, and fatty deposits make you look older or produce unwanted effects like double chins. Popular with both men and women, the facial cosmetic surgery repairs the following signs of aging:
Loose skin and fatty deposits under the jawline Loss of muscle tone in the lower area of the face Fallen or shifted fatty deposits Midface sagging Creases along the nose Deep creases below the lower eyelid Excessive wrinkling
Facelift without Surgery
Facial restorations include traditional rhytidectomies and laser surgeries. Younger patients can often rejuvenate their faces with eyelid surgery, injectable fillers, forehead lifts or chin surgeries. Non surgical facelift techniques include dermal fillers to restore volume, laser skin resurfacing, fat transfer, and Coolaser alternatives. In some cases, people choose to have mini facelift procedures that involve smaller incisions and limited tissue dissection. Non surgical facelift methods include:
Coolaser Treatment Technique Developed by Dr. Ourian, the technique employs lasers to target fatty deposits and skin in layers as thin as one thirty-millionth of an inch. Lasers allow precise targeting to remove wrinkles, restore skin color and refresh skin.
Thermage Thermage uses radiowave energy to tighten skin with pulses that are designed to stimulate skin fibroblasts without heating the rest of the skin. The technique tightens collagen fibers and stimulates growth of the compound responsible for healthy, elastic skin.
Microdermabrasion Lasers, chemical peels and microdermabrasion can significantly reduce wrinkles, stimulate fresh skin growth and restore aging skin to a more youthful look.
Ultrasound Treatment Various names apply to ultrasound treatments that lift the skin and trigger collagen production. The technique works for people who primarily have lax skin. Ultrasound can be used with other facial procedures to intensify results.
Liquid Lift Various fillers such as Botox, Radiesse, Juvéderm and Dysport help to fill wrinkles, add volume to skin and fill in depressions.
The Lifestyle Lift has advocates and a growing number of critics. The procedure is a specific type of mini lift performed under local anesthesia. Short flaps of skin are removed, and tightening and adjustments are made within minimal incisions. As is the case with any cosmetic procedure, the skill of the surgeon and reputation of the surgical facility are critical in minimizing potential complications.
Facelift recovery usually takes about two weeks. Expect some swelling and bruising during this time. Most patients can return to work within 10 to 14 days, but expect continued bruising for three weeks, and limit your exposure to the sun for several months. Tips for a fast, smooth recovery include:
Avoid activities that cause blood to rush to the head. Combing and brushing hair could damage sutures. Ask your doctor whether you can wash your hair, but dry shampoo is probably your best option. Try to keep your head elevated when resting or sleeping. Avoid drinking and smoking, walk regularly to stimulate circulation and eat nutritious foods to promote healing. Look for excessive redness and other signs of infection, and inform your doctor immediately if you suspect the surgical site has become infected. Try to avoid touching the skin around the sutures or scratching skin that feels itchy and tight.
Satisfaction with any cosmetic treatment depends on having realistic expectations, using the best procedures available to reach your goals and getting your work done by a surgeon who specializes in artistic rejuvenation. The surgeon’s skill, artistic ability and use of modern technology are more important than price or specific technique. Schedule rejuvenation procedures or a facelift with a full-service facility that can offer you multiple options for restoring a youthful appearance.
About Facelift Procedures
“Coolaser ™ technique is heralded as the facelift of the future. There is no cutting, no anesthesia, no scars.” — CBS News
Alternative to facelift surgery could be Coolaser ™ technique, Laser skin resurfacing, Fat Transfer, eyelid surgery and Mid-facelift.
Facelift procedures improve sagging facial skin, jowls, loose neck skin by removing excess fat, tightening muscles, and redraping skin.
The best candidates for facelift surgery are men and women who are physically healthy, psychologically stable, and realistic in their expectations. Most are 40 or older, but if droopy, baggy eyelids run in your family, you may decide to have this procedure at a younger age.
Facelift can enhance your appearance and your self-confidence, but it won’t necessarily change your looks to match your ideal, or cause other people to treat you differently. You can expect a more youthful look.
When performed by a qualified surgeon, complications after facelift surgery are infrequent and usually minor. Bruising and swelling lasting on average for two weeks but can continue for a month or more. Remember the human body is asymmetrical and even after surgery both sides of the body may look different. Weigh up the pros and cons with your doctor and decide if this is the appropriate surgery for you. You can reduce your risks by closely following your surgeon’s instructions both before and after facelift surgery.
You will be back to work in 10 to 14 days after the facelift procedure. More strenuous activity: 2 weeks or more. Bruising: 2 to 3 weeks. Must limit exposure to sun for several months.
Local or general anesthesia with sedation is used for facelift surgery. Postoperative discomfort can be well managed by oral medications.
Your facelift surgeon will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for facelift surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding vitamins, iron tablets and certain medications. If you develop a cold or an infection of any kind, especially a skin infection, your surgery may have to be postponed. Also, while you are making preparations, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure and, if needed, to help you at home for a day or two. Special accommodations are available for patients who are coming from out of town.
Your surgeon will instruct you to keep your head elevated for several days after facelift procedure, and to use cold compresses to reduce swelling and bruising. You’ll be shown how to clean your eyes and hair. It is normal to feel a bit anxious or depressed in the days or weeks following surgery. However, this feeling will subside as you begin to look and feel better.