Is a Facelift for you?
“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?” – Carl Yastremski
Modern day facial plastic surgery still can’t stop the aging process but we can help reverse the signs of aging by restoring youthful contours. Children and young adults have smooth, round faces due to evenly distributed fatty tissues and elastic skin. Over time, fatty tissue is lost and the skin sags creating prominent folds in the chin, jawline and neck. Genetics, sun exposure, personal habits such as smoking, and gravity contribute to the aging of the face. As the aging population grows, it is obvious why facelift surgery, or rhytidectomy, has become the third most desired facial plastic surgical procedure.
Is A Facelift For You?
As with all facial plastic surgery, good health and realistic expectations are prerequisites. Skin type, ethnic background, degree of skin elasticity, individual healing, basic bone structure, as well as a realistic attitude are important factors that you will discuss with your facial plastic surgeon.
Although successful facelift surgery has been performed in women in their late 30’s to their late 80’s, there is no perfect time to have a facelift. If you look in the mirror and the sagging of your cheeks (jowling) and your neck is bothersome, then it’s a good time to consider a facelift. As with most things, the earlier you address these changes the better your results will be.
Facelifts are usually combined with tightening of the facial and neck muscles as well as neck liposuction to remove excess fat under the chin (“double chin”). In our practice, we perform a ‘natural’ facelift which avoids an overpulled or ‘done’ appearance. Your friends should be able to sit next to you and not tell that you’ve had a surgical procedure performed. A facelift can result in not only a youthful and well-rested appearance but can also increase self-confidence and improve your self-image.
The surgeon begins the incision in the area of the temple hair, just above and in front of the ear, then proceeds behind the tragus (the covering to your ear canal), around the earlobe, partially circling the ear and back into the posterior scalp. We take the extra step and carry the incision behind the tragus (the flap of skin that hides the opening to your ear canal) before circling the earlobe to help hide the incisions even more. In all cases, the incision is placed where it will fall in a natural crease of the skin for camouflage. The incisions are then closed with fine sutures to reduce the chance of any visible scarring.
Even though most patients experience very little pain after surgery, the surgeon will still prescribe medication. Some degree of swelling and bruising is unavoidable but these sequelae can be minimized to help shorten recovery. Recovery usually takes 10-14 days, though many patients go back to work in seven days. Makeup and sunscreen can be worn after 7 days and once your incisions have healed, you can wear your hair anyway you like.