Looking younger and more energetic begins with your facial appearance. Facelift surgery is designed to rejuvenate your face, combating the effects of time, stress, sun exposure, and environmental damage. For the best results, the board-certified plastic surgeons at the Breast and Body Center of Austin customize the facelift procedure according to your individual bone structure and skin elasticity.
By removing fat and tightening facial muscles, facelift surgery allows the skin to be smoothed and stretched more tautly. A face lift can diminish wrinkles, lessen folds, and remove hanging skin from the jowls. Some patients choose to combine facelift with other facial procedures in order to achieve more dramatic results. The plastic surgeons at the Breast and Body Center of Austin can help you decide what approach is best in your case. If you are interested in a facelift please contact us to find out more.
As people age, the effects of gravity, exposure to the sun, and the stresses of daily life can be seen in their faces. Deep creases form between the nose and mouth; the jaw line grows slack and jowly; folds and fat deposits appear around the neck.
A facelift (technically known as Rhytidectomy) can’t stop this aging process. What it can do is “set back the clock,” improving the most visible signs of aging by removing excess fat, tightening underlying muscles, and re-draping the skin of your face and neck. A facelift can be done alone, or in conjunction with other procedures such as a forehead lift, eyelid surgery, or nose reshaping.
The best candidates for a face-lift
The best candidate for a facelift is a man or woman whose face and neck have begun to sag, but whose skin still has some elasticity and whose bone structure is strong and well-defined. Most patients are in their forties to sixties, but facelifts can be done successfully on people in their seventies or eighties as well.
A facelift can make you look younger and fresher, and it may enhance your self- confidence in the process. It cannot, however, give you a totally different look, nor can it restore the health and vitality of your youth. Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with your surgeon.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE FACE LIFT PROCEDURE
What is facelift (“rhytidectomy”) surgery?
- Facelift surgery is designed to rejuvenate your face, combating the effects of time, stress, sun exposure, and environmental damage. As people age, the effects of gravity, exposure to the sun, and the stresses of daily life can be seen in their faces. Deep creases form between the nose and mouth; the jaw line grows slack and jowly; folds and fat deposits appear around the neck. Facelift surgery allows the skin to be smoothed and stretched more tautly. A face lift can diminish wrinkles, lessen folds, and remove hanging skin from the jowls. A facelift can be done alone, or in conjunction with other procedures such as a forehead lift, eyelid surgery, or nose reshaping.
Am I a good candidate for a facelift?
- Any one or combination of the following conditions may indicate that you are a good candidate for a forehead lift:
- a deep line, or fold, running from the corner of your nose to the corner of your mouth.
- jowls, or loss of a well-defined jawline associated with youthfulness.
- deep wrinkles in the cheeks and sagging of the “highlight” areas of the cheekbones.
- loose skin, wrinkles, vertical “cords” or excess fatty tissue in the neck.
A facelift can improve all of these problems. It cannot, however, correct conditions such as sagging eyebrows, excess skin and fatty deposits in the upper and lower eyelids, or wrinkles around the mouth. Your plastic surgeon can provide further information if you have an interest in other procedures to treat these areas.
How will my plastic surgeon evaluate me for facelift surgery?
- In evaluating you for facelift surgery, your plastic surgeon will assess the thickness, texture and elasticity of your skin, and the severity of wrinkles and folds. Your hairline will be examined to determine where incisions can be discreetly placed. All of these factors, as well as your bone structure and underlying tissues, will be considered in developing an individual surgical plan.Your plastic surgeon may discuss with you additional procedures that can be performed along with a facelift in order to address all the concerns you have identified. For example, a facelift is frequently combined with a forehead lift, eyelid surgery, nose reshaping or skin treatments such as a chemical peel, dermabrasion or laser resurfacing.
Where are the facelift incisions placed?
- Although there are many variations to the facelift procedure, generally an incision is hidden in the natural contour of your ear, then extends around the earlobe and back into the hairline. Following surgery, incisions can be easily concealed by your hair or with makeup. There may also be a small incision hidden underneath your chin.
How is my plastic surgeon able to restore a firmer, fresher look to my face?
- Through the discreet facelift incisions, your plastic surgeon is able to free the skin from the underlying tissues to the extent necessary for the particular surgical technique selected. After the skin has been pulled up and back, the excess is removed. In some instances, the deeper tissues may also need to be repositioned in order to restore a more youthful contour to your face. If necessary, a small incision beneath the chin permits the removal of fatty tissue in that area and smoothing of the cord-like structures of the underlying muscle in the neck.
How should I prepare for surgery?
- If you are a smoker, you will be asked to stop smoking well in advance of surgery. Aspirin and certain anti-inflammatory drugs can cause increased bleeding, so you should avoid taking these medications for a period of time before surgery. Your surgeon will advise you and provide additional preoperative instructions. If your hair if very short, you may want to let it grow enough to cover your incisions while they heal. If you are overweight and you have a realistic desire to lose more than 15 pounds, you should discuss this with your surgeon.If your facelift will be performed on an outpatient basis, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home and to stay with you at least the first night following surgery.
What will the day of surgery be like?
- Your facelift may be performed in a hospital, free-standing ambulatory facility or office-based surgical suite.Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. You and your plastic surgeon can decide in advance what type of anesthesia is to be used, either intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. For your safety during the operation, various monitors are used to check your heart, blood pressure, pulse and the amount of oxygen circulation in your blood.
When surgery is completed, you will be taken into a recovery area where you will continue to be closely monitored. A bandage is typically wrapped around your face, which is removed in the office the next day. In most cases, small tubes are placed beneath the skin to drain away fluid that might otherwise accumulate. These drains stay in place for 1-2 days.
You probably will be permitted to go home after a few hours, although some patients may stay overnight in the hospital or surgical facility.
How will I look and feel initially?
- It is important to realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among individuals.After surgery, you will be asked to restrict your activities and simply relax for a few days. Elevating your head when you sleep will help to minimize swelling and bruising. Remember, you must not take aspirin or certain anti-inflammatory medications, and you should not smoke or be exposed to heavy secondary smoke for a while.
Any bandages and drain tubes will usually be removed in one or two days. At that time, you will notice puffiness and discoloration which may be more pronounced in some portions of your face than others. Do not be alarmed by any unevenness or temporary asymmetry caused by this variance in swelling and bruising, which is perfectly normal. Generally, the greatest amount of swelling occurs 24 to 48 hours after surgery, but it may take several weeks before all puffiness is resolved. Most bruising will disappear within two weeks. After a few days, you will be permitted to wear makeup which will help conceal any discoloration. You will also experience some numbness in the facial area, which may be present for several weeks or longer. Your stitches will be removed between four to seven days after surgery.
When can I resume my normal activities?
- Straining, bending and lifting should be avoided during the early postoperative period. In many instances, you will be able to resume most of your normal activities within two weeks and begin to exercise three to four weeks after surgery. You will be instructed to temporarily avoid exposure to direct sunlight and, for the long-term, be conscientious about the use of a sunblock to protect your skin.
Results of Your Facelift
- The results of your facelift may be dramatic or subtle, depending on how you looked before surgery as well as the specific goals that you and your plastic surgeon have established. Since the healing process is gradual, you should expect to wait at least several weeks for an accurate picture of your “new look.” Additional minor changes, or settling, may occur over several months.
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