Facelift


Introduction


As you grow older, your body struggles to produce enough collagen and elastin.  Without these proteins your skin becomes thinner and dryer which leads to wrinkles and sagging.

A rhytidectomy (Rhy-ti-dec-tomy) or a facelift is a surgical procedure to repair, restore, or enhance the visible signs of aging in the face and neck. A facelift can only be achieved through a surgical procedure.

American Society of Plastic Surgeon’s 2017 statistics indicate there were 125,697 facelift procedures performed in the US.

According to Real Self reviews, 94% of Facelift patients say, “(It) was worth it.”

What are My Options With Facelift?

A facelift cannot stop the aging process or change the facial structure. However, a professionally performed facelift with a well-managed recovery can:

  • Elevate self-esteem.
  • Remove excess skin to smooth out wrinkles caused by loosening of the skin.
  • Improve facial contour.
    • A mid-facelift can restore the cheeks and eyelids to a more youthful and refreshed appearance.
    • A lower-facelift can help to restore the lower jaw contour and smooth out the neckline.

Below is a list of the procedures that your Elite Physician may recommend, either as a stand-alone, or to complement the effects of your facelift and improve the skin quality and texture:

  • Platysmaplasty (pla-tys-ma-plasty) neck-lift.
  • Eyelid surgery.
  • Eyebrow-lift.
  • Nose surgery.
  • Otoplasty (ears)
  • Fat transfer or fillers.
  • IPL— Intense Pulsed Light, Photorejuvenation, or photofacial.
  • Dermabrasion.
  • Laser resurfacing.

The minimally invasive surgeries and facial rejuvenation techniques, listed above, require less downtime and can delay the eventual need for a facelift.  These include eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), brow or forehead lift, or a temple lift (temporal lift).  It might be worth it to discuss these options with your doctor during your consultation.


What is the cost of a facelift?


A surgeon's fee will be based on their experience, the type of procedure or procedures used, and the geographic office location. In the US, the average cost of a facelift is $7,448, according to statistics from the2017 American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Facelift costs can vary widely. The average fee referenced above does not include anesthesia, operating room facilities or other related expenses.

Most health insurance does not cover facelift surgery or any complications, but we can work with you to help find financing solutions.

Facelift procedures can include several costs, including:

  • Anesthesia fees.
  • Hospital or surgical facility costs.
  • Medical tests.
  • Prescriptions for medication.
  • Surgeon's fee.

Remember that the surgeon's masterful experience; their ability to be both technically proficient AND artistic, as well as your rapport and comfort in the facilities are just as important as the final cost of the surgery.


Am I a Good Candidate for a Facelift?


Your plastic surgeon is the best person to advise and guide you. Decisions should be based on your current skin condition and the result you want. That aside, the following qualities are worth considering if you are trying to decide if you are an ideal candidate.

Realistic goals:

It’s important to understand the limitations of a facelift. While a successful facelift can take years off your appearance, we want to make sure there are no illusions of what a facelift can, and cannot, do. The goal of a facelift is be to be almost invisible, you should look younger and refreshed, but still like yourself. No one wants to look like somebody else, or like they’ve “had work done”.

Overall skin condition:

Ideally, your skin should still have some flexibility and elasticity; it should be supple and have an ability to “bounce back” when pinched. Extensive sun damage and smoking may affect the overall success of your facelift. Make notes on your checklist and remember to talk to your surgeon about how lifestyle factors may impact your ability to have a facelift.

Age-appropriate face-lifting procedures:

Your calendar age should not be used as a measure for the right time to have a facelift. There is no “perfect” age for a facelift. The condition and texture of your skin, your lifestyle and overall health factors are the relevant factors. That said, the majority of facelift patients are between 40 and 70 years old.

Bone structure:

A big part of your appearance has to do with how the bones are structured in your face. If your existing strucutre is well balanced, you'll most likely get a good result from a facelift. If, however, it's less than optimal, for example you have a “weak” chin, then you might want to investigate additional options, such as chin or nose surgery, before having a facelift.

Good physical health:

All plastic surgery is an invasive surgical procedure that needs significant healing and recovery time and therefore it helps to be in good overall health beforehand. This means you will heal faster and the results will be better. If you have doubts, inform your surgeon of all preexisting medical conditions during the initial consultation; under certain conditions, your doctor may advise you to opt for a less invasive, non-surgical facial rejuvenation.


Consultation


As with any procedure, doing your homework is highly recommended. The next step in researching surgical procedures to restore your face to a young, fresh-faced appearance with a facelift is to sit down with one of our Elite Physicians for a free consultation.

You can ask questions, receive a customized presentation, and find out the best options and treatment plan for you.

For your convenience, you can download our comprehensive worksheet with questions that you will want to consider prior to having a discussion with your physician:

  • Discuss your surgical goals.
  • Bring information about any medical conditions, drug allergies, and other surgical procedures you have had in the past.
  • Prepare a list of all current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco, and any non-prescription or recreational drug use.
  • Previous surgeries.

Your Facelift surgeon will talk with you about the following:

  • Your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors.
  • Take photographs of your face.
  • Examine and measure your face.
  • Discuss your facelift options
  • Recommend a course of treatment.
  • Discuss your treatment and sedation options.
  • Offer likely facelift procedure outcomes and any risks or potential complication.

The success and safety of your facelift procedure depend very much on your complete candor during your consultation. You will be asked questions about your health, facial appearance goals, and lifestyle.

It is perfectly natural to feel some anxiety mixed with the excitement, in anticipation of your new look or to be nervousness about the procedure. Your facelift Elite Physician is here to answer any question or concern that you may have. Your comfort and satisfaction are our focus.

Call us today to set up an appointment with one of our facelift Elite Physicians.


Questions to Ask


Below is a list of questions that others considering a Facelift procedure have asked. This list is not comprehensive and does not take into account your unique goals. During your free Facelift consultation, you can ask additional questions and view a presentation on your unique treatment plan.

Facelift Consultation Checklist

We recommend that you use this checklist as a guide during your Facelift consultation.

  • Discuss your surgical goals.
  • Bring information about any medical conditions, drug allergies, and other surgical procedures you have had in the past.
  • Prepare a list of all current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco, and any non-prescription or recreational drug use.
  • Previous surgeries.

Ask your surgeon:

  • Are you certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
  • Were you specifically trained in the field of plastic surgery?
  • How many years of plastic surgery training have you had?
  • Do you have hospital privileges to perform this procedure? If so, at which hospitals?

Click here to download the complete Facelift Consultation Checklist.


What are Facelift Surgery Risks?


Your facelift Elite Physician will discuss facelift surgery risks and potential complications based on your goals, lifestyle, and other factors.

A non-comprehensive list of Facelift surgery risks includes:

  • Anesthesia risks.
  • Bleeding or hematoma.
  • Infection.
  • Changes in skin sensation—numbness.
  • Seroma—Fluid accumulation.
  • Asymmetry.
  • Unfavorable scarring, unsatisfactory location of surgical scar, or skin loss.
  • Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications.
  • Less than an optimal aesthetic result.
  • Persistent pain.
  • The potential for revisional surgery.

These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your giving consent for surgery.

It is important that you address all of your questions directly with your facelift Elite Physician.


How should I prepare for a Facelift?


Important Note: If your facelift procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from the facility and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.

Depending on your individual goals, medical history, and lifestyle, your physician may request that you:

  • Stop smoking.
  • Laboratory tests which may include blood and urine samples.
  • An additional medical evaluation.
  • Take an additional medication or adjust your current prescription and over the counter medications as they can increase bleeding:
  • Avoid taking aspirin.
  • Stop anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Refrain from herbal supplements.

Your Facelift Elite Physician will advise you on how to best prepare for your Facelift procedure.

A Facelift procedure may be performed in:

  • An accredited, office-based surgical facility.
  • Licensed ambulatory surgical center.
  • Hospital.

How a Facelift Procedure is Performed


Step 1 – Anesthesia

During your Facelift procedure, the medication or anesthesia options are intravenous sedation and general anesthesia—for your comfort. Your Elite Physician will recommend the best option for you.

Step 2 – The Facelift Incision

Incisions vary based on patient-surgeon preference, the type of facelift, and your lifestyle.

During a traditional facelift the surgeon will make an incision in the temporal region—above and in front of the ear, beginning in the hair or hairline at the top of the head, down around the front of the ear, under the ear, and then ending in the hair or hairline back behind the ear.

Next, the skin and fatty tissues are then lifted off the underlying muscle and fascia—connective tissue as far forward as is necessary to tighten the loose skin. The underlying muscle and fascia can also be tightened using sutures if required to achieve the desired aesthetic.

Step 3 – Closing the Facelift Incision

The surgeon may leave a drain in the surgery site to remove excess blood and fluid. The incision then closed using sutures and staples before bandages are applied.

Facelift results are not immediately visible. Changes will occur as the healing process begins and swelling is reduced.


What to expect during Facelift recovery?


After your Facelift procedure, your face will be wrapped in gauze dressings. Most people are able to comfortably go out in public after 10 – 14 days, with the remaining tightness, swelling, and any numbness subsiding in 2 – 3-months.

Immediately after surgery, you will be taken into a recovery area for close monitoring. You may be permitted to go home when you are stable for discharge—typically after an hour. Acute pain typically subsides after 10 – 14 days. For a couple of months you may experience some numbness, discoloration, and swelling, depending on the type of facelift procedure you had. Resume exercise and normal activity only according to your plastic surgeon's advice.

Your Facelift Elite Physician will give you specific, written instructions that may include:

  • Surgical site home-care.
  • Specific postoperative instructions for your facelift recovery.
  • Medications to take orally or to apply to the skin to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection.
  • The best time to get a haircut or color your hair after surgery.
  • A list of specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health.
  • When you can wash your face and wear makeup.
  • Follow up appointment information.
  • Continuing to protect your face from the harmful effects of the sun.

Not sure which procedure is right for you?

Schedule for a free consultation to discuss options with a physician.