Plastic Surgery Procedures

Facelift Surgery Information

Information on face lift techniques, cost, recovery time, risks and benefits of the face lift surgery. Read about a mid facelift, mini facelifts, facial reconstructive surgery and more.

The effects of gravity, the stresses of daily life, and even just the evidence of time become visible in peoples' faces, causes the formation of deep creases between the nose and mouth, the loosening and slackening of the jaw line, the development of jowls, and the appearance of both folds and fat deposits on and around the neck.

While a facelift cannot stop or even slow down the aging process, it can set back the clock by cosmetically altering and adjusting the placement of the skin on your face and neck, as well as removing excess fat and tightening the muscles underneath the skin. If a facelift is performed, it may be accompanied by a forehead lift, eyelid surgery, nose reshaping, or other procedures.

View before and after facelift photos.

Candidates For A Facelift

Ideal candidates for facelifts are men or women whose skin on their neck and face has begun to sag, although their skin still retains some of its elasticity. A strong, well-defined bone structure also makes the procedure more simple. While some patients are in their seventies or eighties, most recipients of a facelift are in their forties to sixties. After a facelift, a patient will still look like themselves, but will help you look younger and fresher and may, accordingly, increase your self-confidence; it cannot, however, give you more youthful energy or vitality.

Possible Risks Involved

While there are only minimal risks or complications when a facelift is performed by a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon, it is crucial to follow the surgeon's advice as closely as possible in order to minimize the chance of any risks. Hematoma C, a collection of blood under the skin, may occur with a procedure and, if one appears, will need to be removed by the surgeon. Nerves that control facial muscles may be injured; however, any damage is generally temporary. As with any procedure, infection is a possibility, and some patients can potentially have a negative reaction to the use of anesthesia. Smokers, due to the effects on blood circulation that nicotine causes, will usually have a longer recovery.

When you have your consultation with your plastic surgeon, your face, skin, and underlying bone will be evaluated. In addition, your medical history will be reviewed in order to check for potentially related issues, including high blood pressure, problems regarding blood clotting, or your skin's tendency to form larger, excessive scars. During your consultation, it is also important to discuss both your expectations and your goals with your surgeon in order to ensure the desired, realistic results.

While most face lifts are performed on an outpatient basis with the patient under local anesthesia, in addition to the assistance of a drowsing sedative, some surgeons may opt for the use of general anesthesia, which will generally include hospitalization for a day.

A facelift procedure will generally take several hours, although all surgeons will perform the procedure in his or her own way. The incisions will begin at the temples above the hairline, continue down in front of the ear, and continue behind the ear lobe and extend to the lower scalp. If the neck is part of the procedure, a small incision will be made under the chin.

The surgeon's next step will be the separation of the skin from the fat and muscle that resides below. Fat will then be removed, through either trimming or suction, to improve the contour of both the neck and chin. Both the underlying muscle and membrane will be tightened, the skin will be pulled back, and any excess skin will be removed. Stitches will be used in order to secure the layers of tissue, as well as to close the incisions; metal clips will also help secure the scalp. Any blood that has collected will be drained after the surgery using a drain tube placed under the skin behind the ear. Bandages may be loosely wrapped around the head in order to prevent bruising and swelling.

 

Pain and discomfort may be a part of the recovery, but can be minimized through use of pain medication. It is normal for the skin to be numb for a few weeks to a month after the operation. Elevating your head and keeping it still for a few days after the procedure will help minimize swelling. The drain tube and bandages will generally be removed in one to five days, depending on recovery progress, and stitches will be removed after five days. After the removal of the bandages, your face may still appear bruised and puffy; however, you will look normal within a few weeks. The scalp may take longer to heal, although most patients are back to work within about ten days of the surgery. After the third week after the procedure, you will look and feel much better.

The affected skin will be tender and numb for the first week after the surgery. Be gentle with it, as well as with your hair. Avoid any strenuous activity, alcohol, steam baths, saunas, or anything else that could have an effect on your skin's elasticity for several months. Perhaps most importantly, allow your body to heal by getting plenty of rest.

While the swelling and bruises from the procedure may disappear, the hair around your temples may still be thin and your skin may be dry or rough for several months. Any scars will be hidden either by your hair or by the natural creases of your face and ears; they will be scarcely visible and will fade as time passes. In addition, your face will continue to age, as a facelift will not stop the clock, but may turn it back.

Facelift Cost

  • Mid-Facelift $4,500 - $8,000
  • Facelift $14,000 - $25,000
  • Thread Lift $5,000 - $12,000

 

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