A facelift can help restore a natural, youthful appearance, in a minimally invasive out-patient procedure. As we age, the elastin in our skin breaks down causing sagging, in addition to facial collagen and fat loss. A face lift removes this excess skin, by making small incisions that are hidden in the hairline and natural creases. You will gain the smooth, rested look of your youth!
Men and women know that a youthful appearance can enhance one's natural beauty and appearance. A facelift may be just what you need, as it can set back the aesthetic clock of time, improving the most visible signs of aging by removing excess fat, tightening the underlying musclofacial system, and re-draping the skin of your face and neck.
During a facelift, also known as rhytidectomy, excess skin and fatty tissue around the jaw and neck is removed and the skin is lifted to reveal a more youthful appearance. Although a facelift will improve and enhance the contour of your face and jaw line, it will not correct sun damage or fine wrinkles that have developed on the skin's surface. To treat these conditions, additional skin resurfacing and a post operative skin care regimen may be needed, which is available at the Meadows Surgical Arts. This can be discussed during your initial consultation.
Typically, most facelift candidates are between their 40's-70's. In certain cases, the procedure can be performed on older individuals. However, best results are achieved with patients who still have relatively good skin elasticity and strong facial bone structure. In preparation for facelift surgery, you will need to abstain from smoking prior to the procedure and during the recovery period in order to minimize complications. Also, consumption of aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs prior to facelift surgery is not allowed since these drugs may lead to increased bleeding during the course of the facelift. A facelift can be done alone, or in conjunction with other facial procedures such as a brow lift, eyelid lift, or nose reshaping, skin resurfacing, fat injections, etc.
Understanding the Procedure
Dr. Meadows prefers to perform a facelift in his office surgical suite. The procedure is performed with general sedation and normally takes two to four hours. Medications are given right before surgery to reduce anxiety. Most patients have little or no memory after the preoperative medication is given and regain full awareness in the recovery room or after they have returned home. A turban-type dressing is placed around the head after surgery and is removed in the office the following morning. The discomfort following a facelift is usually minimal. Medications are prescribed to help the patient rest comfortably for the first few days after surgery.
The placement of incisions for a facelift varies depending on the problems to be corrected. Consideration is also given to whether the patient is male or female and their respective hair patterns. In all cases, most of the incisions are placed in areas where they will be hidden by hair or natural skin folds. In exposed areas, very fine absorbable sutures are used to close the incisions so scars should become imperceptible over time. Stitches and staples are removed about one week following surgery and involve little discomfort.
Understanding the Recovery
Swelling of the face and neck peak at 72 hours. Resting and sleeping in an elevated position helps to reduce swelling and increase the patient's comfort. As a general rule, the majority of the swelling resolves in two to four weeks. The remainder usually subsides over the next two to four months. Bruising may occur in the face and neck and, if it develops, is usually gone in three to six weeks. Areas of numbness, firmness and tenderness around the incisions are common. Normal feeling should return several weeks to months after surgery.
Certain activities are restricted after a facelift to protect healing tissues. Movements such as coughing, sneezing, bending, turning or twisting the head on the neck or any exercise are limited for a minimum of three to six weeks. Driving, which often involves twisting the head and neck, can be resumed after two weeks with certain precautions. Contact sports are not recommended for at least three to four months. The patient must wait at least 6 weeks to have hair permed or colored.
Since nothing heals symmetrically or suddenly, the best results are achieved three to six months after surgery. The best outcome is achieved by communicating with Dr. Meadows and meticulously following instructions