Facelift: Everything You Need to Know
Looking old can make you feel old, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Have you ever stared at your reflection, wishing you could tighten up sagging skin? Would you like a little less droop around your jaw? You may want to consider a facelift. As with any medical procedure, it’s important to understand what to expect before, during, and after treatment.
What is a Facelift?
Most people think of a facelift as an aesthetic surgical procedure that helps restore youthfulness to the face. While that’s correct, what you may not realize is a facelift only involves the lower two-thirds of the face. That is, a facelift only affects the cheeks and jawline. However, it is common to have other aesthetic procedures done at the same time, such as a brow lift, to complement the facelift and enhance the overall effect.
The goal of a facelift is to refresh your appearance by reversing the signs of aging and effects of gravity. During the procedure, the surgeon will reposition and reshape the tissues below the skin. When complete, he will return the skin to a natural position. The desired outcome is a natural, revitalized appearance from the entire facial structure, not just tightened skin.
Different Types of Facelifts
There are two different surgical approaches to a facelift. Your surgeon will recommend what he feels will achieve the most desirable results for you.
Short-scar facelifts are ideal for people without loose skin around the neck. These are usually younger patients who have only mild to moderate signs of aging. The procedure is less invasive but also produces less significant effects. If you are only looking to refine the features of your cheeks and jawline, a short-scar facelift may be desirable.
A traditional facelift is typically recommended for people with moderate to advanced signs of aging. This is because the procedure can address the midface, jowls, and neck and includes a full neck lift. The incision is larger and the recovery will be longer, but there is more opportunity for facial correction. This can lead to more dramatic results.
Who Can Benefit From a Facelift?
If you want to restore the youthful appearance to your cheeks and jawline, you may benefit from a facelift. Patients in their 40s to 70s tend to see the best results. Effects usually last longer in younger patients, but this depends on the individual.
Following a facelift, improvements may include:
- Less sagging skin
- Elevated corners of the mouth
- No more jowls
- Redefined jawline
- Elevated, plumper cheeks
- Softened lines and folds on the face
- Less excess fat and skin in the neck
What to Expect Before a Facelift?
It is important you work with a plastic surgeon experienced in facelifts. He will work with you to determine your aesthetic needs. This includes explaining your options, including both surgical and nonsurgical procedures. Together, you will develop a treatment plan to produce optimal results for you.
If you smoke tobacco, it will be important to quit smoking at least six weeks before your procedure. Your general physician can provide you with tobacco cessation resources.
What to Expect During a Facelift?
Facelift surgery takes place in a hospital setting, typically under general anesthesia. This means you will be asleep and comfortable during the procedure. The procedure itself takes 3-5 hours. Of course, this can vary if you are having other surgeries at the same time.
An overnight hospital stay is not always required. Short-scar facelifts are often done in an outpatient setting. However, your surgeon may recommend an overnight stay, especially if you undergo multiple procedures. If the surgeon places a drain for excess fluid, he will remove it before you are discharged from the hospital. This will begin your recovery at home.
What to Expect After a Facelift?
Recovery following surgery is a very personal process. Your surgeon will explain what you can expect based in your individual case. However, it can be helpful to have a general idea of what happens following a facelift.
Expect to take it easy for a week or two. Your body needs time to recover.
- You will need to wear an elastic support for about two weeks. This helps minimize swelling.
- About one week after surgery, your surgeon will remove any stitches. Swelling should be minimal around the two-week mark.
- You may experience numbness or tingling following your procedure. This will lessen as your body heals. Your surgeon can prescribe medication to help ease any discomfort during this time.
- To maximize results, you will need to avoid the sun, smoking, and excessive alcohol intake.
- Full effects are not usually seen until six months following a facelift.
Your Next Steps
If you want to reduce signs of aging and reclaim your youthful appearance, a facelift may be a great option. You’ve taken the first step by educating yourself about facelifts. Now you must find an aesthetic surgeon experienced in facial rejuvenation. No two patients are alike, and you need an expert who respects that and who can tailor a treatment plan to your needs.
Are you in the Sydney, Newcastle, or Northern Beaches area? Dr. Scott J. Turnerspecializes in providing his patients with beautiful, natural results. His goal is to improve his patients’ sense of well-being, rapidly and profoundly improving their quality of life. If this appeals to you, contact his plastic surgery team to begin your journey to a revitalized you.