Many factors contribute to the rate at which your face ages. Sun damage, genetics, gravity, environmental factors, and lifestyle choices all leave their mark in the way of fine lines, wrinkles, deep creases, and sagging skin and tissues. Facelift surgery restores youthful contours and definition to your mid and lower face by removing excess skin and repositioning underlying tissues and fat on the face and neck.
What a Facelift Can Achieve
Reduced Facial Wrinkles
Gravity, sun damage, and lifestyle choices contribute to the development of wrinkles and lines anywhere on the face, which can make you appear tired and older than you are. Facelift surgery eliminates fine lines and wrinkles, such as marionette lines and nasolabial folds, to provide a smoother, natural-looking complexion.
With age and sun damage comes the loss of collagen. This affects facial fullness and contributes to an aged appearance. Tissues begin to break down and droop toward the jawline, resulting in the loss of cheek volume and the formation of jowls. Facelift surgery lifts the underlying muscles, tissues, and fat to where they should be. Defined cheeks are restored, and jowls are reduced.
The formation of wrinkles, creases, and jowls can be aesthetically and emotionally frustrating. This loss of definition affects the way you perceive yourself, which, in turn, affects the manner in which you present yourself in social and professional settings. Facelift surgery restores a youthful and rested appearance, which allows to you regain confidence and enhance your quality of life.
As each person’s facial features, level of visible aging, and expectations vary, there is no single facelift technique used by Dr. Reichner for everyone. He will examine your facial structure and degree of skin laxity and listen to your concerns to determine which techniques will best fit your needs and expectations.
During facelift surgery, an incision is made along the hairline, starting at the temples and running down and around the earlobe. Through this incision, skin is tightened, and any excess is trimmed away.
Through the incision made in the hairline, sagging muscles are tightened and repositioned, contributing to greater definition of the midface and jawline. Because of the lifting of the underlying muscles, more natural-looking results can be attained.
As skin and tissue begin to break down with age, gravity, and sun damage, fullness in the cheeks begins to disappear or slide toward the jawline. To enhance the cheeks, facial fat is redistributed to create volume. In patients who have lost a significant amount of volume, fat grafting can be used. During fat grafting, fat is harvested from another part of your body via liposuction and added to the areas of the face in need of enhancement, such as the cheeks or around the mouth.
Along with facial aging, many patients experience skin laxity and vertical banding on the neck that contributes to a prematurely aged appearance. Often, a neck lift with or without liposuction is performed to create a more defined and youthful contour that restores balance between the face and neck. Neck lift surgery uses a small incision beneath the chin through which loose skin is trimmed and tightened. If excess fat is present on the neck, liposuction is employed.
Although facelift surgery is an outpatient procedure, it is performed under general anesthesia, and you are required to have a driver present to get you home and stay with you for the first 24 hours. To help reduce bruising and swelling and to promote healing, you should keep your head elevated, even when you are sleeping. Patients typically return to work in one to two weeks, but exercise and strenuous activities should be avoided for at least three weeks.
Scarring will form at the incision sites. Fortunately, with facelift surgery, most of the incision is hidden within the hairline so that it will be inconspicuous. Dr. Reichner does his best to make these incisions as small and hidden as possible. To help minimize your chance of scarring, be sure to keep your incisions out of the sun and avoid putting any extra tension or pressure on them. All scarring will fade with time.
Following your facelift, you may experience bruising, swelling, tightness, and numbness. Bandages will cover any incisions for protection and to help in the healing process. Cold compresses and oral pain medication will help minimize discomfort.
Frequently Asked Questions
Candidates for facelift surgery experience moderate to severe signs of facial and neck aging. This includes deep facial wrinkles and creases, sagging cheeks, jowls, and neck banding. Candidates should be in good overall health, have adequate skin elasticity, be non-smokers or willing to quit smoking for at least one month before and after surgery, and have realistic expectations of their results.
While non-surgical facial rejuvenation treatments, such as injectable fillers, are a great way to postpone the need for more invasive surgery, they cannot reach the level of correction offered by facelift surgery. A facelift addresses the underlying causes of facial aging and creates lasting facial rejuvenation.
The results of your facelift will show within six months and will be long lasting; however, no procedure can halt the further progression of aging. Factors such as heredity, bone structure, skin texture, and elasticity all contribute to the longevity of your results. To help prolong your results, it is important to lead a healthy lifestyle, avoid the sun and practice good sun protection, and follow a proper skin care regimen.
Complications following facelift surgery are rare, but when present, they are usually temporary. While it is unlikely that you will experience any of these, potential complications include:
- Anesthesia risks
- Nerve injury
- Poor wound healing
“Thank you for everything Doctor. I am very happy I went through with my facelift. My husband can’t stop telling me how beautiful I look, you literally turned the clock back!”
– Mrs. K.