A facelift, or rhytidectomy, is a complex and delicate plastic surgical procedure that offers comprehensive rejuvenation of the face. It is most frequently performed in conjunction with a neck lift and provides flattering improvement of the jowls, jawline, lower face and neck. It is most effective in improving the contour of the jawline, treating skin laxity of the face and neck and eradicating jowls. When combined with a neck lift and fat grafting, the results can be extremely satisfying.
There are many facelift surgery techniques and there is often a popular “facelift du jour”. In reality, your own facial anatomy, areas of skin laxity and skin quality will determine which procedures will give you the best results. After a careful evaluation of your face and a determination of your goals, Dr. Weston will select the procedures and techniques that are best for you.
Making the decision to have a facelift isn’t easy. You’ve lived with your face for a lifetime and although you may not like the changes that have come with aging, you still want to look like you! Know that it is possible to rejuvenate your face without ending up looking like someone else. When you catch a glimpse of yourself as you walk by a window and you see your Mother or Father looking back at you, it may be time to consider facelift surgery. The age range of patients considering facelift surgery is 30-85 years! The majority of patients are between the ages of 45 and 65. With people living longer and healthier lives, the upper range of patient age is constantly increasing. Age, however, is not the most important factor. As long as you are healthy, you may be an excellent candidate for this procedure. Ask yourself the following questions:
If the answer to these questions is “YES”, you are probably ready to consider facelift surgery This surgery is an effective way to restore a more youthful appearance, shaving about 10 years off of your appearance. The greater the aging changes at the time of your surgery, the more dramatic the improvement.
Not all patients who notice aging changes in their face are ready for facelift surgery. Today there are many less invasive procedures that can contribute to facial rejuvenation and a refreshed appearance. Wrinkles can be treated with laser resurfacing, Botox or Dysport injections, filler injections and skin peels. Areas of volume loss and contour changes can be treated with injectable fillers or fat grafting. Pigment changes and skin texture changes can be treated with IPL, medically-managed skin care regimens as well as laser and skin peels. The term “liquid facelift” refers to the use of injectables (filler and neuromodulators) to achieve rejuvenation without surgery. For some patients these other options can be extremely effective. Dr. Weston will help you identify your facial rejuvenation goals. She will evaluate your skin and bone structure and review your medical history before recommending a surgical facelift orother facial rejuvenation procedures.
Once you have decided to have surgery, Dr. Weston will ask each patient over 50 to see his or her primary care physician to confirm that you are in good health and that your blood pressure is under good control. You will be asked to have some basic lab work performed. Dr. Weston will advise you regarding the use of medications and supplements in the weeks leading up to your facelift, and if you are a smoker, smoking cessation will also be an absolute necessity for several weeks before and after your procedure.
Your surgery will be performed under a light general anesthetic, keeping you comfortable during the surgery and allowing you to wake up easily and without much discomfort. Incisions are hidden as much as possible. They are made in your hairline and around your ears, and occasionally, beneath you chin. Facial tissues are separated and repositioned, muscles and skin will be tightened, and excess skin will be
is removed. Excess fat may also be removed via liposuction during facelift surgery. Sutures are used to close the incisions and these will be removed during your post-op office visits. The facelift procedure typically takes several hours. The surgery will be performed as an outpatient and you will be able to return to your home or a local hotel in the care of a responsible adult. Our office is experienced in helping our out of town patients obtain accommodations and post-op care.
You will need a ride home following your facelift surgery, as well as some in-house help during the first 24 hours following your surgery. We will recommend that you keep your head elevated for the first few days using a wedge pillow or resting comfortable in a lounge chair/recliner. You will be seen in the office on the first post-op day at which time your surgical dressing will be removed, all incisions will be inspected and your drainage tubes will be removed. A new head dressing will be fashioned and will remain in place for 3 or 4 more days. On post-op day 5 you will return to the office for dressing removal and removal of some of your sutures. Pain is usually quite minimal and can often be controlled with Tylenol. By the end of the second week of recovery, you should be ready to resume most daily activities and make public appearances, however vigorous activity should be avoided for four to six weeks. Most swelling will be resolved within three months and you will be able to enjoy your refreshed look.
To ensure optimal results are achieved, it is important to follow all post-operative care instructions and keep your follow-up appointments with Dr. Weston.
A facelift is an effective way to turn back the clock and rejuvenate your appearance. Learn more about this procedure by phoning Dr. Weston at (650) 457-6291.