When to Consider a Facelift
You may be a perfect candidate for a facelift procedure if you:
- Feel your face does not reflect your own youthful spirit and energy levels
- Believe your facial sagging and excess skin may be a social or career barrier
- Show signs of facial aging, yet still have some skin elasticity
- Feel you no longer look yourself due to aging, time, gravity, sun exposure or genetics, and want to regain your youthful appearance.
Types of Facelifts
Facelift surgery, or rhytidectomy, is an individualized cosmetic surgery that seeks to meet the specific needs of each client. A trained plastic surgeon will tailor the treatment to suit the needs of each patient accordingly.
Typically, there are two main types of cosmetic procedures used to perform a facelift: a mini-facelift and a traditional facelift.
A mini-facelift is usually considered when a patient exhibits a mild degree of jowling and sagging skin around the face, eyes, neck, and mouth. It is a much less invasive technique that allows your surgeon to tighten your deep facial tissues through smaller incisions. These incisions are typically located along the hairline above the ears or the natural crease behind the ears. Through these incisions, your surgeon can lift and tighten the structural tissues around the cheeks to correct jowling, rejuvenate your appearance, and refine the jawline.
Depending on the extent of the procedure, your surgeon may recommend using local anesthesia along with sedation or general anesthesia – the best option will depend on your individual needs. A mini-facelift is best for addressing the early stages of aging before they become too pronounced, often reducing the need for more extensive surgeries in the future.
A standard or “traditional” facelift is typically used to address more moderate to advanced signs of aging around the mid-face and neck. This procedure is more extensive than that of a mini-facelift and often produces more dramatic results. Similarly to a mini-facelift, the incisions are relatively close to the lower scalp and the folds in front of the ear and are easily hidden in the natural folds of the skin. Through the incisions, your cosmetic surgeon can reposition deeper tissues beneath the skin, remove any unwanted, excess skin to eliminate wrinkles or creases, and smooth the surface as well as remove and reduce sagging skin underneath the chin – restoring a more naturally youthful contour to your face and neck.
How is a Facelift Performed?
As mentioned above, the exact technique and steps your plastic surgeon takes during your facelift will depend on a number of factors:
- Extent of facelift (mini vs standard)
- Personal goals
- Whether or not any additional procedures are being performed alongside your facelift
Once your surgeon has made the initial incisions, your skin is separated from the underlying connective tissues and muscles. This will allow the surgeon to easily reposition the deeper tissues, correct jowling, and create a firmer foundation for your skin. Once this has been completed, he or she will remove any excess skin and begin gently laying the remaining skin back over the recently rejuvenated facial tissues. Giving the face a much smoother, more youthful appearance without over-tightening.
Post-Face Lift Recovery
The physical recovery to allow your wounds to heal should not take longer than 3-5 days. However, the actual recovery time may take anywhere between 10-14 days before you may feel comfortable in public. For some people, it may be 2 to 3 months before their face feels “back to normal” in terms of texture, sensation, and elasticity. Swelling and bruising are to be expected, yet as they subside, the visible results will begin to appear.
It is important to continue using daily sun protection products and maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to extend the results of your facelift. The final results should provide a more youthful, rested appearance while also helping you feel more confident and comfortable with your appearance.
As with any surgical procedure, you should follow your physician’s post-op instructions to ensure the success of your surgery.
Pros and Cons
- A facelift can improve multiple areas of the face during one procedure
- The results are long-lasting, reaching 10 years or more, while making you appear 10 – 15 years younger
- Can contour the neck and jawline better than other surgical or non-surgical techniques
- A facelift cannot “recreate” your face or give you a “new” appearance, only a younger version of yourself
- There will be a longer downtime compared to non-surgical procedures
- Depending on age and skin type, you may require a secondary procedure for lasting results later on