It restores the natural shape of the face and corrects the sagginess, the jowls and neck bands produced by aging. A well-done facelift avoids that unnatural “over stretched” look. It is not about pulling on the skin. Surgery is done under local or general anesthesia and takes between 3 and 4 hours. Recovery is rather quick, bruising will be gone in less than 3 weeks.
What you should know about Facelifts
There are many techniques available to perform a facelift. Each face ages differently. In some faces, the jaw and the neck skin sags due to increased laxity and loss of volume in the cheeks. In others, there is an excess of fat in the neck that produces a double chin. Most patients have a combination of these so the surgical technique has to be carefully chosen to suit each patient’s needs.
The procedures used to lift the upper part of the face are different from those used to lift the mid face and the lower face. Additionally, a fat transfer (lipostructure) can be performed at the same time to improve the volume loss. A chemical peel can also be done to improve the texture of the skin.
The loss of fat, muscle and bone volume in the midface with aging leads to down-sliding of the cheeks. This, in turn, worsens the dark hollow circles underneath the eyes and the naso-labial folds. A midface lift repositions the sagging cheeks and restores the lost volume. This is performed through a scar-free incision in the upper eyelid crease. It involves lifting the muscles and the deep tissues in the cheeks. The procedure can be done independently or at the same time with a lower blepharoplasty.
Gravity sure works against us here! The lower face tissues stretch with time producing jowls and neck bands. Surgery in this area tightens the lax tissues underneath the skin. Only small amounts of excess skin is removed around the ear where the incision is located. If necessary fat is removed from the neck through liposuction. When there are prominent neck bands, the muscle underneath is also tightened.
For patients with a “light” face (skin and muscle sagging without excess fat) a small incision facelift can be done under local anesthesia. This offers an excellent result with quick recovery and minimal bruising.
Surgery is done under local or general anesthesia depending on the patient’s preference. A midface lift takes about 30 minutes while a lower facelift takes 3 to 4 hours. A total facelift (endoscopic forehead lift, upper and lower blepharoplasty, midface lift and lower facelift) can only be done only under general anesthesia and takes about 6 hours. The patient goes home the same day.
Most patients take off between ten day and two weeks after a facelift surgery. Stitches are removed 10 days later. Bruising and swelling can be expected for a couple of weeks. Cold compresses are applied to reduce swelling and bruising in the first 48 hours. Antibiotic and pain medication may be prescribed for a few days. Strenuous activity should be minimized for several weeks. Warm compresses may be recommended after several days to increase blood flow to the area and promote healing.