Medical Term: Rhytidectomy
Facelift surgery becomes a surgically necessary procedure in many individuals as they age if they have desires to project a youthful appearance, an inviting expression, and a well-rested, healthy and vibrant look. Non-invasive modalities such as injectable therapy, lasers and chemical peels, for example, only go so far in improving sagging tissues, facial definition, and loose and wrinkled skin. Ultimately, skin-tightening procedures are required to elevate sagging tissues, tighten muscles, and improve facial contours and skin appearance.
For more information about facelift procedures in the Henderson and Las Vegas area, please call Desert Hills Plastic Surgery Center at 702-260-7707 to schedule a consultation. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Hayley Brown serves patients throughout the Las Vegas area.
The term "facelift" sometimes sounds unappealing, as most individuals are afraid of resulting stigma of facial cosmetic surgery where they have seen natural features look distorted, pulled, and mask-like. The goal of facelift surgery is not to change your appearance, but to create a natural-looking youthful appearance so that you look like yourself, only years younger.
Dr. Brown focuses on natural results. Unusual appearances, distortion or immobility of facial expression, visible scars, and an overdone, pulled-look is unacceptable. Maintenance of existing hairlines is also important so that patients are comfortable in short hairstyles and women feel at ease wearing their hair up or back. Dr. Brown feels that the best plastic surgery is when it looks like it hasn’t been done.
There are several different techniques used in facelift surgery. Each approach to facial plastic surgery is individualized per patient, taking into consideration areas of concern and personal goals. An efficient, effective, and minimally invasive procedure is desired along with longevity of results. Procedures can involve part or all of the following: full face lift, neck lift, neck liposuction, mini-facelift, soft tissue fillers to restore lost volume, and skin resurfacing to smooth wrinkles.
These areas of the face may be considered during your evaluation and in determining your optimal procedure, so that the entire face looks harmonious and balanced:
Certainly, patient desires and personal surgical goals become foremost in formulating a treatment plan.
Who Is a Candidate for Facelift Surgery?
- A person who has experienced a loss of skin elasticity and muscle tone of the face and neck from aging, gravitational and environmental factors
- Patients of any age who have lost a significant amount of weight with resulting deflation and sagging of facial and neck tissue and skin.
- Someone with facial or neck wrinkles, or jowls, prominent facial folds
- A person with a tired facial appearance
- Individuals with full necks, ill-defined jawlines due to genetics, fatty deposits, sagging neck muscles
- Younger individuals may desire intervention sooner rather than later, to maintain their youthful look and put off more aggressive procedures.
- Common age ranges for facial rejuvenative surgery in our practice are 40-70 years old. Healthy individuals in older age ranges do very well with surgery and the recovery process
- Non-smokers. Patients who smoke or have a significant smoking history may be at risk for skin healing complications
Goal of Facelift Surgery:
- To provide the patient with a more youthful, healthy appearance that is also somewhat age-appropriate
- Improve skin tone and wrinkles
- Improve neck line, profile, jowls
- Reduce neck fullness, fatty deposits, tighten muscles of neck and face
- Restore youthful facial contours and proportions
- A natural "non-operated on" result
- Restore lost volume, reposition sagging tissues
Facelift Procedure Description:
- The operation is done on an outpatient basis, usually under general anesthesia. Most patients will spend the night in an overnight nursing care facility. Mini-facelift patients may be able to return home right after surgery
- Incisions are hidden in and around the hairline and around natural ear contours, with a post-tragal incision desired. This means that the scar courses inside the ear along its middle third so that a vertical scar is not visualized in front of the ear.
- The skin is then separated from the fat, supportive structures, and muscle below. Fat may be trimmed or suctioned from around the neck and chin to improve the contour. The underlying muscles are then tightened, the skin is redraped in a vector opposite gravity, and the excess is removed. Stitches secure the layers of tissue and close the incisions
- Lost volume is restored to the face in areas that are deficient, typically the cheeks, temples, lower lid hollows, jawline and perioral areas. Fat or other soft tissue fillers can be used depending on patient preference and the area being augmented. Avoidance of over-correction and naturalness is key. In the case of fat, liposuction is performed using a donor site such as the abdomen or thighs and then transferred to the perioral areas, cheeks, lips, temples, and smile lines. Patients opting for fat transfer to the face need to understand the unpredictability of fat “take”, the risks of reabsorption, and the need to have a very stable weight to avoid appearance changes afterwards. Recovery can be longer in these cases because of increased bruising and swelling. In certain patients and in delicate areas such as the eyelids, hyaluronic fillers such as Restylane or Belotero may be preferred because of the predictability and reversibility.
What Is The Recovery & Aftercare Like Following A Facelift Procedure?
Facelift patients are advised to expect a fair amount of swelling and bruising after their procedure. A compression wrap may be applied around the chin and head after surgery. Post-operative instructions will discuss how long compression is needed. From the onset of the recovery period, it is imperative that patients follow their post-op instructions. These will outline everything from medication use to when and how to bathe and which activities to avoid and which to do. Walking is a necessary activity to help prevent blood clots in the legs after surgery. During the first week of recovery, it is beneficial to have pre-made meals on hand so little time needs to be spent on cooking. Patients can expect to be tired a lot of the time. The majority of their energy is being used to heal, so rest and some extra hours of sleep are vital aspects during this first phase of recovery. In addition to sleeping with the head elevated, patients may be instructed to apply cold compresses or ice to the sides of the face to help reduce swelling and bruising.
At the two-week mark after facelift surgery, the majority of bruising and swelling may have subsided. Patients may return to work at this time, provided that their occupation does not require strenuous physical activity. The more labor-intensive one's job, the more time off they may need to fully recover. As the swelling continues to subside and nerve endings are waking up, sensations like tingling may be noticed. Activity restrictions will remain in place for another few weeks, at least. Patients may begin resuming some of their usual activities sometime around four weeks post-op. At that time, most of the swelling and bruising should be gone. The skin may feel tight, but the visible results of the facelift won't reflect this. Patients can expect to look rested, rejuvenated, and beautifully natural.
How Soon After the Procedure Will I See the Results of My Facelift?
The facelift procedure involves the careful movement of the muscles and fatty tissue that contour the face and the removal of excess skin. The repositioning that is done incurs immediate results. That said, the outcome of a facelift is somewhat obscured by swelling and bruising. These common side effects typically subside quite a bit over the two weeks following surgery. As they do, a more youthful appearance gets revealed. Because swelling can continue to diminish for several months, patients can expect to see their best facial aesthetic improve over time.
Can I Combine My Facelift with Other Procedures?
Yes. Many people who seek plastic surgery choose to combine procedures. Doing so maximizes the cosmetic outcome without significantly increasing recovery time. A facelift focuses on the lower part of the face. For more comprehensive rejuvenation, patients may choose to add a neck lift to their procedure. Other options include upper or lower blepharoplasty, a brow lift, or lip augmentation using dermal fillers.
Will the Results of My Procedure Look Natural?
A natural-looking result is what good plastic surgery is all about! Our facelift procedures are planned with extreme care and respect for facial structure as a whole. The point of the facelift is to look like a younger version of oneself. We accomplish this objective with conservative repositioning of the deeper tissues beneath the skin.
How Long Will the Surgery Take?
Facelift surgery can take two or more hours. The duration of surgery is estimated based on the type of facelift the patient chooses and the inclusion of ancillary procedures such as eyelid rejuvenation or a neck lift. Surgery is performed using general anesthesia. Patients are in a sleep state during their procedure. Then, they are moved to a monitored recovery area where they will remain until the effects of their anesthesia have worn off enough to safely release them to a loved one.
What Is the Average Cost for a Facelift?
The cost of the procedure ranges from $18,000 to $25,000. It depends on the technique used and various other factors. All will be discussed at the time of your consultation. Financing plans are an option for those who qualify, as well as payment by cash or credit card.
- Brow lift
- Eyelid surgery
- Chemical peel
- Injectables & fillers
- Chin implant
Adjunctive facial surgical procedures done at the same time as your facelift should be considered, as the recovery process remains essentially the same as a facelift alone. Recovery is 1-2 weeks. Anticipate tightness, bruising and swelling with 2 weeks of social inactivity. Expect some relaxation after surgery with more natural contours apparent by 6-8 weeks.
How Long Do Facelift Results Last?
Because patients continue to age, experience gravitational effects, and have weight fluctuations, there is no such thing as permanent results. Many factors affect the longevity of the result. These include patient lifestyle, overall health, skin care regimen, philosophy of sun-exposure, inherent skin tone and elasticity, environment, diet, exercise, and maintenance regimen. Injectables such as BOTOX® Cosmetic and soft tissue fillers done a few times per year may enhance and maintain your results. Results can last 10 years or more, with individual variability depending on the influence of the factors mentioned.
At this point in time, there is no device or technique that safely and reliably tightens facial tissue more effectively than surgery. Patients should be wary of mass marketing and fancy advertisements, which sound too good to be true. Dr. Brown keeps informed and up-to-date on emerging technologies and techniques and incorporates new techniques only when they are proven safe and effective and FDA approved. Many topics advertised and seen in the media, as well as new procedures and techniques are regularly addressed and discussed in a truthful and non-biased manner on our Facebook site.
Patients should not take any chances when it comes to their faces. Dr. Brown is a board certified plastic surgeon with the proper training and skills required to deliver a safe and predictable result. For more information about facelifts in the Las Vegas area, please call 702-260-7707 or contact Desert Hills Plastic Surgery Center online today.