While there is no “fountain of youth” to completely restore our teenage appearance or keep it that way, facelift surgery, also known as rhytidectomy, is one of many facial plastic surgery procedures that can help combat the effects of the passage of time and help keep you looking as young as you feel. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), over 133,000 facelift procedures were performed in 2013. In order to ease any apprehensions you may have, I have broken down the top common questions patients typically ask me before/after undergoing facelift surgery:
Q: Who is a candidate for facelift surgery?
A: Facelift surgery can be performed on specific areas of the face for patients with moderate to minimal signs of aging such as lax skin, or deep wrinkles and fine lines. Ideally, candidates should be healthy individuals who do not have past or present medical conditions that can impair healing and maintain a positive outlook and realistic expectations about his/her procedure.
Q: What areas of the face can be treated with a facelift?
A: There are multiple factors that can contribute to the aging process including pollutants, sun exposure, and gravity, which all aid in deteriorating the suppleness of our skin. Particularly useful for eliminating excess skin around the cheeks, jowls, and neck, facelift surgery can create a younger looking face with a more defined jaw line. Patients who are only concerned with specific isolated areas of the face such as the neck, jowls, or mid-face may opt for a mini-facelift.
Q: How is facelift surgery performed?
A: During a facelift procedure, I remove excess and sagging skin and re-tighten or reposition muscle and tissue to refill areas of lost volume and smooth wrinkles. A full facelift could also include a neck lift which restores the neck line, jawline, and removes turkey neck.
A mini-facelift, also known as a “weekend procedure” because of the minimal downtime required, reduces wrinkles and sagging skin by making smaller, hidden incisions without affecting the brow and eye areas.
Q: What aftercare is required following my facelift surgery?
A: Following your surgery, a bandage may be placed around your face to minimize swelling and bruising once your procedure is completed and will be worn for several days. Thin tubes may also be inserted to drain any excess blood or fluid that may accumulate under the skin. I will provide you with specific instructions on how to take care of the surgical site, suggest medications to aid in the healing process, when to make your follow-up appointments, and advise on engaging in physical activity and preserving proper nutrition.
Q: What other cosmetic procedures do you perform for facial rejuvenation?
A: Many patients do not realize that there are various surgical and non-surgical options in addition to traditional facelift surgery to meet their unique concerns. Facial procedures such as a browlift, blepharoplasty, and neck lift can also significantly revitalize your appearance.
Patients with minor skin concerns and moderate to minimal wrinkling can benefit from non-surgical treatments such as laser resurfacing. Cosmetic injectables like BOTOX® smooth out wrinkles caused by expression on the forehead and near the eyes. Juvéderm® and Restylane® facial fillers restore lost volume in areas of the cheeks, nasolabial folds, and lips. Since these procedures are non-surgical, patients can benefit from minimal to no downtime and shorter treatment times as injections typically take 10-20 minutes to complete.
I remind my patients that though these procedures can restore a more youthful appearance, it is important to keep realistic expectations and understand that plastic surgery does not slow down the body’s natural aging process. In addition to surgery, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, limiting UV exposure, and using sunscreen faithfully can all help aid in prevention.
If you are interested in facelift surgery or other cosmetic procedures at Southern Plastic Surgery, P.C., please contact us today for a consultation. Be sure to also connect with me, Dr. David Whiteman on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more of the latest plastic surgery trends and news.