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Do you look in the mirror and use your fingers to pull your facial skin into a higher position?
If your answer is YES, read on to learn more about the modern facelift techniques used by Dr. Gordon and Dr. Reid to sculpt and re-contour the face and neck to recreate a younger, more refreshed version of you, with the least telltale signs of surgery. The importance of choosing a surgeon with artistic vision and superb surgical skills cannot be overemphasized. Each and every patient ages in a different way, so during your consultation, each feature of your face will be examined individually, as well as your face as a whole. This helps define what needs to be corrected. Next, your surgical plan will be customized based on your unique anatomical aging. Other complementary procedures may be discussed.
What procedures are commonly performed in conjunction with facelifts?
Complimentary surgical procedures and treatments can further refine your overall rejuvenation.
- Brow Lift
- Lip Augmentation can be accomplished with permanent solutions such as PermaLip or with temporary fillers, such as Juvederm or Restylane.
- Botox or Dysport can relax the muscles that cause crow’s feet and forehead lines to further soften your look.
- Laser Skin Resurfacing will improve the surface or texture of your skin, treat discoloration, and minimize wrinkles.
How much younger will I look?
Facelifts generally make patients appear 8-10 years younger. No form of rejuvenation can stop the aging process, so it’s important to follow our postop recommendations to maintain your new look. We want to slow down further aging as much as possible. We ask that you follow our recommended skin care plan, have yearly BBL treatments, and wear sunblock every day. Proper diet and exercise are also very important.
What will I need to do to prepare for surgery?
To optimize your recovery, you will need to:
- have blood work done
- have an EKG if you are over 50
- get medical clearance if you have health issues, like diabetes or heart disease
- stop smoking
- avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding
- begin proper skin care, as this leads to better healing and better outcomes
What are the risks?
Risks include bleeding beneath the skin called a hematoma, infection, temporary hair loss at the incision sites, thickening of scars, asymmetry, risks of anesthesia, and/or nerve injury that leads to a weakness of some of the muscles of the face. Nerve injury is usually temporary and is the result of stretching of the nerves. Numbness of the skin is expected and can persist for several months. Minor revisions may be necessary to achieve your final goals.
Is a facelift painful?
Most patients complain of discomfort and tightness, but do not complain of significant pain. A small drain will be placed under your neck skin and will be removed a few days after surgery.
How long is the recovery?
Healing is a progressive process. We like to think of downtime in two parts, surgical downtime and social downtime. Stitches will be removed at one week, and despite some bruising and swelling, you will be able to go outdoors with a hat and sunscreen. For 2 weeks, your face may appear bruised, swollen, numb and tight. It takes 6-8 weeks before you will be completely healed, and we suggest that you don’t plan any big social events during this time. Healing cannot be rushed.
Where will my surgery be performed?
Your facelift will be performed under general anesthesia at INSPIRE, our fully accredited, AAAASF, surgery center. A board-certified anesthesiologist will administer your anesthesia. An overnight stay is usually recommended.
What about growing old gracefully?
There are various ways to “grow old gracefully”, so this is a personal decision. Our goal is to educate our patients on the aging process and the options available, so that each can become empowered to age as gracefully and beautifully as possible, with or without our help.
Do I need to be a certain age to have a facelift?
There is no correct age for a facelift. The right time is when an area bothers you enough to do something about it. For many patients, it is when they look older on the outside than they feel on the inside.
Will a facelift treat all of my wrinkles?
Even the latest facelift surgery cannot reduce all wrinkles. Laser resurfacing is often necessary to treat moderate to severe wrinkles of the forehead and around the mouth.
Do you perform “suture lifts” or “thread lifts”?
No. Dr. Reid and Dr. Gordon only use proven techniques that give long term results. These “suture” lifting procedures are marketing gimmicks. The prey on patients who are afraid of surgery, afraid of scars and want a quick fix. Many of the companies who manufactured the threads have gone out of business. They make outrageous claims like a face lift can be done in an hour in the office. A facelift is a serious surgical procedure and should be done in an fully accredited operating room. This type of surgery is labor intensive and cannot be rushed. Each layer of the face must be addressed. The other issue with thread or suture lifts is that they rely on a single suture to support a large area of delicate tissue of the face that contains blood vessels and nerves. Over time, these barbed sutures “cheese-wire” or tear through the tissues they were intended to support. They can injure important structures, like nerves, as they pull through. They prevent natural movement of the face and create unnatural appearances. These are just a few of the many known complications of these techniques. Buyer beware.
I want a “short scar” facelift because I don’t think I need a full facelift?
The idea of shortening the incisions to rejuvenate the face is appealing to patients and surgeons alike. Indeed, the first facelift procedures performed over 100 years ago consisted of small incision near the ear and along the hairline. Despite the many amazing advances in techniques for facial surgery that have been made over the last century, skin redundancy remains a consistent and undeniable problem for the surgeon. Non-plastic surgeons have started to perform aesthetic surgery procedures for financial gain, and they market these “short scar” procedures. They do this because it greatly appeals to patients and because these “cosmetic” doctors most likely do not know how to execute a proper facelift. These procedures are ill-conceived and involve significant compromise in the overall improvement that can be obtained. They limit access to the deeper layers of tissue, which must be addressed for an excellent long term result. They also require that the excess skin be gathered up when sutured instead of being excised in a smooth, well-tailored fashion. A longer scar, which is well concealed, allows for the skin to be excised without objectionable puckering and gathering.
It’s only my neck that bothers me. Do you always recommend the face and neck be treated together?
In most patients, the face and the neck tend to age at the same rate. To achieve the most natural, harmonious appearance, the face and neck are usually treated simultaneously. Removing skin from the neck and not the face can create the appearance of excess skin in the face and vice versa.
I’m very nervous about having a wind-blown look. How do you avoid that?
Facelifts techniques have evolved more than any other plastic surgery procedure. Gone are the expressionless, wind-tunneled looks of the past. Traditional facelift techniques relied on pulling the skin as tight as possible. The flaw in this approach is that skin is meant to cover our deeper tissues, not give support. Skin is inherently elastic and is intended to stretch and move as we express ourselves. Overtightening was done in an attempt to counteract the elastic properties of the skin. This led to the so called wind-blown look. Dr. Reid and Dr. Gordon understand the complex process of aging. Your underlying tissues, muscles and support structures will be lifted, your fat repositioned and excess skin trimmed, not pulled tight.
What are the incisions used for a facelift?
Strategically placed incisions begin just inside the hairline at the temple and extend down along the natural curve of the ear, under and behind the ear, and then into the hairline. This allow for proper visualization of your underlying fat, muscle and underlying soft tissues. Innovative techniques allow for meticulously concealed incisions. The length and size of your incisions will be kept as short as possible and will depend on the amount of excess skin in your face, jowls and neck. For the neck portion of your procedure, a very small incision may be made beneath the chin.
What is a facelift?
Modern facelift techniques go far beyond tightening the skin. The understanding of facelifts has evolved to include the realization that soft tissue elevation and resuspension, or support of the deeper tissue layers, is essential in obtaining significant and lasting changes. The SMAS (superficial musculoaponeurotic system) is a layer of tissue that covers the deeper muscles and fat in the cheek, lower face and neck. As we age, the SMAS and soft tissues of the midface descend in a vertical fashion, leading to nasolabial folds, marionette lines and jowls. Vertical high SMAS elevation allows for repositioning of the soft tissues and fat of the cheek and lower face in conjunction with reducing excess skin. Fat transfer is performed to restore volume where it is diminished. The final component addresses the neck, where vertical bands are treated and excess fat removed for a smoother, tighter jawline. All of the procedures work in tandem to restore your facial harmony.
If you are yearning to turn back the clock, call our office 512.371.8817 to schedule your consultation.