What is a Facelift?
Facelift surgery, clinically known as rhytidectomy, is a procedure done to lessen the appearance of facial wrinkles with the goal of improving the overall appearance of the face and neck. Facelift surgery aids to reverse the damaging effects of time, stress, and too much sun exposure. This operation lifts the lower 1/3 of the face and creates a more defined jawline and neckline.
A facelift erases years from a person’s appearance by lifting and tightening the skin and muscle in the lower third of the face and neck. This procedure gets rid of unwanted lines, jowls, and neckbands. These signs of aging may be a result of gravity, stress, loss of elasticity in your skin, or exposure to the sun. If sagging skin, wrinkles, and jowls have started to appear around your middle and lower face, a facelift will help rejuvenate your skin giving you a healthier, more appealing look.
In many patients, Dr. Sufyan is able to take a minimally invasive approach for facelifts which leads to minimal downtime and recovery.
Who is a Good Candidate?
- Loose or sagging skin of the lower face and neck
- “Jowls” of the lower face
- Nonsmokers (no active smoking for 4 weeks prior to surgery or after surgery)
- Reasonable expectations
Types of Facelift?
There are numerous types of facelifts you can choose from based on your aesthetic goals and preferences regarding recovery, risks, and your facial anatomy. As a general rule, the different types of facelifts vary by the type of incision, the area of the face that is targeted, and their degree of invasiveness.
- Traditional Facelift (SMAS)
- A traditional facelift can include a cheek and neck lift, and takes care of drooping and lack of volume by tightening up the muscle. The underlying muscle layer is repositioned and lifted in the direction of the ears. The muscles are tightened and excess skin and fatty deposits are removed bringing the underlying tissue to a more youthful position.
- Deep Plane Facelift
- The Deep Plane facelift is similar to the traditional facelift but with some substantial differences. The surgeon will cut to deeper plane in the face and then lift and reposition the muscles. Portions of the underlying muscle layers will be separated from deeper ones and sometimes facial structures. This technique is believed .to provide a more natural result.
- Neck Lift
- A neck lift targets a sagging neck area. A cervicoplasty is a neck lift done to remove excess skin, and a platysmaplasty is done to tighten loose neck muscles. Dr. Sufyan will perform one or both of these procedures to tighten loose neck muscles and remove excess skin and fat in the lower face and neck. This procedure leaves you with a better defined and firmer appearance of the neck.
- Temporal Facelift
- A Temporal facelift’s focus is on the eyebrow area. This is a good option for individuals looking to raise a droopy brow.
- Midface Lift
- Midface lifts improve nose-to-mouth lines and lift sagging cheeks. An isolated mid-facelift can be done endoscopically or through the lower lid along with eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty). This lift provides minimal risk and downtime.
- Mini Facelift
- A mini facelift focuses on reducing minor sagging around the cheeks, jawline and neck. This procedure aims to re-establish facial balance, giving an overall lift to the neck and lower third of the face. This procedure is sometimes referred to as a “weekend facelift”, because it’s recovery and downtime is minimal as far as facelifts.
Facelift and Neck Lift FAQ:
How do you do a facelift?
Each type of facelift/neck lift is different but typically, Dr. Sufyan lifts and tightens the underlying muscles of the face to create more aesthetically pleasing appearance and rejuvenate the facial structure. Then he removes excess fat and skin that can contribute to an aged appearance.
What does a typical face lift consultation entail?
Dr. Sufyan will discuss your goals and explain what can be realistically achieved for you during a consultation. Most patients want to achieve a more attractive, younger look without looking too different. Dr. Sufyan utilizes VECTRA® 3D which is 3D imaging prior to surgery. Patients have the opportunity to ask for changes and see the result from all different angles. This makes the patient much more knowledgeable about their outcomes.
What should I expect postoperatively?
Although there is usually no excessive pain related to a face lift, some pain may be present. This is typically controlled with prescription pain medication. Bruising and swelling is very normal because your skin and underlying tissues have been stretched, pulled, and cut. Most swelling will begin to fade within the first week and continue to dissipate increasingly after that.
When can I go in the sun after a facelift?
The sun should be avoided for several reasons. Excessive sunlight on new, healing scars may cause hyperpigmentation, or darkening of the healing areas. Secondly, excessive sunlight may increase swelling. Finally, the sun will damage the skin on a long term basis, creating deeper lines and damaging the overall appearance of the skin as well.
Will there be scarring? If so, where will the scars be located?
Some scarring is to be expected. Scars are usually concealed in the hairline, behind the ears, or under the jaw line.
How long should I expect to be out of work?
Many patients return to work about 10-14 days postoperatively, but you may still have some swelling and residual bruises. You can expect to resume regular activities in about three weeks.
What are the complications and risks associated with facelift/neck lift?
Although some swelling, bruising and bleeding are fairly common, some less common but possible risks of a facelift include formation of a hematoma, infection, thickened scar, changes in skin sensation, and facial nerve injury. Facelift incisions can be unpredictable depending on the way the patient heals, however most are regularly not noticeable. Listening to the advice Dr. Sufyan gives can significantly reduce the risks before and after your surgery.
When will the sutures be taken out?
Bandages and/or stitches are usually removed around 5-7 days after your surgery. If surgical staples were used, they may be removed closer to 7 to 10 days. Your face will be swollen and will typically appear at its worst around day 3.
Is there a lot of swelling involved with a face lift?
Yes, expect swelling especially by around day 3 post-operative. Your face may look normal when you get home, but after the next couple of days it will begin to swell. The swelling will gradually subside. For some patients it is encouraged to sleep with your head and shoulders elevated to help keep swelling to a minimum.
Does a facelift/neck lift require an overnight hospital stay?
Rarely. This procedure can be performed in the hospital or in an outpatient surgical center. You will most likely be able to go home a few hours after your face/neck lift surgery.
Are there any medications that need to be avoided before surgery?
It is important to avoid taking certain medications, vitamins and herbs two week prior to your surgery. This is because some medications may cause you to bleed more than normal.