As you go about life, stress, time, and the natural elements can work together to bring an aged appearance to your face. Wrinkles and creases grow, and it is common to become frustrated with how your face and neck look. Many patients will say they don’t like looking tired, or complain that they look so much older than they feel. If you live in the Charlotte, Hickory, or Gastonia, NC, areas and you are looking to improve the aging appearance of your face, consider having a facelift performed by the board certified plastic surgeons of Piedmont Plastic Surgery and Dermatology.
What is a facelift?
A facelift is a procedure where the skin and muscles of the lower face are tightened, in order to reduce wrinkles and produce an overall younger look to your face. This can be done alone, but is often done in conjunction with another surgical procedure, such as an eyelid lift (blepharoplasty) or a forehead lift. The end result is a fresh, younger look by removing the more obvious signs of aging.
Who are good candidates for a facelift?
A facelift is not the right for procedure for every patient. Your plastic surgeon will discuss your specific concerns with you and come up with a surgical plan that is tailored to your individual needs. There are many options to help improve facial aging, both surgical and non-surgical, such as injectable fillers or Botox. Discussion of your goals and expectations with your plastic surgeon will help determine which procedures are right for you.
An ideal facelift candidate will have some sagging in their lower face and neck, but will still have some elasticity to their skin. Your bone structure should be strong. Most facelift patients are between the ages of forty and sixty. However, some patients who are older than this may still be good candidates.
The Facelift Process
Before your surgery, your surgeon will walk you through all the preparations that you will need to know about, including medications to avoid and when to stop eating and drinking. In addition, you may want to grow your hair out slightly to help hide the facelift scars as they heal.
Your facelift will be performed in the plastic surgeon’s office. Usually, you are given general anesthesia to ensure you are asleep throughout the entire procedure. Your safety is our primary concern, and the surgical facilities of all three offices of Piedmont Plastic Surgery and Dermatology are certified by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities. The procedure itself may take several hours to complete.
The incisions that are made will be determined by the structure of your face. An incision will likely be made above your hairline, around the front and back of your ear, and down to your lower scalp. If the facelift also includes your neck, another incision might be made under your chin.
The skin will be separated from the fat and muscle. If you have excessive fat deposits in your face, some may be trimmed or removed. In some cases, fat may be injected to the cheeks or lips to create a more youthful fullness. The result will be an improved contour to your face. The muscle will be tightened and excess skin will be removed. Then the incisions will be stitched closed.
After Your Facelift
After surgery, a drainage tube may be inserted behind your ear to drain extra blood. Some bruising and swelling are common, so bandages will be applied loosely.
If you experience particularly strong discomfort after your surgery, the pain can be managed with medication prescribed by your doctor. However, the discomfort is usually mild. If there is any sudden severe pain or swelling, you should notify your surgeon immediately. Numbness is common, and it usually disappears in the following weeks or months.
After a day or two of rest, you will be able to begin resuming normal activities. However, the first week will still be a time to take it easy, as the skin will be tender. When dealing with your face and hair during this first week, exercise caution to minimize pain and discomfort. You will likely be advised to avoid strenuous activity for at least two weeks, and get plenty of rest. You want your body to heal properly and quickly, and following the doctor’s instructions will help you with your recovery.
Because some swelling will occur, you may find that your face looks slightly different, and it may feel rather stiff for the first few weeks after surgery. However, over time the swelling will go down. Typically you will find that more vigorous activities, including work, can usually be resumed within two weeks after surgery.
The Risks of Facelifts
The professionals at Piedmont Plastic Surgery and Dermatology are trained and experienced in performing facelifts. As such, the risk of complications is small. Nevertheless, every surgery has potential risks and it is important for all patients to review the full informed consent associated with their procedure.
One potential risk of facelift surgery is hematoma, where blood collects under the skin. In most cases, this can be removed by the surgeon quickly and easily. Temporary nerve injury can also occur, but usually heals within weeks. As with all surgeries, infection is a risk, as well as negative reactions to the anesthesia. As long as you follow your surgeon’s advice and work together with them, you can reduce your risk of any of these complications.
A facelift can help you retain that youthful, vibrant appearance. Allow the professionals at Piedmont Plastic Surgery and Dermatology to help you restore your appearance safely and effectively. Call us today to schedule your consultation.