Is a Facelift Right For You?
Today more and more women and men are considering a facelift to help restore their face to a more youthful appearance. No longer do you have to worry about having a “plastic” or pulled look that was one of the concerns of the facelift of old. In fact at Exclusively Faces our facelift patients tell us that their family and friends say they look like themselves just more youthful, refreshed and more vibrant!
A facelift restores a more pleasing contour to your face and neck. A facelift can be done alone, or in conjunction with other procedures such as a forehead lift, eyelid surgery, or nose reshaping. Ask Dr. Karen and the cosmetic specialists at Exclusively Faces about the facelift procedure that is right for you.
Are you a facelift candidate?
If you are a woman or man whose face and neck have started to sag you may be a good candidate. Dr. Karen can assess your skin’s elasticity and help you determine the appropriate procedure. Remember facelifts have been successfully performed on patients as young as 40 yrs old and as old as 80 years old.
What is a facelift?
The Facelift operation elevates and redrapes the facial skin and underlying musculature to eliminate laxity and sagging. The operation can be designed to correct problems in the neck, under the jaw and/or chin and in the cheeks. It is sometimes referred to as the cheek and neck lift.
As individuals age, there is a change in the skin just as there are changes in all other parts of the body. Fatty tissue tends to decrease in volume and in density causing the skin to sag and hang loosely. There are also changes in the bony facial structure that when combined with changes in muscular action and the effects of gravity, leads to more prominent skin folds. These changes are greatest under the chin, in the upper neck and at the skin folds near the corner of the mouth.
The operation involves undermining of the skin and soft tissues below the skin (muscle layer) and redraping these tissues in a more anatomically pleasing position. The soft tissue and muscles are tightened in order to reposition the skin, thus preventing the “wind tunnel” effect. A natural unoperated looking result is achieved.
In all cases, the incisions are placed in areas where they will be well hidden. Consideration will be given to whether the patient is male or female, hair pattern, areas that need most correction, etc. The surgery is tailored to meet the needs of each individual patient.
There has been a great increase in the popularity of the facelift operation, and as a result, surgical techniques have been improved. As a direct result of this, patients are seeking this operation at an earlier age. There is no upper or lower age limit for the operation. While correction is perfectly possible in the late sixties or early seventies, the earlier one has this procedure performed, the longer it will last. Indeed, patients in their thirties have had face-lifts with very satisfactory results. The goals of face-lifting are not to stop the aging process, but to allow ones appearance to be renewed and refreshed.
These results can be long lasting. However, on occasion mild recurrent sagging can be seen in the neck and or jowl area after a year. A secondary facelift (a much more minor procedure) carried out a year or so after the initial operation appears to produce a much more long lasting result. This so called secondary tuck has become very popular among patients who have had a facelift.
Facelift surgery will result in limited benefit when very fine wrinkles are the most prominent deformity. There are other means to achieve improvement of this condition, such as chemical peel. In some cases, regional chemical peel can be combined with face-lifting. The most common example is when fine lines around the mouth are peeled with an associated facelift.
Though complications are relatively infrequent in a facelift, they may occur. There can be some blood collection under the skin. This often can be treated during the follow-up office examination and will not affect the overall results. Larger collections may require earlier and more vigorous treatment and could possibly require reopening of the surgical incision to remove the clotted blood. If a large amount of blood does collect and goes untreated the elevated skin flaps could be at risk of loosing blood supply. If increased pain is experienced immediately after surgery prompt action is necessary.
Scarring occurs after any incision. In most cases, after face-lifting, the scars are not perceivable. However, if the do occur, they most commonly occur behind the ear and are well hidden.
There may be some temporary lag in the normal motion of the facial muscles. Generally this is related to the local anesthetic. In rare cases, this weakness can be longer lasting and perhaps even permanent.
Generally, the entire operative procedure with all its modifications has been extremely successful and has provided significant personal satisfaction to many individuals. The applicability of the operation to an individual patient, or course, will be discussed during the patient’s private consultation.
Post Treatment Instructions
The operation is generally carried out in our office surgery suite. Dressings are removed the day after surgery. Sutures and staples will be removed at post op day #7. Initially there may be a feeling of numbness and tension in the operative area. This usually disappears within the first few postoperative weeks. Swelling and bruising vary but are usually gone within a week or so. An elastic sling dressing is worn 24 hours/day for the first two weeks and at night after that. This action decreases the swelling tremendously. Heavy lifting and increased activity should be avoided for up to two weeks. Antibiotic and pain prescriptions will be provided.
It must be recognized that marked degrees of skin laxity may not be entirely correctable with one operation. Some recurrent sagging can take place even after the first few months. Minor secondary procedures might therefore be desirable to achieve maximum benefit.
Our practice serves consumers from the following areas of : Washington DC, and the cities of Virginia like Winchester, Frederick County, Clarke County including Berryville, Warren County including Front Royal, Shenandoah County including Strasburg and Woodstock and Northern Virginia including Landsdowne, Leesburg, Purcellville, Ashburn, Manassas, Alexandria, Arlington, Manassas, Landsdowne, Leesburg ,Loudon, Purcellville, Reston, Stafford, Sterling, Fairfax, Vienna, and Woodbridge. This also includes cities in Maryland such as Chevy Chase, Bethesda , Silver Spring, MD and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia including Martinsburg and Charles Town.