What is a Facelift?
Gravity, sun exposure, stress, and genetic factors contribute to creases formed between the nose and mouth, a slack jawline, and loose skin around the neck. At some point in your life you may look in the mirror or see a photograph of yourself and decide that the face that you see does not reflect the way you feel about yourself.
Because no two patients age complaints are the same, nor are their expectations the same, we now offer procedures tailored to the individual patient’s needs and desires.
For those wishing a mild to moderate improvement in about an hour under local anesthesia we offer our petite or the “La Petite Lift.” For those who desire and need more correction a short scar face lift under general anesthesia such as the minimal access cranial suspension lift may be best. Finally, we offer a full facelift under general anesthesia with a full scar for those desiring the most change and improvement.
Available at Lowcountry Plastic Surgery Center, a facelift will not stop the aging process, but it will slow it down, tightening underlying muscles, removing excess deposits of fat, and adjusting facial and neck skin. A facelift can be performed alone, or combined with procedures such as eyelid surgery / blepharoplasty, brow lift, rhinoplasty, or other facial rejuvenation procedures.
Good candidates for a facelift are healthy individuals with loose skin, wrinkles, excess fatty tissue in the neck, deep wrinkles in the cheeks, or sagging skin in the jowl area.
Short Scar Facelift
A short scar facelift is just what it sounds like, a face lift with a short scar. One of the most often used short scar lifts is the Minimal Access Cranial Suspension or MACS lift. The scar is shorter with a lift directed more “up” rather than “back.” This surgery is perfect for those with moderate facial aging but not a great deal of excess skin. A shorter scar is easier to hide with less distortion of the hairline. While this surgery is done under general anesthesia, most patients are able to go home that night as there is less skin undermining and less concern about hematoma formation.
While recovery time for the short scar lift is greater than that of the La Petite, it is significantly shorter than that of a full face lift.
Full Facelift Surgery
At our plastic surgery practice in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, a facelift can be done on an outpatient basis. In most cases, patients stay in the hospital for one day when using general anesthesia. The actual facelift procedure takes several hours or sometimes longer if you are combining facial rejuvenation procedures. For more extensive facelift surgeries, two separate surgical sessions may be necessary. There are many variations to the facelift procedure. Your hairline and your individual anatomy will be examined to determine where incisions can be most discreetly placed.
Your facelift surgeon will begin incisions above the hairline around the temples, extending along the contour of the ear, and continuing behind the earlobe. If neck work is required, a small incision may be placed under the chin. In general, the skin is separated from the fat and muscle and excess fat may be removed from the chin and neck area. The underlying membrane and loose muscle tissue is then tightened, and the skin is pulled back into place. The facelift surgeon will remove any excess skin tissue.
After All Facelift Surgery
After a facelift surgeon has completed the surgery, a small tube may be placed behind your ear in order to remove excess fluids following the surgery. Your head may also be loosely wrapped in bandages to minimize swelling and post-surgical bruising. Pain following a facelift is often minimal, although individual patient experience may vary. Numbness following facelift surgery is normal and normally fades after a few weeks.
If the facelift surgeon has placed a fluid drainage tube, the tube will be removed one day after the facelift surgery. Any bandages are usually removed the morning after the facelift. Your face will initially look puffy, bruised, and pale, but will typically return to normal in a few weeks. Stitches will be removed approximately five days after the facelift surgery; sutures along your hairline may need additional time to heal.
After visiting our Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina practice for a facelift, you should not engage in any strenuous activity for at least a week after surgery. You must be especially gentle with your hair, hairline, and face. Your skin will be numb and tender and may not respond to stimuli as it normally did. Make sure you get plenty of rest to help you heal more quickly.
After a facelift, your face may look and feel strange. Bruising may persist after a facelift for two to three weeks and you may experience fatigue rather easily. By the third week after your facelift, you should look and feel much better. Most facelift patients return to work 10 days to two weeks after their surgery.
Although usually minor and infrequent, complications that can occur following a facelift include hematoma (a collection of blood under the skin that must be removed), temporary or very rarely permanent injury to the nerves that control facial muscles, infection, and negative reactions to the anesthesia. Poor skin healing or abnormal scarring is also a potential risk after facelift surgery; it is more likely in smokers compared to non-smokers.
To learn more about facial rejuvenation surgery and other cosmetic surgery procedures, contact Dr. Hensel, a Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina facelift surgeon today.