As we age, we all experience the effects of gravity and other age-related issues combined with stress, wear and tear, and lifestyle factors. These effects include folds, lines, deep creases, fat deposits, and wrinkles. One tried and true way to “turn back the clock” is to undergo a facelift.
Am I a Good Candidate for Facelift Surgery?
Ideal facelift candidates have skin that retains some of its natural suppleness and flexibility and well-defined underlying bone structure for support. They should also have realistic expectations and be in good overall health.
Women and men can benefit from a facelift to achieve a younger, rejuvenated look. Although most people who undergo a facelift are between 40 and 70, people over 70 who are good candidates can benefit from a facelift, too.
Full Facelift vs. Mini Facelift
A traditional full facelift has the most comprehensive results. It can fix deep creases under the eyes, sagging cheeks, jowls, fat under the chin, and other problem areas. It requires a long incision along the temple, around the ear, and down to the neck. A mini facelift involves smaller, shorter incisions, and less recovery time and targets a smaller area: the jaw, lower cheeks, and neck. It typically can be performed in two hours or less without the need for general anesthesia.
What Happens During a Facelift?
During a full facelift, the plastic surgeon makes incisions near the hairline to hide any post-surgery scarring. In most cases, the incision starts behind the hairline on the side of the head just above the temple and follows the hairline down to the ear, around the earlobe, and into the lower scalp. The surgeon lifts the facial skin from the underlying tissue and removes excess fat and skin, then tightens the surrounding muscles to enhance the contours and appearance of the face. The skin is then put back into place with stitches, and the area is wrapped in bandages.
Recovery time can vary, but normal swelling, discoloration, and bruising generally fade within a week to 10 days. Patients can usually return to strenuous activities two to three weeks after surgery. Skin types and age are factors that influence facelift results, so it’s important to discuss appropriate expectations with your plastic surgeon before undergoing a facelift.
Although facelifts are common, they aren’t without risks. Be sure to discuss these thoroughly with your surgeon. Once completed, a facelift performed by an experienced, board-certified Kelsey-Seybold plastic surgeon can last for a decade or more.
A facelift may be just part of a facial rejuvenation package. To establish facial harmony, your plastic surgeon may recommend a number of procedures that will complement a facelift, including:
- Fat grafting
- Eyelid surgery
- Facial-resurfacing peels
- Laser treatments
Additional information is available from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.