Despite even the best skincare regimens and other precautions, aging is one of those things that can’t be stopped. The exact signs of aging will vary from person to person, but everyone will eventually experience some combination of jowls, deep wrinkles, marionette lines, neck creases, and other droopy, saggy skin. These symbols of aging can be a major social or even career obstacle. Eventually, they can lead to looking in the mirror and just not recognizing yourself anymore. However, it’s not an unfixable problem. A facelift, also known as a rhytidectomy, is a comprehensive way to fix all of these problems in one surgical procedure.
*Each patient is unique and individual results may vary
Candidates for a Facelift
Good candidates for a facelift include anyone who is experiencing sagging skin on the face and jawline, deep creases around the nose and mouth, jowls, a double chin, or creases and folds on the neck. Ideally, candidates will enter the process with realistic ideas and will expect that the result will not be a new face but rather a return to their own younger face.
Benefits of a Facelift
A well-done facelift can leave you looking 10-15 years younger. By correcting deep folds and loose flesh, your skin will appear firmer, tighter, and younger. The facelift can fix deep lines and folds that more superficial treatments cannot, and by recontouring many areas of the face in one procedure, your total surgery and recovery time will be minimized.
Dr. Clevens specializes particularly in the deep plane facelift. Unlike old-fashioned facelifts, which rely heavily on skin tension, this modern technique works with the fat pads deep under the skin to recontour the face in a youthful way, leaving a natural-looking result.
Your first step is to schedule your consultation in Melbourne to discuss the procedure. During this session, you’ll go over what you view as your problem areas, and Dr. Clevens will evaluate your skin and facial structures to determine the best course of action. Pictures will be taken to provide a good baseline and to allow an objective discussion of what can be fixed.
You’ll go over the various options available to you. For example, a mini-facelift may be an option for some patients who need less work, while others may require additional fat transfers to add volume to problem spots. You can also discuss any additional procedures that you’d like to have at the same time. After deciding on what is to be done, you’ll also go over the details of aftercare and what precautions you should take before the surgery.
About the Procedure
*Each patient is unique and individual results may vary
This procedure is normally done under general anesthesia to minimize discomfort, but local anesthesia is also available when coupled with intravenous sedation. Once you’re anesthetized, Dr. Clevens will begin by making the incisions.
For most facelifts, the incisions will begin at your temples, run around to the front of the ears, and continue into the lower hairline. They will be carefully hidden in natural creases to minimize scarring as much as possible. Modified versions like the limited-incision facelift that use shorter, smaller incisions, may be an option depending on your needs. Some patients may also need additional incisions near the eyelids and upper lip.
Once the incisions are made, the skin will be pulled back so that deeper layers of the face such as muscle and fat pads can be adjusted to provide new contours. The skin will be undermined, or separated from the lower layers, as needed to permit draping once the tissue has been fully contoured. At this point, excess fat can be removed or additional fat added to provide volume.
Once the shaping is complete, the skin will be redraped over the new contours, and the incisions will be closed with clips or sutures. Dr. Clevens will place dressings and possibly drainage tubes before sending you off to the recovery room.
When you wake up in the recovery room, you will have bandages covering your face and possibly drains as well. These will be removed in a day or two and may be replaced with a compression wrap that you will wear as needed to support the healing tissues. There will initially be a large amount of swelling and bruising. This will peak 1-2 days after surgery before gradually declining over 10-14 days. A small amount of swelling may remain for a month or so. Discomfort should be moderate and should decline after about two days.
For the first week, you will not be able to drive or lift anything. You’ll need to keep your head elevated as well, which will mean sleeping in a reclined position rather than lying flat. Exercise should be avoided for a month. Be prepared for your scars to be red for the first month, after which they will fade until they reach their final lightness in about a year. The tissues themselves should be completely healed in about six months.
Possible Risks and Complications
All surgery is risky, and a facelift is no exceptions. These normal risks include bleeding, infections, and hematoma. A more specific complication is a change in facial sensation. Most patients experience tightness, numbness, or tingling during the first weeks, and the numbness can sometimes stay for months or more. Scarring is also a potential concern, particularly on darker-skinned patients who may be more prone to developing keloid scars, but in most cases the scars heal well.
Q- I dislike the sagging and deep creases in my face, but I’m only in my 40s. Am I too young for a facelift?
A. No, not necessarily. Aging affects people at different rates depending on their genetics, diet, and other factors. If you have drooping cheeks, jowls, a loose neck, or other severe problems, a facelift may be a good option for you regardless of your chronological age. A consultation with Dr. Clevens will be the best way to determine the extent of your issues and whether they can be improved with less invasive measures like fillers or fat transfer.
Q- Will it be obvious that I’ve had work done?
A. Fortunately, that stereotypical pulled-tight look associated with aging celebrities is mostly a thing of the past. Modern facelift techniques like the deep plane method performed by Dr. Clevens will preserve your unique facial characteristics and add volume where appropriate to provide a look that is youthful but still very natural.
Q- What can I do to minimize the scars from my facelift?
A. The scarring from a facelift is usually surprisingly minimal, since they will be carefully placed and typically turn out to be quite flat and narrow. Your exact scars will vary depending on factors like genetics and nutrition, but you can help minimize them by not smoking, avoiding unprotected sun exposure, and carefully avoiding infection. Scar massage and corticosteroids will also help reduce scarring.
Q- I have recently lost a large amount of weight, and it left me with loose skin on my face. Will I need a facelift to correct this?
A. Loose facial skin as a result of weight loss is common, and a facelift can certainly correct this. Often, however, the problem will resolve itself with time, particularly if you are young. Waiting for a year to see how much the skin will tighten on its own is a good idea before undergoing surgery. Depending on the extent of the loose skin, Dr. Clevens may also advise fillers or fat grafting as an option.
Q- How long will the results from my facelift last?
A. Think of it like setting back a clock. While you will continue to age after getting your facelift, you will always look 10-15 years younger than if you had not gotten the facelift. You can help to extend the results even further by avoiding smoking, unprotected sun exposure, or large changes in weight, since all of these will harm your skin elasticity and cause you to look older faster.
Q- What is a facelift?
A facelift, also known as rhytidectomy, is a plastic surgery procedure designed to improve the most visible signs of aging and restore a more youthful appearance to the face and neck. As time passes, facial lines and wrinkles form, laxity in the neckline develops and deep folds appear along the nose-cheek groove. No one lives a life completely shielded from the sun, immune from gravity, while not allowing ourselves to make the facial expressions that cause wrinkles. The purpose of a facelift is to restore the youthful cheeks, lower face and neckline you had years ago. Properly performed, a facelift should not to make you look like someone else; instead, a facelift should make you look better, certainly not different. The procedure can improve the appearance of sagging facial skin of the lower face as well as jowls and loose neck skin.
Dr. Clevens brings a skilled touch to the facelift procedure, his patients should expect to achieve a smoother neck area, reduced jowls, and a refined jawline and chin. Your face will never looked pulled or operated upon. Through the use of the most sophisticated and up to date facelift techniques, Dr. Clevens strives to create a subtly more youthful face by lifting and restoring the muscles in addition to tightening the superficial layers that serve as the foundation of our skin. The soft tissues and fat are addressed by Dr. Clevens to achieve a rejuvenated appearance.
Q- Are other procedures typically performed at the same time as facelift?
A facelift rejuvenates the lower two thirds of the face and neck. A facelift lifts the cheeks creating an uplifted appearance to the cheeks and midface, smooths the nasolabial folds, lifts the jowl thereby defining the jawline creating a more youthful and angular jawline and neck line. In addition, a facelift lifts the neck and chin improving you profile and neckline.
Facelift is often performed in conjunction with other procedures that rejuvenate the face and turn back the hands of time including browlift, blepharoplasty (cosmetic eyelid surgery) and skin resurfacing procedures such as laser skin resurfacing, Rhytec Portrait skin resurfacing and chemical peels. . These procedures improve the forehead, brow position, the appearance of the eyelids and the texture of the skin. Often additional procedures are necessary to achieve a balanced improvement. For example, if someone receives a facelift, their youthful lower face may accentuate an aged forehead, saggy brows, or tired looking eyelids.
During your consultation with Dr. Clevens, he and his staff will help you decide what combination of procedures, if necessary, will best address your individual needs if a facelift alone is not enough to achieve the best post operative result.
Q- Who is the best candidate for a facelift?
The best candidate for a facelift is a physically healthy person who is realistic in their expectations regarding the appearance of loose facial and neck skin. You do not need to wait until the signs of aging are severe, an increasing number of men and women elect to have facelifts performed at a younger age at the first signs of a sagging lower face – creating a less dramatic and less noticeable result than if they had waited longer. In general, a facelift performed at a younger age creates a longer lasting and more natural appearing lift, enabling you to enjoy the results of your procedure for more years to come. Conversely, so long as you are healthy, a facelift can be performed at any age and can deliver remarkable results. Many healthy patients over 80 years of age enjoy the benefits of a facelift.
Q- Where is the facelift procedure performed?
To ensure your safety and comfort, Dr. Clevens performs facelift surgery in a state-licensed, fully accredited ambulatory surgery Center of Outpatient Surgicenter. Dr. Clevens does not perform this type of procedure in an office setting as this is generally considered unsafe.
Q- What type of anesthesia is used for the facelift?
Dr. Clevens typically performs facelift with either general anesthesia or a combination of local anesthesia and sedation. Regardless, a board certified physician MD anesthesiologist will be responsible for administering your anesthesia or sedation. Dr. Clevens and your anesthesiologist will help determine what best suits your particular needs.
Q- How is the actual facelift procedure performed?
In a facelift, Dr. Clevens creates fine incisions around the folds and contours in front of and behind the ear. The skin is carefully separated from the underlying fat and muscle. Fat is removed from around the neck and chin, the muscles are tightened, and excess skin is removed. The incisions are then meticulously closed. Dr. Clevens typically performs the most sophisticated, state of the art facelift known as a ‘Deep Plane’ or Extended Sub-SMAS facelift – creating the most natural looking lift and the longest lasting lift.
Q- How long does it take to perform the actual facelift procedure ?
Facelifts typically require several hours to perform.
Q– are the incisions made for a facelift? Are there scars after a facelift?
For a traditional facelift, the incision usually begins at the temples just above the hairline and runs in front of and then behind the ear into the lower scalp. If the neck requires work, a small incision may be made just under the chin.
It should be noted that the incisions for a facelift are different in men than they are in women. In women, the hairline and border of the ear hide the scars. If these incisions were made the same way in men, beard growth and pattern would be altered! For this reason, in men the incision is made in front of the ear, where it can be hidden by sideburns.
Dr. Clevens takes great care to make inconspicuous facelift incisions that will heal into the least obvious scars possible. Before your procedure and during your aftercare you will receive advice from Dr. Clevens and his staff on how to care for your incisions.
Q- Is the facelift procedure painful?
Patients may experience some discomfort after the facelift procedure, though this pain is typically mild and can be easily controlled with prescription pain medication that Dr. Clevens will provide.
Q- What is the recovery like after a facelift?
After a facelift, some numbness, bruising and swelling will occur. Bruising typically takes two to three weeks to fade. Dr. Clevens has an experienced team of aestheticians on his staff available to instruct you how to conceal any bruising or swelling that may remain when you are ready to return to your normal routine. Many patients will return to work within two weeks of their facelift procedure.
Dr. Clevens and his staff are devoted to delivering the best aftercare and aid you in the speediest and most comfortable recovery possible.
Q- How much time will I need to take off from work after undergoing a facelift?
Many patients will return to work within two weeks of their facelift procedure. Our team of experienced medical aestheticians will assist you with makeup to cover-up any bruising and will perform lymphatic massage to aid in the rapid resolution of any bruising or swelling.
Q- When can I exercise after undergoing a facelift?
Exercise and sTRenuous activities will need to be avoided for one month after your facelift procedure. Take it easy, and though your mind may feel restless make a conscious effort to give your body time to catch up and recuperate to achieve the best results of your facelift.
It is also wise to limit sun exposure for several months after your facelift procedure, as the tissues in your newly youthful face may be fragile.
Q- When are the stitches removed after the facelift procedure?
Dr. Clevens uses dissolving stitches that vanish a few days after your procedure.
Q-What are the risks or complications associated with a facelift?
Patients should be informed that every surgical procedure carries certain risks and the potential for complications. The potential complications associated with the facelift procedure may include the following: bruising, swelling, sensitivity to anesthesia, asymmetry, infection, nerve injury and poor healing.
Q-Does insurance cover the facelift procedure?
Facelifts are a purely cosmetic procedure, and are therefore not covered by insurance.
Please contact our offices in Melbourne and Merritt Island, Florida at 321.727.3223 or 888.438.3223 today to arrange your consultation.
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