Over time, the signs of aging become more visible and prominent. Natural folds in the neck and face deepen due to the loss of youthful elasticity in the skin. Jawline definition begins to decrease with the emergence of jowls when the pads of the cheeks give way to gravity and forehead furrows become more prominent and permanent. We slowly begin to see how our reflection in the mirror does not directly correlate with how we feel, youthfully, or our mental image of how we perceive ourselves.
FACELIFT SURGERY IN DEPTH
by Monica Tadros, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Is A Facelift For You?
A facelift cannot put a pause on the natural aging process, however, in conjunction with skin rejuvenation, setting back the clock is tangible. If an individual is in good standing health and is tired of seeing loose, sagging skin on the face and neck or drooping fat and muscles, than a facelift may help reverse these problems.
There are multiple types of facelifts such as:
- a full facelift
- mini facelift
- limited necklift
Dr. Tadros will begin by giving the patient a meticulous facial analysis that is needed to survey specific skin characteristics such as:
- degree of elasticity
- fat malposition
- ethnic background
- skin type
- bone structure
All of this must be taken into consideration when planning for the preparatory stage and the surgical process.
In some cases, a facelift may require a complementing procedure to aid in balancing the facial structure and features in a natural way. Facial harmony helps give even proportion to the overall appearance of the face, so there is no area that appears slightly off or oddly disproportioned.
For example, some patients may require fat augmentation to aid in restoring balance and symmetry to the face, while others may need facial liposuction to remove excess fatty deposits. This, of course, depends heavily on the needs of the patient in conjunction to a facelift and include a brow lift, eye lift, and rhinoplasty. These additional procedures can help soften existing, harsh features while others may require implants to strengthen facial definition and structure. The combination of procedures exhibit exciting possibilities in the right direction towards restoration rather than rejuvenation.
What To Expect After The Surgery
The surgical process, performed under general anesthesia, can range anywhere between three to four hours depending on the extent of the procedure.
Post-surgery, the patient must wear a dressing to help with swelling and protect the areas where incisions have been made. After one to two days, the dressing may be removed and switched out for a supportive face bra that helps keep the skin compressed and in place. If a patient has accompanying neck liposuction, they should wear the supportive bra during the most critical portion of the healing process, typically the first three to four weeks.
Staples and sutures are removed from the eye area within 5 to 7 days, while the remaining in the face and scalp area are removed 7 to 10 days post-surgery. It is extremely important that the patient has pre-arranged assistance from family, friends, or a private nurse due to the level of discomfort caused by extreme tightness. There is very little pain expressed after the procedure, however prescription medicine provided by the surgeon will aid in any lasting discomfort. Bruising and swelling are expected to occur. It is strongly suggested to keep the head elevated and to apply cold compresses to help keep the swelling to a minimum.
Patients are advised to avoid strenuous activity during the beginning phases of the healing process, typically two to three weeks after surgery. Some individuals return to work as early as two weeks post-surgery. Over time, the scars will fade and mature, although it varies person to person. The sensation of stretched tightness post-operation is normal and should subside within the first couple of weeks while the swelling diminishes.