Facial rejuvenation via facelift is a cosmetic surgery that tightens and lifts aging skin on the face into a better position to provide a more youthful appearance. A facelift, also known as a rhytidectomy, can address natural signs of aging including:
Facial rejuvenation via facelift can reduce the look of tired and aged skin and leave the patient with fresher, rejuvenated skin.
Facial rejuvenation via facelift does not really have an age limit but most candidates are in their late 30s to 60s.
A GOOD CANDIDATE includes:
On the other hand, someone who is NOT A GOOD CANDIDATE includes:
There are many different types of facelift procedures, with varied techniques, and several options for anesthesia. While some procedures require general anesthesia, others can only be performed using local anesthesia with oral sedation. A procedure performed under local anesthesia may be done in an accredited medical office. A procedure performed with general anesthesia should be done in a hospital or surgical facility.
While there are many facelift procedures to choose from, there are also various techniques used by the surgeon.
Other alternatives for facial rejuvenation include dermabrasion, chemical peels and dermal fillers. Dermabrasion and chemical peels use abrasive materials to remove the top layers of skin to provide smoother skin and fewer wrinkles. However, they are not really used to treat other signs of aging such as sagging skin or excess fat. Dermal fillers add volume to areas that lack fullness and to smooth out folds or wrinkles. However, fillers are temporary and will need further injections to maintain the results.
Treatments Combined with Facelifts
Facelifts are also done in conjunction with other cosmetic procedures such as facial liposuction, facial implants, eyelid surgery or blepharoplasty to provide even more of a rejuvenated and younger appearance.
The cost of facial rejuvenation via facelift varies according to the surgeon’s skills, fees charged by the facility and the geographic location of the procedure. The type of facelift also contributes to the cost. The cost of a full facelift will be greater than a mid-facelift or a mini facelift since those procedures take less time and have smaller incisions. The average cost of a facelift is in the range of $6000-$12,000. Some facelift procedures can be performed under local anesthesia with oral sedation which is more cost-efficient than general anesthesia. Furthermore, the cost will be significantly increased if other cosmetic procedures are performed at the same time.
The amount of RECOVERY and DOWNTIME depends on the type of facelift procedure and how quickly the patient heals. Patients who choose the endoscopic technique usually have a faster recovery time since the incisions are much smaller. Likewise, a patient who has a mini facelift will recover much quicker than someone who had a full facelift. Furthermore, the recovery and downtime are also determined by whether or not it is simply a facelift or a combination of cosmetic procedures.
Patients can expect some swelling and discomfort but this can be managed with pain medications and cold compresses. The incisions will be covered by bandages and small drainage tubes may be placed within the incision to excrete excess fluid over the first 48 hours. These tubes will be removed in a day or two at a follow-up visit with the surgeon. Keeping the head elevated for the first two weeks, and changing the bandages as directed, can help to speed recovery. Any bruising can last for 7 to 14 days but it will resolve on its own. Numbness of the facial skin and/or neck is normal and will usually improve over a few weeks. Avoid saunas, hot tubs, swimming pools and getting the face wet until the surgeon advises otherwise.
During the first week of recovery, patients should get plenty of rest but they are encouraged to walk around to stimulate blood flow. Stitches will be removed around 5 to 7 days post-op. Makeup should not be applied until the doctor gives approval. While swelling and bruising can persist for several weeks, most patients can go back to light duty work after 1 or 2 weeks. Engaging in strenuous activities should be avoided until the doctor advises otherwise.
Results from facial rejuvenation via facelift can take some time to become visible. Procedures such as the mini facelift will have less swelling which allows the results to become visible sooner. On average, the results can be seen when most of the swelling and bruising has dissipated after 1 to 3 weeks. However, swelling can persist for several months depending on the extent of the surgery.
Younger patients, and those who have less damaged skin, will see better results than someone who is much older. Although there is no age limit for a facelift, patients in their 70s will not gain the same results as someone in their 40s (even if they have the same procedure).
Since most of the incisions are hidden within the hairline, scarring usually isn’t an issue. Incisions made elsewhere, such as under the chin, usually follow the natural creases in the skin and are rarely obvious. Scars can take 6 months to a year to settle down but will fade with time.
Facial rejuvenation via facelift can provide results up to 10 years. However, the face will continue to age and gravity will continue to pull down on the skin. A daily skin care regimen and the use of sunscreen, whenever going outside, can help maintain the results. Patients often seek touch-up treatments, such as a mini facelift, to keep the skin rejuvenated.
While facial rejuvenation via facelift can correct many signs of aging, it does have some LIMITATIONS:
Facelifts all have certain RISKS in common:
The most important thing to look for when choosing a surgeon is to find one with patience, precision and integrity. The surgeon should be willing to meet with patients and spend time learning their concerns and goals. Since there are countless options available for facial rejuvenation via facelift, the surgeon should be adequately skilled in the newest techniques. The surgeon should also be honest with the patient when it comes to the results that can be achieved.
Written by Cosmetic Town Editorial Team - SP
Based on an exclusive interview provided by Gilbert Lee, MD in San Diego, CA.