All You Need to Know Before a Facelift Procedure

Posted August 23, 2018
Learn the Results Provided by Various Facelift Techniques

Rejuvenating the facial features to get a more youthful appearance is the goal of many cosmetic facial procedures. While medical technology has evolved and improved over the years, there is one facial treatment that has retained its popularity with patients of all ages. Cosmetic Town TV recently sat down with Dr. Norman Leaf, a Los Angeles based plastic surgeon, to discuss what is involved in having a facelift.

What is a Facelift?

A facelift, which is also known as a rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure that works to reduce and eliminate facial wrinkles and other signs of aging. It also rejuvenates the look of the jaw and face. During a facelift, the surgeon lifts and then tightens the underlying muscles in order to rejuvenate the facial structure and contour the appearance of the face. During the surgery, any excess fat and skin is removed by the surgeon. There are different facelift techniques that can be used by a surgeon and they include:

  • A full facelift is a technique that addresses lines around the mouth, excess skin and fat at the jowls, the area below the eyes and sagging cheeks.
  • A mid-facelift works best on tissues located around the cheeks and below the eyes.
  • A lower facelift addresses the bottom third of the face in order to lift corners of the mouth that are sagging and also to eliminate jowls and enhance the jaw
  • A mini facelift works to improve the lower jaw, cheeks and neck.
  • In addition to the benefits listed above, fillers are often used to add volume and round out the appearance of the face.

Ideal Candidates

Ideal candidate for a facelift include patients that have visible signs of aging on the face or neck, a person that has sagging skin and wants a better definition to the jawline and chin and someone with skin that is flexible enough to conform to the new contours created by the facelift.

Different Facelift Techniques

Besides the multiple facelift options listed above, there are multiple facelift techniques that doctors can use to achieve the desired results:

  • Facelifts such as a mid and lower lift are performed using endoscopic technology. A microscopic camera is attached to a small wand and the endoscope is inserted through an incision. In addition, two other incisions are used in order to lift the muscles and remove any excess tissue from under the skin layer.
  • Some doctors choose to use the SMAS (Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic System). SMAS is a thin, strong layer of supporting tissue that covers as well as surrounds deeper facial tissues, structures and muscles. The surgeon lifts and tightens this structure to achieve an overall facial rejuvenation. The SMAS layer is folded and attached to it through the use of permanent sutures. The skin is re-draped over the facial contours and any excess skin is removed. All incisions are closed with sutures or skin glue.
  • A thread facelift is more commonly known as a “lunchtime lift” since it only takes around one hour to complete. The doctor utilizes tiny stitches, located just below the skin, to lift the muscles. This type of facelift is only used for minor improvements in patients in their 30s and 40s.

How Much Does a Facelift Cost?

The cost of a facelift depends on the type of facelift performed as well as the technique used by the surgeon. In addition, the cost can vary according to the experience level of the surgeon, the geographic location of the surgery and any fees charged by the doctor or the facility. In general, the cost is in the range of $6000-$12,000.

Facelift Recovery and Results

Patients who use the endoscopic technique for a facelift normally have a faster recovery time since the incisions used are much smaller than other techniques. Plus, a patient who had a mini facelift will experience a quicker recovery time than someone who had a full facelift. There will be some swelling and discomfort and any incisions will be covered by bandages. Excess fluid might need to be removed from the body via small drainage tubes. Bruising can last for 7 to 14 days and will normally resolve on its own. Patients should get plenty of rest during the first week of recovery but they are encouraged to walk around to stimulate blood flow. Most patients can go back to light duty work after 1 or 2 weeks

In general, the results can take some time to become visible and will become most noticeable when most of the swelling and bruising disappears after 1 to 3 weeks. The swelling can persist for several months and varies per patient and technique. Facelift results can last for up to 10 years. It should be noted that the face will continue to age and gravity will pull down on the skin. Patients often have a touch-up treatment like a mini facelift to maintain the results.



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