If the effects of age have damaged your skin such that it is sagging around the jawline and cheeks, rhytidectomy – more commonly called a face lift – can help to remove the obviously visible signs of aging by tightening underlying muscles and removing excess fat and skin. Some patients choose to have other procedures in tandem with a facelift such as a forehead lift, eyelid lift, or nose reshaping. And in some cases, your doctor at Georgetown Plastic Surgery may be able to perform a mini-facelift for you which will tighten the cheeks and jawline in the ways that a traditional lift would, but on a much smaller, less invasive scale.
Is a Facelift for Me?
Men and women who seek facelifts usually have neck and facial muscles that have started to droop from age, but their skin still retains a fair amount of its natural elasticity. They must also have well-defined and strong bone structures to support the lift. Although the majority of facelifts performed at Georgetown Plastic Surgery are for patients between 40-60 years of age, patients as old as 80 can benefit from the procedure, as well. It is important to have realistic expectations regarding a facelift. Obviously, a facelift cannot totally turn back the clock. It may give you a renewed sense of self-confidence by making you look years younger, but it is important to remember that a facelift cannot change the basic look of your face nor will it return the energy and vitality of your younger days.
What are the Risks?
Georgetown Plastic Surgery has had great success with facelifts and find complications to be minor and rare. However, a facelift is a surgery, and as such, there are inherent risks. The most serious risk associated with the facelift procedure is that nerve damage could result from the surgery as could a hematoma in which blood would pool and collect under the skin and need to be removed in a separate procedure. Patients who follow the advice of their Georgetown Plastic Surgery doctor and the highly trained staff minimize any of the risks involved with a facelift.
What to Expect
Because you and your face are completely unique, when you first visit Georgetown Plastic Surgery, your doctor will evaluate your bone structure, skin condition, and overall health. In addition, your doctor will discuss with you what outcomes you are looking for from your facelift. If you and the doctor decide that a facelift is in your best interests, you will be given specific instructions regarding prepping for the surgery. The pre-op information will include instructions about when you may no longer take anything by mouth before the surgery, as well as what to do about any medications you may currently be taking.
Your facelift will most likely take several hours to complete, especially if you are also having other procedures performed. Though specifics will vary with each individual patient, the doctor usually makes an incision just above the hairline and then around the front of each ear to behind the earlobe and then to the lower scalp. Once the fat and muscles below the surface have been separated from the skin, the doctor will remove excess fat, tighten muscles, and then re-secure the layers. The incision will be closed using a combination of stitches and metal clips along the hairline. The doctor may also place drainage tubes behind the ears so that blood and fluid can be drained from the incision sites.
Bandages may be wrapped around your head to keep the swelling and bruising to a minimum. If you experience any significant discomfort, which is rare with a facelift, your doctor can prescribe pain medication so that you can manage the pain. Within five days to one week after your surgery, your doctor will remove any stitches that are not around your hairline. Stitches and clips along your hairline will remain for an additional three to five days before being removed. Some swelling and facial distortion is normal, so do not be alarmed if your face looks or feels strange in the first few weeks following your surgery. Most patients return to work or their normal activities within two weeks of their facelift.
Contact Georgetown Plastic Surgery to Schedule an Initial Consultation Regarding a Facelift
If you would like more information regarding a facelift or would like to schedule an initial consultation to find out
if you are a good candidate for a facelift, contact Georgetown Plastic Surgery at 512.686.1650. You can also fill out the
online contact form
to have one of the friendly professional staff members of Georgetown Plastic Surgery contact you. Prior to your consultation, you can
fill out the new patient forms available here so that you do not have to arrive 20 minutes early to your first appointment to
complete the paperwork.
A facelift can improve the deep cheek folds, jowls and loose, sagging skin around the neck that come with age.
Incisions usually begin above the hairline at the temples, follow the natural line in front of the ear, curve behind the earlobe into the crease behind the ear, and into or along the lower scalp.
Facial, neck tissue and muscle may be separated; fat may be trimmed or suctioned and underlying muscle may be tightened.
After deep tissues are tightened, the excess skin is pulled up and back, trimmed and sutured into place.
Most of the scars will be hidden within your hair and in the normal creases of your skin.
After surgery, you'll present a fresher, more youthful face to the world.