Facelifts have a lengthy history in the annals of plastic surgery, but they’ve come a long way, baby. Gone are the expressionless, wind-tunneled looks of the past, as plastic surgeons strive to recreate younger-looking versions of their patients with the least telltale surgical signs as possible. Facelifts are no longer seen as the de rigueur procedure for women of a certain age. Today’s many facelift options are appealing to men and women of various ages and all can be tailored to individual needs.
WHAT IS A FACELIFT
A modern facelift usually extends below the skin to address the superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS) by repositioning underlying facial muscles as well as reducing excess skin.
ABOUT THE PROCEDURE
A facelift begins with carefully placed incisions. In general, these are made just inside the hairline at the temple, extending down along the natural curve of the ear, back behind the ear and horizontally into the hairline
PREPARING FOR SURGERY
Get your skin in good shape. This may mean a course of a topical retinoid like Renova or Avage to thin the skin, facial treatments such as microdermabrasion or limited chemical peels and definitely no sun prior to facelift surgery
THE SCOOP ON SCARS
There is no question most patients are concerned about scars resulting from a facelift. It is important to keep incisions as short as possible but still allow for skin to be reduced and redraped in the proper direction.
RISKS AND RECOVERY
Following facelift surgery, your face may be swollen, pale and numb. You will have discomfort, but most patients do not complain of severe pain.
SUSPENSION AND MINI-LIFTS
There are alternatives to a surgical facelift. However, these options may not be appropriate for every patient, nor do they mimic the results of a true facelift.
Some plastic surgeons use drains, while others use a compression garment on the head and neck for a few days after facelift surgery.
BEFORE AND AFTER: FACELIFT
Facelift with SMAS flap and necklift; endoscopic browlift; upper and lower blepharoplasty with canthopexies; upper and lower lip augmentation with SMAS tissue grafts; perioral dermabrasion.