A facelift is a cosmetic surgical procedure to create a younger appearance in your face. The procedure can reduce the sagging or folds of skin on the cheeks and jawline and other changes in the shape of your face that occur with age.
A standard or “traditional” facelift will more fully address moderate to advanced aging around the mid-face and neck. While the surgery is more extensive than those for a mini-facelift, and thus more recovery time is required, the results are more dramatic. Through incisions located just behind the hairline, starting near the temples, and around the front of the ear, hidden in the natural folds, a cosmetic surgeon can reposition the deeper tissues beneath the skin and remove excess skin to smooth creases, eliminate jowling and sagging skin under the chin, and restore a naturally youthful contour to the face and neck.
During a face-lift, a flap of skin on each side of the face is pulled back, and tissues below the skin are surgically altered to return the contour of the face to a more youthful shape. Before the flap is sutured closed, excess skin is removed.
A face-lift won’t decrease fine creases or wrinkles in your skin or damage from sun exposure. Other cosmetic procedures can address the appearance or quality of the skin itself.
Who should consider Facelifting?
If you feel that your face does not reflect your youthful spirit, you may be a good candidate for a facelift. This surgery will not create a “new” you, but it can take years off your appearance. Signs of aging that are common among the best facelift candidates include:
- Displaced or fallen facial volume
- Lines from the corners of the mouth to the chin (marionette lines)
- Deep creases from the nose to the corners of the mouth (nasolabial folds)
- Sagging skin in the midface
- Sagging or lost muscle tone in the lower face
There is no “right” age for this procedure, although the typical patient is in his or her 40s or 50s. An ideal candidate is in good physical health and near his or her ideal weight, a non-smoker, and free of any health conditions that may increase risks, such as high blood pressure.
The ideal candidate will also have realistic expectations and is not taking medication that may increase risks.
Preparing for Facelifting
On the day of surgery, wear loose, comfortable clothing with a button-down shirt. Plan to have someone with you who can drive you home and stay with you for the first two days. Stopping smoking for two weeks before surgery will promote better healing, proper recovery and the best results in a facelift Scottsdale has to offer.
Recovering from Facelifting
You will have several follow-up appointments scheduled during the next two months after surgery. They will include the following:
- The day after surgery, the surgeon will likely remove your drainage tube, apply antibiotic ointment to your incisions and place new bandages on your face.
- Two to three days after your face-lift, you may be able to switch from wearing bandages to wearing an elasticized facial sling.
- About a week after surgery, the doctor will remove your stitches and assess the wound.
- Subsequent visits will likely be scheduled to monitor your progress.
Self-care at home during the first three weeks will help your recovery and minimize the risk of complications:
- Follow wound care instructions as directed by the surgeon.
- Do not pick at crusting scabs that develop on your wound.
- Follow instructions on when you can begin using shampoo and soaps and what kinds you can use.
- Wear clothes that fasten in the front (rather than clothes that are pulled over the head).
- Avoid excessive pressure or motion on and around the incisions.
- Avoid using makeup.
- Avoid vigorous or aerobic activity or sports.
- Avoid direct sun exposure to the incision for three weeks and use a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher thereafter.
- Avoid coloring, bleaching or perming hair for at least six weeks.
In the weeks after a face-lift, you might style your hair to hide any remaining signs of the incision. You may also choose to delay attending major social events for a couple of months, when you are likely to feel back to normal.