Time does not stop for anyone. We see this when we look in the mirror and see the years of sun exposure, stress, gravity, and simple aging reflected back at us. For many years, plastic surgeons have performed facelift surgery to manage the common signs of aging, such as a loose jawline and deep creases around the nose and mouth. This procedure can restore a more youthful, vibrant appearance with careful planning and a short recovery period.
If you are interested in a facelift, Hampton Roads has the perfect medical facility to help usher in a whole new you.
What is a Facelift?
Facelift surgery, called rhytidectomy, is a procedure that corrects the visible signs of aging on the lower two-thirds of the face, from the cheeks to the jawline and upper neck. Aging causes volume loss in the mid-face, which leads tissue to droop lower. The decline in collagen production leads to a loss of firmness in the skin and connective tissue beneath it. These combined factors lead to deepening creases around the nose and mouth and a general widening of the lower face.
A facelift repositions not only the skin but also the deeper layers of fat tissue and muscle. This correction secures tissue where it once was, higher across the cheekbones. A facelift can successfully correct the problems along the lower regions of the face. This procedure cannot reverse the signs of sun damage.
Who is a Candidate for Facelift?
You may be a candidate for a facelift (rhytidectomy) if you have experienced a loss of skin elasticity and muscle tone of the face and neck. A facelift may also be desirable if you have the appearance of jowls and deep creases between the base of the nose and the corners of the mouth, or if you have developed facial and neck wrinkles. A facelift may also be helpful if you believe you lack youthful chin and neck contours and/or feel you have a tired facial appearance.
A facelift is intended to give the patient a more rested and youthful contour to the face and neck.
Facelift Procedure Overview
Facelifts range in size from "mini" to "standard," depending on location and extent of skin laxity. The operation is done on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia with sedation or under general anesthesia. Incisions are made within the hairline (or along the hair margin) above the ear, extending down around the lobe and ending in or below the hairline behind the ear. The subcutaneous layers and neck muscles are tightened, the facial skin is re-draped and lifted, and the excess skin is removed.
The patient goes home with head and neck wrapped in dressings, which are usually removed the next day. Minimal initial discomfort is easily controlled with oral medication. Sutures are removed within 14 days. Bruising and swelling decrease to "socially acceptable" levels in 10 to 20 days. Our aestheticians are available to provide you with a camouflage makeup session to help you cover any residual bruising. The final result of a facelift procedure is evident in 4 to 6 weeks or sooner, with continued improvement for several months.
What are the benefits of a Facelift Procedure?
This procedure can make the face look up to 10 years younger. While there is no stopping the decline of collagen and elastin as we age, a facelift can restore a more youthful appearance that lasts many years. After a facelift, patients have no sagging skin under the chin, a sharper jawline, and much smoother skin around the nose and mouth.
Facelift Before & After Photos
To view more facelift before and after photos, click here!
How Can I Prepare for My Facelift Surgery?
Preparation for facelift surgery begins as early as six weeks before surgery. At that time, it is beneficial to begin preparing the body for surgery and recovery. Patients are advised to quit smoking if they smoke and to make sure they are drinking at least 64 ounces of water daily. A well-balanced diet that is low in sugar and processed foods and high in fresh, nutrient-dense foods is ideal for patients scheduled for any kind of surgery.
Two to three weeks before a facelift, patients may be advised to stop taking any medication that thins the blood. Some prescription medications can do this, so discuss all medications with the surgeon during the consultation visit. Supplements and over-the-counter medications such as aspirin can also thin the blood and should be avoided starting a few weeks before surgery. At this time, patients should also begin planning for time off work and for necessary assistance. Examples include arranging for a friend or loved one to drive to the surgery center and stay with the patient for at least 24 hours after surgery.
One week before facelift surgery, patients can expect a final consultation with their surgeon to review the treatment plan and discuss any questions there may be. This is the time to begin preparing for recovery by purchasing dressings and other supplies, pre-making meals, filling prescriptions, and creating a comfortable recovery center in the home.
See What Our Patients Are Saying!
"My surgeon and his staff were amazing! They treated me with nothing but respect when I first entered the door. The atmosphere is very caring.” — M.W.
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Are there Side Effects to a Facelift Procedure?
Side effects are expected after any type of surgery. Generally, most side effects begin to resolve within a day or two but may take up to several weeks to fully disappear. Side effects that are common to facelift surgery include:
- Discomfort. Patients may experience soreness, tenderness to the touch, or aching after their facelift. Pain medication is prescribed to help manage comfort. In most cases, pain peaks three or four days after surgery and then decreases progressively until completely gone. Within the first week, patients may switch from prescription pain medication to over-the-counter pain relief.
- Swelling. Anytime tissue is disrupted, swelling may occur. This is part of the healing response and is not an indication of a surgical complication. To mitigate swelling, patients are instructed to sleep with their head slightly elevated for several days. Within the first few days, swelling improves significantly. Complete resolution of this side effect can take weeks.
- Bruising. Significant bruising may be noticed, especially around the eyes, during the first few days of recovery after a facelift. This side effect decreases over two weeks. After that point, mild bruising may be disguised with makeup if necessary.
- Scarring. Facelift incisions are hidden as much as possible and typically fade into very light, flat scars. Initially, scars may be red and slightly swollen. The skin around the incisions may feel numb, tingly, or itchy as healing progresses. As the skin heals, this goes away. When fully healed scarring should be nearly invisible.
Are Facelifts Safe?
Facelift procedures have been common for many years and have safely rejuvenated hundreds of thousands of faces. The risk of serious complications is low but includes excessive bleeding, hematoma, infection, and adverse reaction to anesthesia. Nerve injury is also possible, which is why facelift surgery should only be performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon. Most patients experience only minor side effects such as swelling and bruising.
Facelift Surgery Risks
The specific risks and the suitability of a facelift (rhytidectomy) procedure for a given individual can be determined only at the time of consultation. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally. Major complications are unusual in a facelift. Hampton Roads patients’ lives have been improved by this surgery, so stop stressing over a few wrinkles and let our talented medical team rejuvenate and revitalize your complexion.
How much does a Facelift cost?
The cost of a facelift is influenced by several factors, including the surgeon’s fees, surgical center fees, anesthesiologist fees, and supplies. The inclusion of additional procedures will also contribute to the overall cost of care. During your consultation, a member of our staff can provide detailed cost information to help you plan for your procedure.
Schedule Your Consultation Today!
For more information on Facelifts or to schedule your initial consultation, contact Plastic Surgery Center of Hampton Roads today by calling us at 757-873-3500! Our practice has locations in Williamsburg and Newport News, VA.