As part of the aging process, the facial skin can and the volume in the cheeks change significantly. Whether it is caused by gravity, sun exposure or weight loss, skin on the face develops folds, creases and wrinkles and the process is inevitable. A Facelift is a procedure designed to turn back the appearance of the aging process in the lower face. A Facelift can be performed at the same time as other procedures such as eyelid surgery, fat transfers, or forehead/browlift to rejuvenate the face.
The ideal candidate for a Facelift is a man or woman who has loose, sagging skin in their lower face but their bone structure is still well defined. Patients range from their early 40’s to their 80’s. Think carefully about your goals and expectations and discuss them thoroughly with Dr. Stiller before deciding on any cosmetic procedure.
This is your time to get to know Dr. Stiller and the staff at Linea. Be sure to convey your goals and expectations for the surgical procedure. Dr. Stiller will evaluate your medical health and explain the surgical techniques available to you. All of your questions related to the procedure will be answered as thoroughly as possible. Dr. Stiller will perform an examination of your trouble area at the consultation. Dr. Stiller will go over the risks and potential complications of the procedure and he will explain the pre-operative and post-operative process.
All procedures carry some uncertainty and risks. Listed below are some of the potential risks/complications:
- Bleeding- As with any surgery, bleeding is a risk. This may form a blood collection called a hematoma and may require drainage. It is important to discuss any history of excessive bleeding or family history of bleeding.
- Infection- Infection is relatively uncommon. Antibiotics will be given to you during the surgery and will usually be taken after the surgery.
- Scars – Facelift scars extend from your hairline and around the ears. Dr. Stiller makes every attempt to keep scars as hidden as possible.
- Asymmetry- There may be asymmetry in some areas.
- Pigmentation change of skin is possible
- Irregular contour may occur
- Nerve injury may occur – usually temporary
- Hair loss may occur in the areas of incision – usually temporary
- Numbness or sensation changes of the skin
- Some patients will require additional surgery
During your consultation an explanation of pre-operative and post-operative plan will be reviewed. You will be given a list of medication to avoid taking two weeks prior to the operation. A Linea staff member will contact you a few days before the surgery and notify you what time you are expected to arrive for your procedure and discuss any last minute details. At this time, you will be given an opportunity to ask any further questions. Continuing a healthy diet and exercise is very important prior to surgery. Smoking must be stopped two weeks prior to surgery.
Do not eat or drink eight hours before your surgery. You should wear a button down or zipper front shirt and sneakers. Do not wear sandals or slippers. You will meet with a member of our staff to prepare for surgery. Dr. Stiller will see you prior to your surgery to answer any final questions and meet family or friends. You will meet with our anesthesia provider to discuss anesthesia. For family or friends that accompany you, we have a lounge area to comfortably pass the time. You will need someone to drive you home after the operation and stay with you the first 24 hours after the surgery is completed.
A Facelift can be performed with local, deep sedation or general anesthesia.
Typically, a Facelift takes several hours. Usually, the incisions begin at the temples, extending along the ears in the natural crease, and continue behind the ear lobe to the lower scalp. If you and Dr. Stiller have determined that additional work is needed on the neck area, incisions may be made under the jaw. The procedure normally involves separating the skin from the muscle, tightening the muscle and removing any excess skin. Following the procedure, dressings will be applied and you will be placed in post-operative garments.
Following surgery, you will likely have drainage from your incisions. Any discomfort you feel should be controlled with oral pain medications prescribed by Dr. Stiller. If you are experiencing excessive pain, contact Dr. Stiller immediately. Keep your head elevated for a couple weeks to minimize swelling. You can expect to feel tired and sore a few days following the facelift. Bruising and swelling is common and may take a few weeks to resolve. You may notice that your face feels abnormal, even distorted, for the first couple of weeks.
Immediately after the surgery we want you to get up and walk, and continue this light activity for the next few weeks. You will begin feeling better in just a few weeks. You will need to wear compression garments for the first few weeks after the procedure. Healing is a gradual process and it takes time. Please refrain from strenuous activity for one month. Avoid alcohol, steam baths and saunas for several months following your facelift. Depending on the type of work you do, you can go back to your job as soon as you feel comfortable. Resumption of physical activity will be determined by Dr. Stiller in your post-operative follow up exams, usually at four weeks.
It will take a few weeks to see the true results of your procedure. As long as you understand this, the chances are excellent you will be very happy with the results. When all bruising and swelling has subsided, your skin may be dry. Dr. Stiller can recommend a post-facelift skin regimen to improve the texture of your skin. Scars from the Facelift will take time to fade. A Facelift does not stop the clock, your face will continue to age with time. You may want to repeat the procedure in five to ten years.