As a person ages, gravity and time cause a loss of skin elasticity. A facelift is a surgical procedure that improves visible signs of aging in the face and neck, such as:
- Relaxation of the skin of the face causing sagging
- Deepening of the fold lines between the nose and corner of the mouth
- Fat that has fallen or has disappeared
- Jowls developing in the cheeks and jaw
- Loose skin and excess fat of the neck that can appear as a double chin or “turkey neck”
A full facelift improves the angle between the neck and chin, and restores jawline definition. Incisions typically begin at the temple and extends in front of, then behind the ear and into the hairline. The result is a more youthful, refreshed look. Mini-facelifts are shorter procedures with quicker recovery times. Most patients can be back to work in about two weeks.
In general, good candidates for a facelift include:
- Healthy individuals who do not have medical conditions that impair healing
- Individuals with a positive outlook and realistic expectations
Generally an average facelift patient is in their mid-50s and up. Surgical repositioning deep tissues, like those that form jowls, removing excess tissue and redraping the skin is necessary only after skin starts to thin, wrinkle and sag from aged & damaged, weak collagen and elastin fibers.
Synthetic products (like Juvederm) and natural fillers (like fat) provide volume into the cheeks, lips, tear-troughs, temple hollows, and the major folds between the cheek and upper lip (nasolabial folds), and the cheek and lower lip/chin (marionettes). Since a facelift repositions and removes tissue, it will not directly volumize these areas, and will not tighten the skin or improve the complexion without skin resurfacing provided by lasers and chemical peels. All of these can be combined at the time of surgery.
Early return to social activities requires reducing bruising and swelling. After surgery, this may be accomplished by limiting exertion, head down postures, sleeping on your back with 3-4 pillows head elevation, and applying ice packs or cold compresses for the first 3-4 days. Additional recovery options could include lymphatic massage with ultrasound therapy, Arnica Montana supplements or hyperbaric oxygen therapy.