The aging process takes its toll on our facial appearance through a loss of tissue volume, skin elastic support and sun damage. We frequently hear patient complain that they don’t recognize the aged face they see in the mirror and what their face to match their youthful internal age. A facelift procedure is the gold standard for returning the tissue to their proper location and tightening the skin to create a natural appearance. There are several different variations depending on your individual needs and desires. The most important factor is that the deep SMAS layer is addressed and lifted. This can be done through both a “mini” lift incision, or a more extensive full facelift incision. Dr. Butz and Dr. Campbell in a conservative approach that is safe and will rejuvenate your facial tissues while not creating the windswept or overlying tightened look.
WHY facelift surgery?
By elevating the tissue in a deeper plane than traditional facelifts, and paying particular attention to the muscles and fat under the chin, a more significant and more natural-appearing rejuvenation occurs. Patients frequently return home the same day after their facelift, though an overnight stay at the outpatient surgical center may be necessary if the facelift is performed with other procedures, especially laser resurfacing. Mini-facelift patients are treated in the office setting using local anesthetic and return home immediately after the procedure.
ARE YOU A CANDIDATE?
While most patients are between the ages of 40 and 70, our doctors suggest that patients have a facelift at the first signs of aging while the facial tissue still has significant elasticity. This allows the results of a facelift to last longer.
A facelift can be considered at any point when you start to notice the effects of aging. Most people wait until they’re in their early 60s but some undergo mini-lifts earlier in their 40s.
Ideal candidates are healthy men and women who desire improvements in the following:
- Loose skin of the face and neck
- Submental fullness or neck fat
- Nasolabial folds
- Midface volume loss
Quintessa’s Dr. Campbell and Dr. Butz are experts in identifying ideal facelift candidates. During your consultation, they will examine your face, paying close attention to the degree of sagging, as well as your skin texture, elasticity, and overall facial esthetics. This assessment will help them understand which areas of the face need improvement whether it’s the jowls, age-related volume loss in the middle of the face, pronounced smile lines, or excess and loose skin around the neck.
They will visualize the final result and discuss beneficial adjuvant treatments as well as any limitations of rejuvenation, if any. A plan will then be discussed on how to best achieve the patient’s desired results. Commonly, multiple treatments can be combined to give the patient the rejuvenation of their dreams.
THE FACELIFT PROCEDURE
Dr. Campbell and Dr. Butz do not perform facelift procedures in the traditional sense. The direction of the traditional lift is not natural and places too much tension on the skin, causing widened scars, pulled earlobes, and results that often leave patients with an operated or unnatural appearance with limited longevity.
To avoid this, Quintessa performs facelift surgeries in an outpatient surgical center. During the surgery, our doctors make incisions in front of and behind the ears, and along the hairline. These type of incisions are made to prevent changes in the hairline and to minimize any visible scars for a more natural appearance. Then, another incision is made under the chin and is used to tighten the underlying platysma facial muscle. The deeper layer of the face, called the SMAS (superficial musculoaponeurotic system), is released from its attachments, then elevated and secured in a more aesthetically pleasing position.
Due to the SMAS being released from the ligamentous attachments and secured in such a position, the lift can be performed in a very natural direction. If the SMAS is not separated from these ligaments, the facelift is compromised and the direction of pull is limited. This lifting tension occurs on the deeper SMAS layer of the skin. This allows for extremely thin and inconspicuous scars. Furthermore, the lift is more upward, and less “sweeping” than a traditional facelift, allowing for a very natural appearance. This creates an impressive rejuvenation of the face without creating a stretched or operated look. The facelift procedure typically takes several hours to complete.
After the facelift, the double chin vanishes, the jowls disappear, and the lines in the cheek area are diminished, all adding to a more youthful appearance.
There are many different techniques and variations of facelifts and a lot of the terminology can become confusing and it just comes down to marketing. During your consultation with our doctors, we will evaluate your individual concerns and needs and determine the best procedure for you. If you have early signs of aging a mini-lift maybe all that’s required to restore your facial contour. However, if you have more extensive loose neck and facial skin a more advance technique may be required to give you the result you desire.
Preparing for Your Procedure
As with any procedure, you should stop any medication or supplements that are not essential for 10-14 days prior to decrease your risk of bleeding complications. Please refer to your list of medications to avoid and always check with your doctor prior to stopping medications.
Revision Facelift Techniques
Revision facelifts are performed on patients who have previously undergone facelift surgery and are either unhappy with the results, or enough time has passed and they are ready for another. Quintessa’s advanced surgical techniques give our doctors the ability to perform revision facelifts with the same degree of rejuvenation and natural appearance as our primary facelifts.
There is no other technique that can provide a natural look for revision facelift patients. These surgical techniques enable us to truly reverse some of the telltale signs or “surgical look” of previous, less sophisticated procedures.
FACELIFT SURGERY RECOVERY
Patients frequently go home the same day after facelift surgery. However, some facelift patients may spend the night of their surgery at the outpatient surgical center where they receive individualized, one-on-one care from a private registered nurse. With the assistance of an anesthesiologist, a lighter version of anesthesia is all that is required. A light dressing will be in place when you wake up and this will be removed by your doctor the following day in clinic.
A spouse or significant other can even stay the night with the patient, sleeping in a custom, pull-out single bed. Overnight stays are most often needed when the facelift is combined with other procedures, such as laser resurfacing. Most patients will have a small drain behind the ear to remove excess fluid from under the skin. This drain is removed the following day. Drains can reduce the amount of bruising and swelling and speed up your recovery process. Most people have minimal pain and are ready to be social in 10-14 days. You should avoid rigorous exercise for at least 2 weeks but we encourage you to be up and walking several times throughout the day. Pain medication and sleeping aids are provided to assure comfort during recovery.
The majority of our facelift patients are up and about the day after surgery. Sutures are able to be removed six days after surgery. However, bruising and swelling may take up to two weeks to resolve. Makeup is commonly worn to hide bruising that may occur. Quintessa carries specialized make-up specifically designed to cover bruising, and our trained experts can advise you on the best camouflage techniques and which products to use.
Facelift results last a lifetime, but the face will continue to age. After 10 to 20 years, you may develop excess skin and facial laxity again. Also, a facelift only affects the lower portion of the face and does not address the eye, brow or forehead areas. Furthermore, it does not change the texture of the skin. However, other procedures may be combined with a facelift to accommodate these areas that have not yet been treated.
To improve skin texture, a laser resurfacing procedure is frequently performed at the same setting. Other procedures, such as the browlift and eyelift, may be combined with a facelift for a more complete treatment and overall improvement. This comprehensive approach to facial rejuvenation provides a more harmonious effect and prevents the facial disharmony some individual treatments can cause. Due to the harmonious effect comprehensive rejuvenation provides, Dr. Campbell and Dr. Butz most commonly perform this technique on patients requesting facial rejuvenation.
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BEFORE AND AFTER
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What skincare products do you recommend after a facelift?
After facelift surgery, proper skincare and sun protection is very important. Our specialists can discuss your expectations, fully examine your skin and come up with a best-fit skincare plan. Generally speaking, skincare is great for preservation. It will help you prevent problems from occurring in the future, but by itself, it isn’t necessarily going to give you dramatic results. If you really want to preserve your facelift results, we recommend considering broad band light (BBL) therapy twice a year. Long term studies have shown that regular BBL treatments can preserve the appearance of the skin for over a decade. Adding the occasional Ultherapy treatment can also help maintain the integrity of the deeper layer of the face.
How long does a facelift last?
A patient will always look better after a facelift than they would have had they never had it, even 40 years later. However, the patient will continue to age after a facelift and will eventually look similar to the way they looked before. It completely depends on the person's aging process as to how long this will take. Typically, older patients tend to age faster, so for younger patients it may be 20 years before they notice changes in their appearance. For older patients, maybe less than 10 years. How long a facelift lasts also depends on the type of facelift and the quality and significance of the original lift.
Will I experience any severe scarring?
When a facelift is performed by a specialist with extensive experience, facelifts scars are almost always very inconspicuous. There are multiple techniques used to prevent scars from widening or thickening. The placement of the incisions is also very important to hide them in areas that are not visible or noticeable.Read More