Facelift Surgery

Dr. Hootan Daneshmand

Facelift surgery, also called rhytidectomy, is used to counteract the effects of gravity and aging on the face. A facelift helps elevate the skin and deeper tissues of the face to improve the neck contour, lift the cheek, smooth the “jowls”, and tighten up the jaw line. Facial wrinkling that occurs with age is also improved by the procedure. Additionally, an Orange County facelift will remove excess fat from the chin and tighten the neck skin. The goal is to take some of the years off of your face exposing a more youthful appearance. A facelift does not leave you with a “pulled” or operated on look. The scarring is inconspicuous, leaving a natural, rejuvenated appearance. A facelift provides more dramatic results than procedures such as Orange County Botox.

Am I a good candidate for a facelift?

A facelift is an appropriate and rewarding surgery for healthy people who do not smoke and wish to rejuvenate their facial appearance. The procedure turns back the clock many years to a younger, fresher look. Excellent candidates for a facelift are those who wish to rid themselves of their jowls, tighten their neck, define their jaw, and reduce their wrinkling. It is essential that anyone considering a facelift understands the reasonable expectations. A personal consultation with Dr. Daneshmand can provide you with a thorough understanding of what a facelift can do for you.

How is a facelift performed?

The layer of tissue underneath your skin called the SMAS is used to help lift and support your face. This lifts the cheek, removes the jowls, softens the nasolabial folds, defines the jawline, and tightens the neck. When there is neck muscle laxity and separation (banding) and excess neck fat, the muscles are tightened in the neck and the fat is removed. Then, with your facial structure supported from the inside, the excess, loose skin is removed, tightening the neck and reducing wrinkles.

Will I have an “operated” or “pulled” look?

At the Silhouette Plastic Surgery Institute the goal of a facelift is to rejuvenate, not change your face. The facelift will take years off of your face without pulling the corners of your mouth or eyes. You will look natural, not “operated” upon or “pulled” so that you simply appear and feel younger.

Where are the scars hidden?

The scars are hidden in the junction between the face and ear, and within the hair. When the incisions are precisely placed and the skin is meticulously sutured closed, these scars become inconspicuous so that no one will know that you had surgery.

What is a mini-facelift?

A “mini-facelift” is a minimal incision facelift also known as a short-scar facelift. This procedure offers much of the same benefits as that of a full facelift. The scar is shorter than the typical facelift scar. Good candidates for a mini-facelift have moderate neck laxity and they are usually slightly younger than a full facelift candidate.

What is a neck lift?

A neck lift or cervical tuck is a procedure designed to tighten the neck, soften the jowls, and redefine the jawline. Scars are hidden in much the same way as a facelift with most or all of the scarring behind the ear. The deeper tissues of the neck including the muscles are tightened to restore the youthful angle between your chin and neck. Further sculpting of the neck is accomplished by removing any excess fat that has developed below the chin. Finally, excess skin is excised to define the jaw and leave you with a smooth and taught neck contour.

How long do the results of a facelift last?

This is a difficult question to definitively answer. Undoubtedly, your genetics, bone structure, and skin quality effect the duration of your results. While the effects of gravity and aging on your skin can not be halted by surgery, generally patients feel a restored youthfulness to their appearance for ten years or more before they consider a “touch up” procedure to selectively re-lift certain areas.

Are facelifts commonly performed with other procedures?

Yes. Facelifts do not treat the upper portion of the face. Baggy eyelids, crow’s feet, descended brows, or a wrinkled forehead can be addressed by combining your face or neck lift with an Orange County forehead lift and eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty). Other facial procedures which may help achieve your desired look, such as ear surgery, lip augmentation, chin augmentation, or rhinoplasty can also be performed in conjunction with a facelift.

Will smoking affect my recovery?

Smoking adversely affects wound healing. The small vessels that supply blood to the tissues shrink up and prevent the necessary nutrients for healing to get to the wound. The incidence of having a wound complication such as an open wound or skin death is much higher in smokers. Furthermore, the rate of wound infection is also significantly increased in smokers for the same reason of limited blood flow. Because of this, a patient must stop smoking for a minimum of 4-6 weeks before and after surgery to decrease the risk of these complications.

What is the recovery period?

After a facelift, you may recover comfortably at home or in a facility with nursing care. You will have a light bandage around your head to protect the incisions. The bandages are usually removed in 1-2 days. There will be some swelling and bruising, which will peak at 3 to 5 days after surgery and then gradually subside over the following days to weeks. Generally, patients do not have much discomfort and are off of pain medication within a few days of surgery. Non-exertional work activity is permissible after 1 to 2 weeks. You must avoid straining, lifting, bending over, and any strenuous activity for several weeks. At 4 weeks, low-impact exercise is permissible followed by unrestricted activity after 6 weeks.

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