The term “jowls” refers to a collection of loose, excess skin in the lower regions of the face. The development […]
Facelift surgery is one of the most popular surgical facial enhancement procedures available. This effective treatment has undergone many advances over the years, and can help both women and men turn back the hands of time and achieve a more youthful aesthetic with natural-looking results. A good facelift should never look “surgical.” Instead a rested and rejuvenated appearance is the goal. Our experienced plastic surgeon, Dr. Semira Bayati, will create a customized facelift treatment plan with your unique needs in mind, allowing for results that meet – and perhaps even exceed – your expectations.
- What is a Facelift?
- Facelift Benefits
- Facelift Candidates
- Facelift Procedure
- Facelift Recovery
- Facelift Results
- Facelift Cost
- Facelift Scars
- Facelift Without Surgery
- Facelift Alternatives
- Additional Facelift FAQs
What is a Facelift?
A facelift, medically known as a rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure designed to reduce signs of sagging skin and smooth out lines and wrinkles along the mid- to lower face and upper neck area. This treatment essentially eliminates excess, inelastic skin and tightens underlying muscles, then redrapes the remaining skin for a more youthful appearance. Facelift surgery is one of the most effective ways to provide lasting facial rejuvenation for women and men who would like to diminish common signs of age.
What Can Facelift Surgery Do?
Unfortunately, the normal course of aging affects us all. The good news is, a facelift can correct signs of age along the face in a natural and aesthetic manner. Some of the concerns that can be addressed with facelift surgery include:
- Skin laxity of the face
- Jowls in the lower face
- Deep wrinkles and folds around the mouth
- Displaced fat along facial areas
- Excess, loose skin and fat under the chin and in the upper neck area
Facial rejuvenation can also be combined with eyelid surgery and brow lift for a more comprehensive facial rejuvenation, if necessary. Facial re-volumizing with fat grafting can serve as an excellent complement to facelift surgery, as well. When performed by a skilled, board-certified plastic surgeon such as Dr. Bayati, a facelift can create a more youthful, refreshed look that appears natural and without a “wind-blown” or “overdone” effect.
Who is a Candidate for Facelift Surgery?
Ideal candidates for facelift surgery are typically individuals who are in relatively good general health and have realistic expectations for the outcome of the procedure. With a good facelift, you can expect a 10-15 year age reduction in the face. So, it’s important to remember that looking like you are 25 when you are actually 60 years of age is unrealistic and not a desirable surgical effect. Dr. Bayati’s ultimate goal is to provide results that meet your needs and look both beautiful and natural. While individuals in a variety of age ranges can benefit from the procedure, facelift surgery is often a particularly good option to contemplate in the late 40s as this is when facial aging becomes more noticeable for most people. Many individuals can delay further signs of aging if the face is addressed sooner.
Dr. Bayati will perform a comprehensive evaluation of your skin and facial structures and talk with you about your goals to determine whether facelift surgery is the best option. If facelift surgery is an ideal treatment for your needs, Dr. Bayati will create a personalized treatment plan and discuss the next steps.
How is the Facelift Procedure Performed?
Facelift surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia. In most cases, Dr. Bayati will make an incision just above the hairline, following from the temples to behind the earlobe. This typically makes any residual scarring virtually unnoticeable as it is well-concealed by the hair. If necessary, an incision will also be made under the chin. Dr. Bayati will carefully remove excess skin, tighten underlying muscles, and redrape the remaining skin for a smoother appearance.
The newer techniques in facelift surgery address the deeper structures of the face and the musculature of the neck in order to increase the longevity of the results. Addressing these deeper structures in addition to the skin can make a good facelift last 15 years. The sagging of the cheek tissue, jowls, and neck cannot be addressed by just pulling the skin. Skin is like a rubber band and it will stretch back in a year to its original shape if the deeper structures are not addressed. This is the reason why some of those quick-recovery “lunchtime” procedures do not have lasting results. With Dr. Bayati’s experience and careful attention to detail, the effects of facelift surgery should last for quite some time as long as patients take care of their skin and protect it from the sun as much as possible.
What is Facelift Recovery Like?
The recovery from a facelift is a lot simpler today than it was before. With the advent of newer techniques, such as less invasive endoscopic approaches and proper peri-operative medications and care, you can expect to be very presentable in two weeks after facial surgery. Some degree of swelling and bruising can be expected for several days after facelift surgery; however, these effects should fade significantly within the first couple of weeks. Pain medication can typically be prescribed to control discomfort during the recovery process. Most individuals are able to resume normal daily routines after the first two to three weeks.
It’s important to note that smoking is a contraindication to this surgery. Nicotine hurts skin circulation and causes skin loss and poor results. It is recommended to discontinue all nicotine products, including the patch and the gum, for two months prior to considering this surgery. The results are well worth it.
How Long Does a Facelift Last?
With some good lifestyle habits and consistent attention paid to skin care, the results of facelift surgery should last many years into the future. Naturally, the aging process will continue; however, a facelift essentially “turns back the clock,” resetting it in a way. Therefore, it’s possible to always look more youthful than one would have looked if the surgery was never performed. With this in mind, the effects of facelift surgery can be maintained for as long as possible by staying on a healthy diet, keeping your weight stable, using an effective sunscreen each time you go out in the sun, and employing a daily skin care routine.
How Much Does a Facelift Cost?
Since facelift surgery is customized to each patient, the total cost of the procedure will vary according to factors such as the individual treatment plan, the surgeon’s fee, operating room and anesthesiology fees, and other associated expenses. The overall price will also depend on adjunctive treatments that may be part of the treatment plan to provide a balanced and more comprehensively enhanced aesthetic outcome. Patients who choose to add other procedures to their facelift surgery typically select options such as eyelid surgery, brow lift, or fat grafting.
After Dr. Bayati has met with you for an initial consultation and developed a treatment plan, a member of our staff will produce an estimate of the total cost of the procedure and talk with you about your options. We accept a full range of payment methods at our practice, and we work with plastic surgery financing companies such as CareCredit® and Alphaeon™ Credit that offer qualified applicants a variety of convenient monthly payment plans.
Will My Facelift Scars Be Visible?
Dr. Bayati is extremely careful and diligent about creating incisions in areas that will be virtually undetectable to others. In most cases, facelift scars can be concealed beneath the hairline or behind the ears. It’s important to follow all post-operative instructions regarding the care of your incisions in the days after surgery so that irregular scarring or infections do not develop.
Is a Facelift Without Surgery Possible?
While there are numerous non-surgical treatments available to rejuvenate the face, a surgical facelift procedure typically offers the most effective, long-term solution for patients with prominent signs of aging and excess skin. That said, some patients may have milder signs of age that may not require surgery to achieve their goals, and others may simply desire an enhancement procedure that will not necessitate an extensive recovery. In these cases, Dr. Bayati can talk with you about non-surgical cosmetic treatment options that may help you attain your goals.
What Are My Facelift Alternatives?
There are a variety of facelift alternatives that can achieve good results for patients who are not candidates for a full facelift procedure, or for those who want a less invasive treatment. These include injectable dermal fillers, laser skin resurfacing, and other non-surgical options at our practice. For those who may be experiencing prominent signs of aging in regions of the upper face that they would like to address, procedures such as eyelid surgery or brow lift may be more beneficial. Dr. Bayati can talk with you about all of your options during the initial consultation and help you determine the best treatment for your needs.
“Since my facelift and eyelift, people are noticing the color of my eyes. My own mother said my eyes are so much greener.”
C.S., Facial Rejuvenation Patient, Orange County
Additional Frequently Asked Questions About Facelift Surgery
Does a facelift always include a neck lift?
Dr. Bayati’s facelift technique usually includes a certain amount of lifting in the upper neck area. This helps to address loose, excess, perhaps wrinkled skin under the chin and create a more contoured appearance. In some cases, neck lifting may not be necessary. Dr. Bayati can talk more with you about how the neck will be addressed once you have been examined during the initial consultation.
How long before I can exercise again after facelift surgery?
In general, patients are able to restart their exercise routines about three weeks following facelift surgery, depending on the type of exercise that’s being performed. Strenuous workouts should be avoided for the first few weeks because the surgical areas will need an adequate amount of time to fully heal. You will be provided with detailed instructions for post-operative care and personalized recommendations on precisely how long you should wait before exercising again after facelift surgery.
Is a facelift different for men versus women?
The essential goals of facelift surgery are the same for both men and women; however, the surgical approach is somewhat distinct. While facelift procedures are designed to produce a more youthful appearance, men and women usually have different expectations in terms of how the procedure will address certain characteristics. For instance, men are often more interested in obtaining enhanced definition of facial contours, such as a sharper jawline. Women also often desire contour refinement and improved definition; however, they typically prefer a softer effect. Incision locations may be different depending on the patient’s gender, as well. Men who have receding hairlines may benefit from incisions placed in areas other than those that are typically utilized in facelift surgery. Ultimately, all of Dr. Bayati’s facelift treatment plans are customized to produce outcomes that align with the unique needs and goals of each individual patient.
Are there age limits for facelift surgery?
There is not necessarily an upper age limit for facelift surgery. In fact, Dr. Bayati has performed this procedure on patients in their 60s and above. Age is typically not a major factor when evaluating candidacy for facelift surgery. Whether this procedure is a good option for certain patients will largely depend on their current state of general health, their medical history, and the specific goals they are trying to accomplish.
How can I reduce swelling after facelift surgery?
Swelling is the most prominent side effect of facelift surgery and can be expected to be at its most severe within the first couple of weeks following the procedure. There are some steps that can be taken during this time to control swelling. One of the best things you can do is to maintain your head at an elevated level as much as possible during the recovery process. This can significantly limit the potential for excessive fluid accumulation in the treatment area. It can also be helpful to minimize your intake of foods and beverages that are high in salt (inflammation can be exacerbated by salt). A diet rich in proteins, antioxidants, and vitamins (fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens are often good options) can help to control swelling. Our team will give you a list of tips and instructions for the recovery period that can guide you along the path to the most comfortable healing process possible.
For more information on facelift or other cosmetic surgery procedures, such as Mommy Makeover or breast augmentation, please contact Dr. Bayati today to schedule a consultation.