The first impression you give others is often conveyed by your face through its expressions and its degree of aging.
You want your face to reflect the vibrancy you feel inside. Aging brings inevitable changes to the face. As years go by, the face and neck skin loosens, resulting in jowls at the jawline, deep folds or “marionette lines” at the corners of the mouth, and vertical folds in the neck. Facelift surgery is the ultimate in facial rejuvenation. Unlike lasers, topical treatments, or injectable fillers, a facelift procedures reposition the deeper structures of the face. By tightening these structures, the skin of the face appears smoother along the jawline, cheeks, jowls, and neck. By repositioning sagging skin and tissues, a facelift results in a natural, more youthful look.
Is A Face lift For You? Understanding the limitations of a facelift is crucial. There is no ideal in a facelift. Rather, the goal is to improve the overall facial appearance. Skin type, degree of skin elasticity, individual healing, basic bone structure, as well as a realistic attitude are factors that should be discussed prior to surgery. For the right candidate, there is no age limitation. A facelift cannot, however, stop aging but it can turn back the clock. What it can do is help your face look its best, giving you a look of health and a more youthful appearance. A side benefit is that many patients experience increased self-confidence.
As with all facial plastic surgery, good health and realistic expectations are prerequisites. Before deciding on a facelift, you should discuss with your facial plastic surgeon whether the overall effect will be more successful if additional changes are made in the chin and neck areas through other facial surgery. Not infrequently, a facelift is combined with eyelid surgery or a browlift.
Making The Decision For A Facelift Your choice of a qualified facial plastic surgeon is of paramount importance. During the preliminary consultation, the Dr. Sonne will examine the structure of your face, skin texture, color, and elasticity. Individual risks will also be examined, especially those related to medical situations such as high blood pressure, a tendency to scar, smoking, and any deficiency in blood clotting. Because a realistic attitude is crucial to the success of the surgery, the surgical procedure and expectations will be discussed. Dr. Sonne will describe the technique indicated, the type of anesthesia, the surgical facility, any additional surgery, possible complications, and costs of the procedure.
Understanding The Surgery Incisions are camouflaged around the ear with precise placement and planning. These incisions are made in the area of the temple hair, just above and in front of the ear, around the lobe, finishing in the hair of the scalp. For men, the incision is aligned to accommodate the natural beard lines. In all cases, the incisions are placed where they will fall in a natural crease of the skin for camouflage. During surgery, deeper tissues of the face are repositioned and tightened. This allows for removal of excess skin without tension, avoiding the pulled or “overdone” look. Liposuction is often performed as is tightening of the neck muscles through a small incision beneath the chin. After trimming the excess skin, the incisions are closed with fine sutures and/or metal clips, which permit surgery without shaving hair from the incision site. Depending on the extent of the surgery, the process can take from two to four hours. Following the surgery, a dressing is applied to protect the entire area where the incisions have been made.
What To Expect After The Surgery Even though most patients experience little pain after surgery, we still prescribe medication. Some degree of swelling and bruising is unavoidable, and cold compresses are recommended for 48 hours to keep swelling to a minimum. If a dressing has been applied, it will be removed within one to two days. In some cases, a drainage tube may be inserted during surgery. This, also, will be removed on the first or second day after surgery. It is recommended to keep your head elevated when lying down, to avoid strenuous activity as much as possible, and to report any undue discomfort to us. Patients should prearrange for post-surgery support from family and friends.
Most patients are presentable in a little over a week. Scars are usually not noticeable after enough time has passed for them to mature. In any case, they are easily disguised in natural skin creases, by the hair, or, in persistent cases, by makeup until total healing has occurred. Bear in mind that some relaxation of tissues will occur over the first few weeks and that the aging process continues after surgery.
Facial plastic surgery makes it possible to correct many facial flaws and signs of premature aging that can undermine self-confidence. By changing how you look, cosmetic surgery can help change how you feel about yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions About Face & Neck lift
Why do so many people have an over-pulled look after facelift surgery?
As with any plastic surgical procedure, it is the skill and judgment of the surgeon that is the most critical of all elements. Dr. Sonne is a board certified facial plastic surgeon, certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and trained in plastic surgery of the face and neck. Your surgery will be customized specifically to you – and will simply restore a “younger looking” you.
Realistically, how soon can I be seen in public?
Most patients are out in public around one week after surgery. Depending on your body’s healing ability, bruising and swelling may be camouflaged with makeup starting at five days after surgery.
What is the best age to have a facelift?
This is a difficult question and varies from patient to patient. Some patients are facelift candidates in their late forties while others do better in their fifties and sixties. Dr. Sonne’s personal philosophy is that it is better to do smaller procedures early than more dramatic surgery later.
Are there options for men and if so is the surgery any different?
Male facelift surgery is different than female. The incisions are placed differently so as not to adjust the sideburn or bearded hair. Men also do better with lower-facelifts and tend to look better when not over pulled. During your consultation with Dr. Sonne the different options will be reviewed at length so that you have the most natural result with the least obvious scars.
What is a mini-lift?
Some patients do not require a full-facelift. Mini-facelifts are typically performed in younger patients or for patients who already have had surgery and just want a tuck-up procedure. Typically the incision is smaller and the recovery is less intense than a full-facelift. Often, a minilift is performed at The Woodruff Institute under local anesthesia.
Will a facelift change my real appearance?
No. It will turn back the clock to give you a more youthful appearance. It will not change your fundamental features – those that define you, as you.
How long will my facelift last?
The effects of aging, gravity, lifestyle will continue to take their toll. But consider this: if you had a twin sibling and you had a facelift, you would both continue to age, but you would always look about 10+ years younger.
Will a facelift eliminate all my wrinkles, furrows and grooves?
A facelift deals with the sagging skin of the face, lifting it to its original position. Many wrinkles and grooves will be done away with.
How do I prepare for a facelift?
Prior to your facelift, Dr. Sonne will describe all details of your procedure. You will also be given specific instructions on preparing for your surgery, including guidelines for eating and drinking, vitamin and medication intake, smoking, and after care. Please be sure that while preparing for your surgery, you arrange for someone to give you a ride home and help care for you after your procedure, as you will likely be able to go home the same day.
Where will my facelift surgery be performed?
Dr. Sonne will perform your minilift surgery either at The Woodruff Institute under local anesthesia or at Physicians Day Surgery Center (hyper link to http://physiciansdaysurgery.net/) under general anesthesia or IV sedation. A full facelift requires general anesthesia or IV sedation and is performed at Physicians Day Surgery Center. Both a minilift or a full facelift are out patient procedures, so you will return home the same day.
Is there much pain associated with a facelift surgery?
Actually our patients report very minimal discomfort. You will experience a “tightness” due to swelling and some pulling under the jaw and below the ears. This is normal, managed very well with pain medication, and generally decreases each day until completely gone.
How long will my facelift surgery take?
It usually takes about 2 hours for a minifacelift and about 3 hours for a full facelift.
How long will I need to be out of work?
Usually one week for a minilift and two weeks for a full facelift as swelling, bruising, and tightness are part of these procedures.
To find out if you can benefit from a Face & Neck lift…
Please call our toll free number at 844.485.0104 for a consultation at one of our offices in Naples, Bonita Springs/Estero, or Fort Myers.