According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), nearly 18 million people underwent cosmetics procedures in the U.S in 2018. Facelift treatments rank among the top five cosmetic surgical procedures and are popular with both men and women.
Facelift (rhytidectomy) options rejuvenate your skin and help you appear younger. The procedure often includes a neck lift to reduce sagging skin and fat deposits around the neck area. Understanding the process can help you decide if a facelift will meet your goals.
What is a Facelift?
A facelift is a cosmetic procedure that creates a more youthful appearance. As you get older, the shape of your face undergoes age-related changes. Your skin can become less elastic and looser, and fat deposits reduce in some areas and increase in others.
Facelift treatment can reduce the following age-related changes:
- Forehead wrinkles
- Sagging brows
- Excess skin around the jowls (lower jawline), chin, and throat
- Deepening of the folds around the bottom of the nose to the corners of your mouth
- Excess fat and saggy skin in the neck
How to Prepare for a Facelift
Before doing a facelift, you'll need to talk to your plastic surgeon. They will discuss your medical history, the medications you have had or are taking at the moment. History of surgeries, smoking, alcohol use, and other health factors will determine how safe it is for you to undergo facelift surgery.
The surgeon will also do a full examination, taking note of your face shape, fat distribution, and bone structure. All this will guide the surgeon on the best facelift procedures for optimal results. You will also set some expectations with your surgeon's help, including what the surgery will fix and what it won't fix. For example, a facelift isn't a treatment for sun damage, skin color irregularities, or superficial wrinkles.
After the consultation, your surgeon will give you some instructions on what to do, which medications to stop (e.g., blood-thinning supplements), and what food and drinks to avoid. A facelift is an outpatient procedure, so you should arrange to have someone drive you home and help you recover.
A facelift procedure typically involves lifting the skin and sculpting, removing, or redistributing fat, then tightening the underlying tissues and facial muscles. We numb the targeted areas with a local anesthetic to keep you comfortable. The surgical procedure you choose will depend on what you want to achieve, your skin condition, and your taste and preference. There are three standard facelift procedures:
- The traditional facelift: This surgery begins at the hairline, goes down to the front of the ears, and ends in the lower scalp. Your surgeon may recommend combining this procedure with other treatments like injectable fillers or an eyelift to achieve your desired goals.
- Mini facelift: This modified procedure uses a shorter incision that begins at your hairline above your ear, goes around the front of your ear but doesn't extend to the lower scalp.
- Neck lift: Also called a platysmaplasty, this cosmetic plastic surgery procedure begins in front of the earlobe and goes around the ear into the lower scalp. It often includes a small incision right under your chin.
Facelift Surgery Aftercare
You may feel mild to moderate pain after the procedure. The incision will be covered with bandages to provide soft and gentle pressure and reduce the chances of complications like bruising and swelling.
In some cases, a draining tube is placed under the skin behind the ears to remove excess blood and fluid. A few days after the surgery, your surgeon will remove the drain and bandage, then replace the latter with an elastic facial sling.
Two weeks later, your surgeon will remove the stitches and carry out a wound assessment. Your surgeon will also schedule routine visits to track your progress and overall health.
Expert Facelift Treatments in Washington D.C.
A facelift treatment will serve you best if you know exactly what you want and what to expect. At Baltimore-Washington Facial Plastic Surgery, we will discuss the facelift procedure that will yield your desired results.
Our expert surgeon will listen to your needs and walk you through the facelift process and recovery. We prioritize your satisfaction and comfort, and we'll go above and beyond to ensure you get the service you deserve. Schedule your appointment today!