Many factors cause the skin to wrinkle and sag; i.e., exposure to the sun, genetics, as well as the natural aging process in which the loss of elastic fibers occurs. Children and young adults have smooth, round faces due to fatty tissue that is evenly distributed throughout the contours of the face. As you age the skin sags and fits more loosely. These folds become prominent, especially around the chin, the jaw line and along the neck. Our team performs rhytidectomies (facelifts) to enhance your appearance and correct these conditions.
A facelift involves tightening of the facial and neck fascia as well as the removal of excess skin.
The facelift procedure is often performed in conjunction with additional cosmetic surgeries such as blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), forehead lift, chin augmentation, liposuction and/or rhinoplasty (nasal surgery). These procedures can be performed any time after signs of aging appear in order to attain a more youthful appearance.
Before Facelift Surgery
We will evaluate your medical history in order to determine your overall health. Dr. Reynolds will discuss with you how your face can look and what you can expect from surgery. Our objective is to create a natural appearance that is pleasing to you. Photographs and computer imaging are performed to determine the amount of improvement after surgery.
Face Lift Surgery
A rhytidectomy can be performed under IV Sedation or general anesthesia in our state-of-the-art surgical facility. These options will be discussed in detail with you. Incisions are made inside the hairline at the temple, running in front of the ear then around the earlobe and behind the ear, ending in the hair of the scalp. The loose skin is separated from underlying tissue and is pulled up and back. Excess skin is removed. Sagging connective tissues are tightened. In some cases, fatty deposits are removed from beneath the chin and neck and the platysma muscles in the neck may be tightened. Small sutures are used to close the incisions. The procedure may take up to five hours depending on whether any other procedures are performed at the same time.
We will provide you with preoperative instructions that include the elimination of smoking and specific drugs containing aspirin several weeks before surgery to minimize excess bleeding. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to prevent infection. You should shampoo your hair the morning before surgery. A small amount of hair may be shaved around your ears and temples.
Bandages are applied to the area of surgery and are removed within a few days. Pain is moderate and controlled with oral medications. Your sutures are removed within the first 5 to 7 days. In order to minimize scarring, Dr. Reynolds may remove the sutures in stages. Scarring fades quickly and swelling/discoloration decrease within two weeks. Tightness in your face will be present for several weeks and there may be slight changes in your hair pattern around the incision.
It is recommended that you avoid the sun for several weeks after surgery. Healing is gradual so you will not notice final results for up to 6 months. No smoking for 6 months following surgery. Improvement varies, depending on your initial condition. In most cases, a single procedure achieves the desired results. Most patients who have had facelifts are pleased with their new, more youthful appearance.
To preview Pre-Operative Instructions, Consent and Post-Operative Instructions along with the scheduled visits, see Surgical Instructions>Facelift.