The goal of facelift surgery is to lift and rejuvenate facial tissues that have become loose and sagging as a result of age and gravity. Telltale signs of aging include jowls, and loose skin and fat at the jaw line and under the chin. A facelift should provide a natural, refreshed and well-balanced look while avoiding an overstreched, operated appearance.
Facelift surgery is one of several facial rejuvenation procedures. Others include blepharoplasty (eyelid lift), browlift, forehead lift, neck lift, neck liposuction, as well as other non-surgical procedures such as Botox® / Dysport®, skin filler injections, and medical treatment of the skin.
In recent years, a variety of facelift techniques and “non-surgical facelift” alternatives have been heavily publicized. Many of these promise perfect results with no discomfort and no recovery time. It is often difficult for patients seeking rejuvenation surgery to make sense of this information and the claims that accompany it. For many of these techniques that are at their beginning, time is needed to evaluate the long-term outcomes.
Dr. Samaha uses time-tested and proven techniques, combined with the latest in state-of-the-art technology to reliably achieve a natural, long-lasting result for his patients. Many techniques and facelift procedures are available to achieve this, including the complete facelift, the neck lift, the brow lift, and for some patients, the mini-lift. A thorough discussion between the patient and Dr. Samaha at the time of consultation will help determine the technique most suitable for the patient’s anatomy, needs and goals.
The Day of the Surgery
Patients are able to go home within one to two hours following surgery. A bandage is placed around the face and removed the next day. The face is inspected and a lighter dressing placed. This dressing, along with any sutures, are removed on day 4-5 following surgery. Make-up can be applied at this time. Follow-up appointments are then scheduled.
For some patients, a facelift alone will achieve the rejuvenation they are seeking. However, there are many aspects of facial aging that are not addressed with facelift surgery. In these instances, an accesory procedure may be required to achieve the patient’s goals for rejuvenation. These include surgical procedures performed in combination with facelift, such as blepharoplasty (eyelid lift), neck liposuction, or browlift; or non-surgical procedures that may be performed at the time of surgery or at another date in the office. These include Botox® / Dysport®, skin filler injections, and medical skin treatments.
This is most frequently performed in conjunction with a facelift. It is a relatively small portion of the facelift procedure which may provide an additional refinement and significant change for many patients. Through a small puncture under the chin, the excess fat is removed to provide a more defined chin-neck line.
This procedure is frequently performed in the same setting as a blepharoplasty or facelift. It is helpful in patients whose brow hangs low over the eye displaying a sad and tired look. Lifting the brow will serve to eliminate this appearance.
Frequently Asked Questions
At what age can facelift surgery be done?
There is no minimum or maximum age. Some patients who are beyond their 70’s and 80’s, and healthy are perfectly suitable candidates for facelift surgery. Conversely, the current trend indicates that patients are interested in starting treatment earlier to maintain a youthful glow. As a result, patients are now having facelift surgery at an increasingly younger age. The procedure in these younger patients is frequently less extensive and shorter than in an older person who requires more lifting.
What are the restrictions after surgery?
The main restriction is the avoidance of strenuous activity, which includes vigorous exercise and heavy lifting for about 10 days. Other maneuvers that increase the pressure in the head are also to be avoided. These include straining and bending forward. Otherwise, patients may carry out usual activities.
How long is the recovery?
Recovery time varies depending on the type of procedure performed and whether any additional procedures are performed at the time of facelift surgery. It may take from one to two weeks.
What about bruising?
Most facelift surgeries are associated with some bruising. The degree of bruising depends on the surgical technique and the patient’s own tendency to bruise. The bruising will gradually fade in appearance and move in the direction of gravity. It is therefore expected that the discoloration from bruising will gradually diminish and migrate down the face in the first few days following surgery. Dr. Samaha uses advanced, minimally invasive techniques to minimize bruising and swelling after surgery. Patients who have a natural tendency to bruise easily will experience slightly more bruising in the initial recovery period.
Will I need another facelift later on?
A facelift will rejuvenate the face by about 5-10 years. It will not, however, stop the process of aging. The process continues, but the benefit gained from the surgery usually remains. If a patient looks 10 years younger as a result of the surgery, this rejuvenation will usually remain, such that they will continue to look younger than their real age as the years continue to pass. The patient may wish to undego another procedure several years later to regain a more youthful appearance, and this is feasible.