Gravity, the sun, stress. Are you considering a facelift?

As you age, the effects of gravity, exposure to the sun, and even the daily stress of life can show up in your face.  Some of these changes aren’t pretty.  Deep creases can form between your nose and mouth, your jaw line can get loose, and jowly and unsightly folds and fat deposits may appear around your neck.

A facelift (technically known as rhytidectomy or meloplasty) can't stop this aging process, but it can set back the clock and improve the most visible signs of aging by repositioning excess fat, tightening underlying muscles, and redraping the skin of your face and neck.  A facelift can be done alone, or along with other procedures such as a forehead lift, eyelid surgery, or nose reshaping.

A facelift can make you look younger and fresher, and it may enhance your self-confidence in the process, but it can't give you a totally different look, nor can it restore the health and vitality of your youth.

If you're considering a facelift, this outline will give you a basic understanding of the procedure when it can help, how it's performed, and what results you can expect.  It can't answer all of your questions, since a lot depends on the individual patient and the surgeon.  Dr. Walker is more than happy to clarify any misunderstandings, please contact her office with any questions or concerns you may have.

The best candidates for a facelift

The best candidate for a facelift is experiencing some sagging, but whose skin still has some elasticity and whose bone structure is strong and well defined.  Most patients are in their forties to sixties, but facelifts can be done successfully on people in their seventies or eighties as well.

What happens during a facelift surgery?

A facelift usually takes several hours although every surgeon approaches the procedure in their own way.  The exact placement of incisions and the sequence of events depends on your facial structure and specific surgical goals.

Step 1 – Anesthesia
Medications are administered for your comfort during a facelift procedure.

Step 2 – The incision
A traditional facelift incision begins in the hairline at the temples, continues around the ear and ends in the lower scalp.  Fat may be sculpted or redistributed from the face, jowls and neck.  The underlying tissue is repositioned and commonly the deeper layers of the face and the muscles are also lifted.  Skin is redraped over the uplifted contours and any excess skin is trimmed away.

Step 3 – See the results
Once healed, the incision lines from a facelift are well concealed within the hairline and in the natural contours of the face and ear.

The visible improvements of a facelift appear as swelling and bruising subside.  Your final result should not only restore a more youthful and rested appearance, but also help you feel more confident about yourself.

If you have more questions about facelift surgery check out our resources and education section.