Is a Facelift Right for You?
As we age, changes in skin quality, and changes in the volume of the tissues in the face lead to significant changes in one’s appearance. Facial aging usually results in excess skin at the jowls and neck regions, additional creases between the nose and the mouth, and lack of fullness in the cheeks. To improve these areas, face and neck lift surgery can help.
Facelift and Neck Lift Approaches
There are many approaches to face and neck lift surgery. Generally, a modern facelift includes lifting and tightening the deep layers of the face and then removing the excess skin along the outer part of the face and neck regions and re-draping the skin. With this approach, a scar is placed along the hairline, along the front and back of the ear, and sometimes into the hair behind the ear.
Our approach to face lifting is customized to each patient’s individual needs. A thorough assessment is made based on the degree of facial aging that the patient displays and the surgery is designed to treat those specific problems. In mild cases of facial aging a more limited approach to the face and neck lift can be pursued. In more advanced cases, a more aggressive approach may be needed in which most of the skin of the lower face and neck are lifted and re-draped. Liposuction is often combined with the face and neck lift, to remove the extra fatty deposits under the chin and along the jaw line in the neck.
Quick and Weekend Facelifts
Plastic surgery now has the wide attention of the media and advertisers. With such a broad discussion and awareness of plastic surgery, there are several surgical techniques that are marketed directly to patients. One must be careful about such advertisements and gimmicks.
Face and neck lift surgery is real surgery which requires a significant amount of procedure time and recovery. Quick and minimal surgical procedures tend to yield minor results. We will present you with all your options and the degree of improvement you can expect with each approach. Since most of our patients want significant and lasting results, the minimal scar and “weekend” down-time procedures are usually not desirable.
Facelift Versus Neck Lift Surgery
The face and neck lift procedure involves treatment of the lower face and neck as an aesthetic unit. Isolated neck lift procedures can be performed in some patients; however, most Portland patients benefit from a comprehensive approach using the face and neck lift procedure. Indeed, the traditional facelift is a face and neck lift combined.
Preparing for Face and Neck Lift Surgery
Your preparation for a face and neck lift begins with your initial consultation and proceeds through another preoperative appointment. Our staff provides a comprehensive and professional preoperative assessment so that you are fully prepared and informed to undergo your surgery. Your surgery is performed at our surgery center, the Meridian Center for Surgical Excellence. The Meridian Center has an outstanding staff of professionals to care for you throughout your operative day. Face and neck lift surgery takes a few hours to perform and general anesthesia is used.
About Face and Neck Lift Surgery
After you are safely asleep under general anesthesia, the face and neck are sterilely prepared for surgery. An infiltrating solution of numbing medicine and adrenaline is then injected into the tissues under the skin. Typically, liposuction of the neck is then performed.
The incisions are usually made in front of the hairline above the ear, along the front of the ear, and around the back of the ear to the hairline. In some patients, the incision will be extended into the hairline or along the hairline behind the ear. The skin and a thin layer of fatty tissue are then lifted off the deeper parts of the face. The deeper facial fatty and muscle tissues are then lifted and secured with sutures. After the deep tissues are tightened, the excess skin is lifted and draped over the ear. The extra skin is then trimmed. Great care is taken to lift and re-drape the tissues into a natural upward position. The goal is to achieve a rejuvenated, youthful appearance, not an artificial or “wind-blown” appearance.
A face and neck lift contours the neck, jaw line and lower face creating a youthful, natural appearance. In some patients, there is marked skin excess and muscle laxity at the midline of the neck. To treat such patients, a small incision is often made behind the chin. Through this incision, the skin can be fully lifted to provide optimal re-draping and skin removal. If necessary, the loose neck muscles are sutured together in the midline to provide a tighter, more defined appearance of the neck. The incisions are closed with some dissolving sutures and very fine external sutures are placed for a precise final skin closure. Your hair is then rinsed and Gauze pads and a soft dressing are placed over the incisions.
Recovery from Face and Neck Lift Surgery
You will recover for about one hour in our recovery area at the Meridian Center for Surgical Excellence. You will be awake immediately after surgery. Soon after you will be able to drink water and have a light snack. After about one hour in recovery you will go home. Most patients will have a small drainage tube placed during surgery. This drain is removed the day after surgery. After two days, you can wash and dry your hair normally. After five to seven days, most of your external sutures will be removed. After a face and neck lift, you will have some swelling and bruising.
Expect to focus on healing and your wellness for the first five to seven days after surgery. After that, you will feel well and can get back to many home and work-type activities. It is important to note that the swelling and changes will be present for about two to three weeks after surgery. Therefore, if you are concerned about your appearance in social situations, you will need two to three weeks to fully recover out of the public eye. After your face and neck lift is healed, your scars will fade. You will have a new younger appearance, with improved contours and definition of the outer and lower face areas and the neck.
If you have any questions about neck or facelift procedures or would like to schedule a consultation, contact our office in Portland at (503) 783-0544.