Aging of the face is inevitable, and, with time, the skin on the face and neck loosen. Age, sun exposure, gravity, and genetics all contribute to skin changes. Fine lines become wrinkles, and wrinkles gradually become deeper folds. The jaw line softens into jowls and, beneath the chin, excess skin starts to sag.
As we continue to age, it is no wonder that a facelift has become the third-most performed facial cosmetic procedure. A facelift restores a refreshed, youthful contour to loose skin and softens wrinkles without looking tight or unnatural. For some people, an eyelid lift is a complementary procedure that can create total facial rejuvenation.
What to Expect with Your Facelift
A facelift is performed by making small incisions in the natural contours of the face to minimize scarring. From there, underlying tissues and muscles are tightened and repaired to improve the facial contours. In some cases, excess fat can be removed through liposuction. This will be discussed in depth during your consultation, if necessary. Before closing the incisions, excess skin is trimmed and pulled tight for a more youthful appearance.
Types of Techniques
Techniques used to remove facial skin and reposition facial and neck tissues vary depending on your desired results. The specific technique chosen will determine the location of the incisions and the resulting scars.
- Traditional Facelift: Incisions are made in your hairline, starting at your temples, continuing down and around the front of your ears, and ending behind your ears in your lower scalp. An incision might be made under your chin to improve the appearance of your neck.
- Limited-Incision Facelift: Short incisions are made in your hairline, starting at your temples and continuing down and around the front of your ears. Incisions might also be made in the lower eyelids or under the upper lip.
- Neck Lift: Incisions are made starting in front of your earlobes and continuing around and behind your ears in your lower scalp, as well as a small incision under your chin.
After making the incisions, the fat from your face, jowls, or neck will be sculpted or the underlying tissues redistributed. Liposuction might also be used to remove fat.
In some cases, fat suctioned from other areas of your body might need to be added to specific areas of your face. Your skin will then be draped over the new contours and excess skin will be removed. Stitches or tape will be used to close the incisions.
A facelift generally takes two to four hours, but might take longer if other cosmetic procedures are done at the same time.
What to Expect With Your Facelift Surgery
Sometimes a facelift is done with sedation and local anesthesia, which numbs only part of your body. In other cases, general anesthesia — which renders you unconscious — is recommended.
After a facelift, your incisions will likely be covered with bulky bandages that provide gentle pressure to minimize swelling and bruising. A small tube might be placed under the skin behind one or both of your ears to drain any excess blood or fluid.
You should expect some pain, swelling, and bruising after the procedure. You might need to wait a few days before returning to work and a few weeks before resuming your normal activities – including exercise.
To help control pain, you might be prescribed medication. In addition, to reduce the risk of infection, you will likely be prescribed antibiotics. For several weeks, you might also need to wear a tight compression garment to help reduce swelling. During this time, as the remaining fat settles into position, you can expect some contour, which is normal and nothing to worry about.
Scheduling a Facelift Consultation in Atlanta
To schedule a confidential facelift consultation in our Atlanta-area office, call 470.381.6500.