What is a facelift?
The facelift, or Rhytidectomy, is the third most common facial plastic surgery performed in the United States. As we age, crow’s feet become visible near our eyes. The near-invisible lines on the forehead become prominent, and the jawline sags. Some people experience the emergence of a “second chin.” Unfortunately, we must all deal with these negative aspects of gravity that come with age.
Choosing to get a facelift offers a boost in both appearance and self-esteem. We have the technology, it’s up to you to learn more and make the next step into a more youthful you. A facelift alone can do wonders for your face, taking years off and tightening loose folds, and can also be combined with a number of other procedures for an overall rejuvenated, younger look.
The Evening and Morning before the Procedure
You will need to refrain from drinking or eating anything the night before the procedure, most often beginning at midnight. You need to shower with an anti-microbial soap the evening before the procedure and again the morning of the procedure. This removes dangerous pathogens from your body.
The surgery begins with the use of general anesthesia. This will allow for the best surgical experience. An incision will then be made along the hairline and in the natural creases of the skin near the ear to hide any possible scars. Depending on the amount of work being completed, additional incisions may be made in the upper lip or lower eyelids, or under the chin. Through these incisions, fat and underlying tissues are sculpted and redistributed to form the desired contours. Muscles and other deep tissues may be lifted, tightened, or otherwise altered. Excess skin is trimmed away to reduce sagging, and then the remaining skin is pulled tight across the new contours of the face. A less invasive alternative to this traditional facelift technique is the limited incision facelift, wherein the procedure is performed through shorter incisions at the temples, around the ear, and potentially through the lower eyelids or upper lip.
If you selected to have any other procedures performed while under anesthesia, Dr. Nassif will move on to them at this point. After closing the final incisions and placing dressings, Dr. Nassif will send you into a specialized recovery unit. On occasion, drainage tubes will be inserted to remove excess fluid from the incision sites.
When you awaken in the recovery room, you may experience pain or nausea. Inform the nursing staff, and they will administer medications to relieve the problem.
Stick to a soft, bland diet for the first few days after your procedure. If you are able to tolerate other foods, you may advance your diet. Depending on the location of your incisions, you must follow any other specific dietary restrictions given to you at the time of discharge.
Promote proper healing and circulation by staying minimally active during the days following your procedure. This reduces the chances of developing complications, such as pneumonia or DVTs—dangerous blood clots in the deep tissues of the body. Don’t over-exert yourself, and don’t lift anything without being cleared to do so by your physician.
You must keep your head elevated when you sleep for a minimum of two weeks after your procedure. This reduces the amount of swelling and promotes proper healing of your incisions.
Your face will swell significantly for the first few days after your surgery. If you notice any abnormal or excessive bleeding, elevated temperature, excessive pain, or severe bruising beyond the expectation, contact Dr. Nassif or go to an emergency medical center immediately.
After one to two days, Dr. Nassif will remove the bandages or drains. Avoid getting these wet when you still have them because the moisture promotes the growth of bacteria.
While a facelift provides an amazing opportunity for rejuvenation and enhanced self-confidence, combining this procedure with other procedures (most often a necklift) can give you the best possible result.
How long until my face looks new again?
This depends significantly on the amount of facial procedures you have undertaken. For some, the procedure will yield fair results within a few weeks to one-month. However, each person will heal differently, and the procedure may require up to six months of time to heal in the expected fashion. Be patient because the surgery will be the hardest part of your decision to improve your appearance and confidence.
What other procedures can be performed at the same time as a facelift?
Many individuals elect to undergo a facelift as part of a multi-procedure process. It is very common for a facelift to incorporate a fat transfer from another area of the body to achieve the desired shape and volume. Facial implants or soft tissue augmentation can be used for similar effects. Many patients also elect to undergo some type of skin resurfacing or rejuvenating procedure, many of which involve the use of light and other energy sources. Once the facelift has addressed the structural issues you wish to correct, skin resurfacing can help you attain the pigmentation and smooth appearance you desire. Wrinkle reduction can also be addressed through different injectable options.
I’m in my late-60s, am I too old for a facelift?
Not likely. Facial cosmetic procedures have been successful on individuals up to 80-years-old. Unless you have a dangerous medical condition, you may be a candidate for a facelift. Advances in technology have led to a dramatic decrease in the amount of risk associated with facial plastic surgeries.
Do you have any photos of previous procedures that you have performed?
Absolutely! We know that you want to see proof of the doctor’s previous work. Our patients, who have become part of our family, have given us permission to publish their photos and take pride in it. We have an entire gallery of before and after photos available for your review. Please visit our photo gallery to see facelift before and after photos.
I was injured, and I’m too embarrassed to visit with a doctor in person. I’m afraid someone will find out about my problems. What can I do?
We wish we could do an over the phone assessment, but the doctor needs to visit with you for a consultation to determine the best way to achieve your goal. The physician and his care team are here to take care of you. According to privacy laws, or HIPAA, no one in the medical field can release your information without your express written consent. Click here to schedule your consultation.
I’ve heard I have to pay out-of-pocket for plastic surgery, is this true?
This depends on the reasoning behind your surgery. Insurance companies routinely refuse to pay for services for most individuals opting to have plastic surgery for aesthetic purposes only. Please check with your insurance company before your consultation. This will help to prevent any unexpected expenses.
I’ve had previous plastic surgeries or facelift procedures, but I’m not happy with the results. Can you help?
Yes! Dr. Nassif is a world-renowned special surgeon who is particularly well known for his expertise in correcting previous plastic surgeries that went wrong. At Nassif MD Plastic Surgery, we understand that you may be wary of walking into another plastic surgeon’s office after your previous negative experience, but we would encourage you not to let your anxiety get in the way of achieving your aesthetic goals. Depending on the extensiveness and nature of previous procedures, your options moving forward may be somewhat limited, but Dr. Nassif will put all his energy, expertise, and creative innovation into finding the best possible solution for you. Some cosmetic surgeons make false claims about what a procedure can do, resulting in disappointment when reality sets in. From your initial consultation forward, all conversations in our office will be straightforward and honest, to set you up with realistic expectations and avoid the devastation of results you weren’t expecting.