As the first thing people notice about you, it is important to take good care of your face. Facial skin is very delicate and is easily distressed by everyday elements such as smoke or sun exposure. And with aging, fine lines and wrinkles begin to form on the forehead, between the eyebrows, and around the mouth. Although you do everything in your power to keep your skin nice and smooth, sometimes skin products are just not enough.
Facelifts are becoming a more and more popular choice amongst people who are looking for another solution to restore their vibrant appearance.
What is a Facelift?
Facelift, or clinically known as Rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure that addresses loose facial skin and diminishes the appearance of wrinkles to reveal a youthful appearance. Facelift surgery in the last ten years has borrowed a lot from our reconstructive history and the most modern techniques truly focus on rebuilding the facial soft tissue layers in a more youthful position in a more permanent way. These newer procedures are not just old-fashioned skin tightening procedures, but truly reposition and resuspend the muscles that carry the skin. The use of chemical peels and CO2 laser skin resurfacing procedures have added a new dimension in facial rejuvenation surgery so that the surgery repositions the deep layers and the skin is made more youthful in appearance by peel and by laser resurfacing techniques.
Who is a Candidate?
Facial aging starts in your thirties and some men and women can be a candidate for a central neck tightening (platysmaplasty), mini-facelift, or facelift in their late thirties or early forties. The effects of gravity, exposure to sun, and the stresses of daily life can be seen in their faces. Deep creases form between the nose and mouth; the jawline grows slack and jowly; folds and fat deposits appear around the neck. Since facial aging does not occur all at once, it is commonplace to perform brow lifting and eyelid surgery at an earlier age in stages. Usually, by the late forties or mid-fifties, most of the facial tissues show some sign of aging and are more appropriately all corrected together. The best candidate for a facelift is a man or a woman whose face and neck have begun to sag, but whose skin still has some elasticity and whose bone structure is strong and well defined.
Types of Facelifts
The type of Facelift you receive will depend on what Dr. Ptak determines as the best procedure that will fulfill your specific desires. This decision will be made during your private consultation.
A Mini Facelift requires minimal incisions and is ideal for younger patients who have ideal skin elasticity. It addresses sagging skin, loss of definition, and wrinkles on the lower portion of the face. Excess tissue is removed from the jaw and the remainder is tightened. The incisions are smaller, scarring is minimized, bleeding is reduced, and the procedure length and recovery time are quicker. Less anesthesia is needed for a Mini Facelift than a Standard Facelift.
A Standard Facelift uses an incision that is made from the temples, continuing along the hairline, and behind the ears. Once the incision is made, fat is reshaped or removed if necessary, muscles are repositioned, and skin is removed and tightened. Jowls will be reduced and the jawline will become more contoured and defined. Through this procedure, both men and women are given a smoother, more youthful appearance.
Extended superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS) is a procedure that uses incisions towards the middle of the face to reach underlying muscles. This is done in an attempt to increase the permanence of the Facelift by lifting or adjusting facial muscles to provide an enhanced, natural facial contour.
Additional and Alternative Procedures
Sometimes patients don’t need a full Facelift, but rather specific areas of the face enhanced. Below is a list of additional procedures that would be great alternatives, or can be performed in conjunction with a Facelift and enhance the result:
An eyelid lift is ideal for men and women who do not need an entire Facelift, but rather just need to address the skin around their eyes. Eyelid surgery can be performed on the upper, lower, or both eyelids. This procedure will diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes.
A brow lift, or forehead lift, is a procedure meant to address people who have deep wrinkles in the forehead and sagging skin that causes the upper eyelids to droop. Through this procedure the eyebrows are lifted to a youthful, aesthetically proportionate position and wrinkles are diminished. This procedure only addresses the top third of the face.
A chemical peel uses a solution to remove the top layer of damaged skin which forces the skin to regrow from deeper epidermal cells. With this, sun damage, fine wrinkles, age spots, and blemishes are extracted through the process. This will not address deep wrinkles or severely sagging skin.
Laser Skin Resurfacing
A chemical peel is considered a Laser Skin Resurfacing tactic, but the “golden standard” for skin resurfacing is the CO2 laser. CO2 laser patients have fine lines, scarring, and uneven pigment. These problem areas are vaporized by laser energy, allowing new skin cells to grow smoother and tighter.
If a patient is only looking to have a more contoured jawline, a chin implant can greatly aid in that. Chin enlargement will only address the definition of the chin area, and cannot help with forehead or midface skin sagging like a Facelift would.
Nose Reshaping (Rhinoplasty)
A proportionate nose is important in bringing balance to the face. Rhinoplasty can be performed for cosmetic reasons, functionality, or both. If you only want to change the appearance of your nose, Rhinoplasty is a good alternative. It can, however, be performed along with a Facelift.
Liposuction is a surgical procedure that suctions out specific fat deposits from almost anywhere on the body. In the facial region, Liposuction can be performed on the chin and neck.
If you have loss of definition in your cheeks, cheekbone implants can help restore a nice, full contour. The incision will either be made inside the upper lip or hidden in the lower eyelids. This will not address large amounts of sagging skin as a Facelift would.
If you only desire larger lips, or larger lips to go along with your Facelift, lip augmentation can be performed. The lips are enlarged by either a fat graft from your own tissue, freeze-dried from someone else, or a synthetic graft. This decision will be made by the doctor as he sees fit for your case.
If you have sagging earlobes, there is a surgical procedure to reduce their size. This procedure can easily be performed in conjunction with a Facelift procedure.
During your private consultation, you will share your aesthetic wishes with Dr. Jeffrey Ptak.
He will perform a thorough examination of your face to assess which procedure will benefit you most. Together, you and the doctor will come up with a personalized procedure for your case. This will also be the time that Dr. Ptak will explain what tasks you need to complete prior to your surgery, such as getting prescribed medications and stocking your home with appropriate postoperative drinks and food. You should arrange for someone to drive them home from surgery, and ideally stay overnight with you. You will also receive a personalized recovery plan to follow after your surgery.
Facelifts range from “mini” to “standard” to “extended SMAS” depending on location and extent of both skin and muscle laxity. The operation is done on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia with sedation, or under general anesthesia - this will be decided by Dr. Ptak. Incisions are made within the hairline (or along the hair margin) above the ear, extending down around the lobe, and ending in the hairline behind the ear. The deep muscle layers of the face and neck are tightened, the facial skin is redraped and lifted, and the excess skin is removed.
This will create a more youthful jawline and a better contour due to the removal of loose skin and excess fat but without an operated look.
Usually, one or two nights in the outpatient recovery are required. The patient goes home with head and neck wrapped in dressings or elastic garment, which can be worn for the first few days to prevent swelling. Minimal initial discomfort is easily controlled with oral medication. Sutures are removed within 5-7 days. Bruising and swelling decrease to “socially acceptable” levels in 10-20 days. The final result is evident in 4-6 weeks or sooner with continued improvement for several months.
Price of a Facelift
The price of a Facelift procedure will depend on the individualized case. Adding additional procedures to a Facelift will alter the price as well. To get an accurate quote for your specific case, call our office and one of our friendly staff members will gladly help you.