How is a facelift performed? What is the recovery period?
The loss of youthful contours in the face is due to a variety of factors. These factors include heredity, gravity, environmental conditions, and stress. A surgical facelift procedure can improve a number of visible aging signs. These include sagging of the mid-face, deep creases along the nose that extend to the corner of the mouth, loss of skin tone, jowls and excess fatty deposits under the chin.
TYPES OF FACELIFT SURGERY
The mini facelift is ideal for patients with mild sagging causing jowls and poor contour along the jawline. In mild cases, the mini facelift can be performed in the clinic under local anesthesia. Incisions are behind the natural fold of the ear and/or the top portion of the ear into the hairline. Excess skin and tissue are removed. Recovery time for a mini facelift is significantly shorter than the full facelift.
In a mid facelift, the cheeks are addressed. A youthful cheek appears rounded, elevated and slightly projects outward. As we age, the fat pad descends, elongating the lower lid and causing nasolabial folds. The mid facelift creates restoration of cheek height, increases the cheek projection, and shortens the lower lid. Because the mid facelift targets deeper tissues for moderate to significant sagging, it is only performed under general anesthesia. After the incision is made behind the ear, fat pads and tissues are lifted using sutures. Skin is then tightened and the excess skin is removed. Most mid facelift patients return to work in one week; however, it will take several weeks for swelling to go down.
The full facelift is also often performed with a neck lift, eyelid surgery (belpharoplasty) and brow (forehead) lift for best results. A combination of these procedures addresses folds on the forehead, decent of the mid-face, poor eyelid contour, deep creases along the nose that extend to the corner of the mouth, jowls, excess neck skin, and fat under the chin. Incisions are made along the hairline, down the side of the ear and back behind the lower part of the head and just below the chin. Fat pads and tissues are lifted using sutures; skin is then tightened and the excess is removed. As a general rule, the more procedures one has done at the same time, the greater the chance of bruising and swelling. Recovery time for a Full Facelift is about two weeks. Bruising will go away first followed by swelling.