Facelift

What Is a Facelift?

Throughout life, various elements such as stress, gravity, aging, and radiation from the sun cause the skin to sag and fat deposits to shift. The jawline and other areas of the lower face and neck are especially prone to these gradual changes. Wrinkles and other signs of aging can make individuals feel that they look older than they really are. A facelift, or rhytidectomy, is a surgery that smooths and tightens the tissues of the lower face and neck. This procedure can provide a fresh and youthful appearance to help you look and feel young again.

The Benefits of a Facelift

  • Youthful face and neck
  • Tighter, smoother skin
  • Elimination of jowls
  • Better jawline and neck definition
  • Reduction of displaced fat
  • Long-lasting results
  • Natural-looking results
  • Patients can look up to eight to 10 years younger

Achieved With a Facelift

A Defined Jawline

Loose skin and fat in the jowls and under the chin can lead to a “disappearing jawline” in which the lower face and neck begin to blend into one another. This can make you look older and overweight. A facelift removes the excess, sagging tissue and tightens the skin of the lower face and neck to redefine the jawline. After the surgery, your jaw, chin, and neck will once again have youthful contours.

Smoother, Tighter Skin

Facial and neck wrinkles, including deep creases in the lower face, are a common side effect of aging. Facelift surgery may be desirable if you wish to eliminate a tired and worn appearance. By tightening the tissues and removing the surplus skin that creates folds, facelift surgery restores a smoother and more even skin tone.

A Rejuvenated Appearance

The wrinkles, jowls, sagging skin, and fat that become present in the face and neck can significantly age the appearance. A facelift effectively addresses all of these concerns to restore a youthful and rejuvenated appearance. Tightening the skin, reducing excess tissue, repositioning the muscles and fat, and redefining natural contours through facelift surgery generates a refreshed and younger-looking face and neck.

Youthful Confidence

It is typically true that the older you look, the older you will feel. If your reflection makes you look and feel older, you may struggle to feel the sense of confidence and vitality you felt in your younger years. Seeing the improvements after facelift surgery can instill the fire and vibrancy of youth. A resurgence of youthful confidence will complement your newly rejuvenated appearance.

Your Facelift Procedure

Facelift surgical techniques are always customized to the patient’s needs. Dr. Schlechter will evaluate your needs and determine how best to rejuvenate the tissues of your lower face and neck. The facelift operation is performed on an outpatient basis under IV sedation. Incisions extend from the scalp near the temple around the back of the ear, then along the scalp high behind the ear. The deeper tissues of the lower face are carefully suspended to help restore volume. Excess skin is trimmed away to correct sagging, folds, and wrinkles. A small incision is also placed under the chin, and fat is removed from the neck. The underlying neck and facial muscles are tightened to rejuvenate the facial contours. Depending on the location and extent of skin laxity, facelifts range from mini (less invasive) to standard (more invasive).

FAQs

You may be a candidate for a facelift if you have experienced a loss of skin elasticity and muscle tone in your lower face and neck. You may have sagging jowls, a disappearing jawline, deep wrinkles or folds in your lower face, fat pockets along your neck, and neck muscle banding. If you find yourself looking in the mirror and pulling your skin upward toward your ears to smooth and tighten your jawline, decrease the depth of the folds around your nose and mouth, or minimize the loose skin and fat beneath your chin, you may be a candidate for facelift surgery. Candidates are generally in their forties or older when they elect to undergo this procedure.
You will return home after surgery with dressings wrapped around your head and neck. These dressings will be removed the next day. Minimal initial discomfort can be controlled with oral medications. Sutures will dissolve within 14 days. Bruising and swelling decrease to socially acceptable levels within 7 to 14 days. Some residual swelling and/or bruising may take months to resolve. Some numbness is normal and will improve as healing progresses. The surgical results are evident immediately and will continue to improve for 6 to 8 months.
Typically, you should be able to return to work within 10 to 14 days, sometimes sooner.
A lunchtime lift or lifestyle lift tightens the mid face. With these techniques, the patient is awake but numbed with a local anesthetic. The skin is pulled tightly toward the ears, the excess is trimmed, and the tissues are reattached to the front of the ear and around to the back of the ear.
You should not have noticeable scars after your surgery. Facelift incisions are designed to hide behind the hairline and in the normal folds and contours around the ear to avoid visibility when healed. Poor techniques that attempt to suture the cheek to the earlobe fail to secure the deep tissues and pull the ear down and forward, leaving a widened visible scar in front of the earlobe. Dr. Schlechter avoids this by carefully attaching the deep tissues to the underlying fascia, which creates minimal tension for the best healing and least visible scars. The scars will also fade over time.
Natural-looking facelift results are achieved with careful planning, exact incision placement, and precision closure techniques that keep tell-tale scars and hairline alterations to a minimum. Additional considerations are made for men with shorter hairstyles, beards, and sideburns to ensure that any scarring is minimal. Dr. Schlechter avoids incision placements that change or interrupt hairlines or hair growth. He also avoids the flawed technique of suturing the cheek to the earlobe, which not only fails to secure the facial tissues but also tugs at the ear, leaving a wide scar as well as an unnaturally pulled “pixie” earlobe. Dr. Schlechter uses careful attachment of the deep tissues to the temporal and mastoid fascia with sutures to provide long-lasting, deep tissue support and lifting for the most natural-looking results with the least amount of scarring. This multilayered approach to muscle layer and skin tightening, as well as fatty tissue sculpture, produces a natural, youthful look that lasts as long as possible for each patient.
Facelift and neck lift surgery typically set the clock back about 8 to 10 years. You will continue to age at the same rate as before the procedure, except now from a more youthful standpoint. You will be able to enjoy the benefits of your facelift for many years after the surgery.