Various procedures are described for facial rejuvenation, including facelift, mini-facelift, and necklift. What is the difference between these procedures?
All of these procedures are related, with the classic facelift procedure being the most all-encompassing of these. With the facelift, an incision is made starting in the temporal hairline, extending along the contours in front of the ear, then extending around the earlobe, behind the ear, then extending into the posterior hair-baring scalp. The skin of the cheek and neck is elevated, then the deeper tissues of the cheek and neck are lifted. Fat may also be removed from the neck. The skin is lifted, redraped and trimmed, and the incisions are closed. The effects lift the mid-face, lower face, and the neck.
The mini-facelift is more limited, and the incision is shorter, beginning at the temple region, extending in front of the ear and around the earlobe, then ends behind the ear. The procedure will lift the midface and jowl region, but produces only a small amount of neck lift.
The neck lift is essentially the back half of the facelift procedure, with an incision beginning around the earlobe, extending behind the ear and into the posterior scalp. The effects of the procedure are limited to the neck.
The best procedure for each individual patient can be determined during the consultation with the surgeon.
How do I know if I’m ready for a facelift?
Aging is a normal process, and all of us will develop some lines and wrinkles, and increasing skin laxity as we age. If these changes are bothersome to you, and you don’t feel that the image you see in the mirror is the true reflection of your inner self, then a facelift procedure may be right for you. To be a candidate for a facelift, it’s important that:
1) You are in good general health, with no serious heart or lung disease
2) Do not smoke. Smoking can significantly increase the risk of serious healing problems.
What is the recovery like for a facelift?
It is normal after a facelift procedure to have some bruising and swelling. More extensive procedures will tend to have more bruising and swelling than more minor procedures. Expect this to be quite noticeable for 10-14 days. By then, most people can begin to go out in public, and potentially use makeup to hide any residual bruising. It usually takes 3-4 weeks after surgery for most patients to look their best.
How long do the results last?
Of course, it’s natural and unavoidable for the aging process to continue after a facelift. The results can last for many years, possible 8-10 years, if the patient takes good care of themselves after surgery. It’s best to avoid excessive sun exposure, avoid smoking (even second hand smoke), maintain a healthy and stable weight, with a good diet and exercise program. Your own genetics plays a big role too, but that isn’t something that anyone can control.
What kind of anesthesia is used for a facelift?
Facelift procedures are most often done with the patient asleep, with a light general anesthesia. This allows the surgeon to work with the patient asleep and completely without pain. These surgeries can be performed under local anesthesia with sedation if the patient prefers. The best option can be discussed during a consultation.
What are the risks of a facelift?
Scars are unavoidable, but they are well hidden in the facial contours around the ear and in the hairline, and typically fade very well. Occasionally, a scar is more visible, but can be revised if needed. Some numbness in the cheeks and around the ear is normal after surgery, but gets better with time. Weakness of facial muscles after surgery is a very rare complication. Bleeding or infection after any surgery is possible, but uncommon with facelift surgeries.
I have droopiness around my eyes and forehead. Will a facelift fix that?
No, a facelift only affects the face from the upper cheek to the neck. Eyelid surgeries (upper and/or lower lid blepharoplasty) are needed to improve the areas around the eyes. A forehead lift can be performed for a droopy brow. These surgeries are often performed at the same time as a facelift to achieve a more complete facial rejuvenation.