Face & Neck Lift Plastic Surgery
by F. Ryan Wermeling, MD
A facelift is is one of the most dramatic ways to achieve facial rejuvenation
It is used to improve a sagging jaw line, falling cheeks and a blunted neckline and to remove wrinkles and smooth the skin. New and improved techniques relocate the deeper facial tissues to restore a more youthful foundation, and then re-drape the skin with little tension after removing any excesses of skin or underlying fatty tissue.
When the neck tissues are lifted, they are brought back into the facial areas for a more youthful look. While most patients benefit from correction of the entire facelift, some patients may be good candidates for a regional correction. Operations for regional correction include the short scar facelift, mid-face lift, and submental (area beneath the chin and jaw plus the upper neck) liposuction with a muscle sling support and limited skin tightening, which some call a neck lift.
Facelift at a Glance
- A facelift is designed to reduce major folds or wrinkles on the face and neck, which naturally occur with time and aging.
- Areas that are targeted for improvements by a facelift are the nasolabial folds (the folds between the nose and mouth), cheekbones, the jowls, the mid-face and the neck.
- It is recommended that smoking be stopped for the 2 weeks before the procedure and until 2 weeks after the procedure, as this is a major operation.
When a facelift is performed on a suitable candidate, it should rejuvenate the facial appearance and eliminate the major folds and wrinkles that are of the patient's concern. The cheeks, neck and jaw-line will appear to have a more youthful definition and appearance.
Dr. Wermeling will do your facelift procedure in the safety of an accredited surgery facility or hospital. There are several variations of the facelift procedure, and each requires different incisions, and different amounts of surgical, and recovery time.
There are different types of the facelift procedure. Some patients do not need deep level correction, and some patients need the foundation level repositioned, which can be extensive. Complete facelifts start with the incisions hidden around the temple and then they follow the natural lines in front of the ear and are partially hidden in the contours of the ear. The incision then continues behind the ear and into the hairline behind the ear.
A facelift addresses the midfacial areas and the lower face and neck. Often, another incision is made under the chin in the natural skin fold. This allows fat removal and tightening of the platysma muscle in the neck (the muscle that causes banding).
Mini-facelift or Short Scar Facelift
This type facelift is designed for the younger patient that sees a general loosening of the facial contours, but has no major folds or wrinkles. This procedure may not address neck problems or jowls as well as a more complete facelift. It is intended to re-contour and tighten the cheeks, and bring them to a more youthful appearance between the mid-facial area and the lower face and neckline.
The incisions are similar to or lesser than that of a complete facelift. They can be hidden around the temple and follow the natural lines in front of the ear and be partially hidden in the contours of the ear. For a mid-face lift some patient's incisions are limited to the temporal scalp and beneath the lower eyelashes.
The types of rhytidectomy that will best address your concerns will be determined at your consultation.
Recovery and Healing
- You may shower and gently wash your hair the day after surgery.
- Swelling and bruising will occur. The more extensive the patient's facelift, the more extensive the swelling.
- The mini-facelift or the short scar facelift and similar less invasive procedures will have minimal swelling or bruising.
- A facelift with substantial deep layer re-contouring will most likely be free of bruising within 2 weeks but may take up to 3 months for the swelling to subside. Some patients may return to the workplace 2 weeks after surgery. Around 2 to 6 weeks post-operatively, you may feel more comfortable with social and business contacts.
- Post-operative pain is usually minimal and can be easily controlled with oral pain medications.
- Stitches are removed around the 5th day after surgery. Stitches behind the ear, and other stitches or surgical staples in the hairline can be removed within 1 to 2 weeks.
- Some makeup can be used on intact skin reasonably soon to hide bruising and can be used over the incisions after the stitches are removed and fully healed.
- Light exercises can be done about 2 weeks after your procedure and increased to most activities by 6 weeks.