Facelift surgery lifts and firms sagging facial tissues to restore a more naturally youthful facial appearance. It is often said that having a facelift works to “turn back the clock,” helping a patient look like a younger version of him or herself. By removing excess, sagging skin, smoothing deep folds, and lifting and tightening the deep facial tissues, a facelift can help a patient look younger and have a fresher appearance. This common procedure is flexible and capable of catering to individual needs, often paired well with eyelid surgery or brow lift.
As we age, skin and soft tissue throughout our body begin to lose elasticity causing the neck and lower jaw to sag and droop. This natural process occurs in everyone but can vary depending on genetic and environmental factors such as sun exposure and how the facial skin has been cared for over the years.
Facelifts, technically known as a rhytidectomy (“removal of wrinkles”), rejuvenate the mid to lower face and neck.
A standard or “traditional” facelift will more fully address moderate to advanced aging around the mid-face and neck. While the surgery is more extensive than those for a mini-facelift, and thus more recovery time is required, the results are more dramatic. Through incisions located just behind the hairline, starting near the temples, and around the front of the ear, hidden in the natural folds, allowing the repositioning of deeper tissues beneath the skin and removal of excess skin to smooth creases, eliminate jowling and sagging skin under the chin, and restore a naturally youthful contour to the face and neck. Fat transfer may also be used to improve contour.
Patients who exhibit a mild degree of jowling and sagging skin are often good candidates for a mini-facelift. This is a less invasive technique that allows the tightening of deep facial tissues through shorter incisions, typically located along the hairline above each ear and/or in the natural creases surrounding the ear. Through these incisions, structural tissues around the cheeks are lifted and tightened to correct jowling, refine the jawline, and rejuvenate a “tired” appearance. A mini-face lift can help you address unwelcome signs of aging before they become too pronounced, postponing the need for more extensive surgery for many years.
The recovery process is surprisingly quick for most patients. At first, you may experience swelling, numbness, bruising, and a feeling of tightness or tension in the face and neck, and will be at their peak about 2 days after surgery. Most of these usually resolve within three to six weeks, but should be difficult to notice after about 10 to 14 days. Sensation typically returns to normal within a few months. Scars become less red, raised, lumpy or itchy in time. Patients typically return to normal daily activities after about 2 weeks (strenuous exercise will need to wait about 4 weeks) following a standard face lift, and these time frames are normally even shorter after a mini face lift. It’s especially important to keep your face protected from the sun. You will be more vulnerable to sunburn for several weeks after surgery, plus staying out of the sun will help scars heal as inconspicuously as possible, so apply sunscreen regularly.
Ideal candidates have realistic expectations for procedure, are in good medical health, can commit to proper recovery time, have visible, deep creases below eyelids, between nose and corner of the mouth, or loose, sagging excess skin under the chin.
The difference between these three procedures rest in the area of the face that gets adjusted. A brow lift generally starts at the top of the forehead and moves down the face to the eyebrow. An eyelid lift (blepharoplasty) can include the areas of the bottom eyebrow and upper or lower eyelid. A midface lift works in the areas below the eyes down to about teeth level, cheek and jaw. Most of these procedures can be paired together.
Results of a face lift do not last forever. You may want to have another procedure in 5 or 10 years. But in another sense, the effects are permanent; years later, your face will continue to look better than if you had never had a face lift.
Pricing varies based on body and skin types along with combined procedures performed. Please call or schedule a consultation for more information.
Dr. Malek grew up in Tehran, Iran. He lived as an exchange student in Wahpeton, North Dakota before returning to Iran and graduating from Tehran University School of Medicine in 1976. Dr. Malek finished his training in general surgery and became board certified as a general surgeon, and completed his training and became a board certified plastic surgeon thereafter. He subsequently completed a fellowship in head, neck, reconstructive, and cosmetic surgery at MD Anderson Hospital in Houston, Texas before returning to Wilmington in 1984.
Schedule an appointment with The Centre for Cosmetic Surgery to discuss your cosmetic needs. We will help you to develop a customized cosmetic plan to give you the results that you desire.