- 1 What is a Facelift?
- 2 Who is a Candidate?
- 3 The Procedure
- 4 Results and Recovery
- 5 Facelift FAQs
What is a Facelift?
As we age, the skin on our face begins to lose elasticity, resulting in sagging skin, lines and folds, jowls, or excess fat on the neck that can cause a double chin or “turkey neck.” A facelift is a surgical procedure done to improve these visible signs of aging face and neck for a more youthful appearance.
Who is a Candidate?
Men and women who are experiencing sagging skin in their midface or jawline, deep creases from the nose to the mouth or from the mouth to the chin, fallen facial volume, sagging jowls, or a double chin may be able to benefit from a facelift. Nonsmokers and patients in good general health are the best candidates. The best way to see if you are a candidate is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Fichadia.
There are multiple facelift techniques available, including the traditional facelift and the limited incision facelift.
Traditional facelift incisions begin at the hairline near the temples, and continue around the ear, ending in the lower scalp. Fat is redistributed and sculpted in the mid to lower face, jowls, and neck, and underlying tissues are repositioned. The deeper layers of the face and muscles may also be lifted, and excess skin is trimmed away. It includes a neck lift. Dr Fichadia understands that facial aging includes loss of volume in the cheek area, and routinely combines fat grafting to these areas to ensure beautiful results.
Limited Incision Facelift
The limited incision facelift uses shorter incisions, which begin at the temple and continue around the ear. This technique is usually done for patients with less sagging skin, as results are not as dramatic as a traditional facelift. This can be done with local anesthesia in the office, resulting in much quicker recovery and lower cost.
A neck lift is often done in conjunction with a facelift to address sagging jowls and loose skin on the neck, but can occasionally be done alone. Incisions often begin near the earlobe and continue around behind the ear, ending in the posterior hairline.
Results and Recovery
Dr. Fichadia’s approach to a facelift is individualized with careful analysis of the degree of facial aging in each individual patient. Following a facelift, a compression garment should be worn to reduce swelling. Drains are removed the next day. Patients can also reduce swelling by reclining rather than lying down, and keeping their head elevated. Any discomfort can be controlled with pain medication. Allow at least two to three weeks for the facial bruising and swelling to subside and for sutures to begin healing. Strenuous exercise, bending and lifting should be avoided for 2-4 weeks. Direct sun exposure should also be avoided to reduce the chance of irregular pigmentation. Scars tend to mature over 6 months, in which time they can be camouflaged with makeup and hairstyle.
Those in the Portland, OR area who are looking to turn back the clock with a facelift can contact our office to schedule a consultation. We would be happy to answer any questions that you may have.
How Long Does a Facelift Last?
A full facelift offers powerful results that help you to look several years younger. It is important to know that while a facelift sets back the clock, it doesn’t stop the clock from ticking as time goes by. The results from a facelift are shown to last for up to 10 years in most patients. This varies individually depending on the skin type, individual aging process, and lifestyle.
How Painful is a Facelift?
You will be under anesthesia during the facelift procedure so that you do not feel any pain or discomfort. During recovery, it is normal to experience some bruising, swelling, and discomfort. Dr. Fichadia’s experience is that the patients report the discomfort as ‘tightness’ more than pain. It is usually managed well with Tylenol. Most of our patients don’t take the stronger pain medications that have been prescribed for more than a day after the surgery.
What is a Good Age for a Facelift?
The optimal age to get a facelift is dependent on individual anatomy. The best candidates for a facelift are between the ages of 40 and 65. In general, better quality tissues will have long-lasting results. Sometimes, patients in their mid-40s are considered good candidates if their facial features are amenable to correction by a facelift.
Should I Get a Facelift or Fillers?
This is a question that Dr. Fichadia gets asked commonly. Naturally, all of us want a less invasive procedure with the least downtime and risks. Therefore, it’s important to know the difference between corrections that can be expected with fillers vs a facelift. A facelift is a complex surgical procedure that restores sagging tissue, removes jowls, replaces volume, and smooths out the skin. This is an ideal procedure for those who have moderate-to-severe sagging skin and/or aging changes in the neck.
Fillers can be used to smooth out the skin and fill up depressed areas that have lost volume. Most fillers are temporary. They correct mild aging changes. Dr. Fichadia believes in offering all treatment options and is experienced with fillers as well. She uses fillers to add subtle changes so the face appears rejuvenated. Fillers are a good option if you do not have severe skin sagging or if you do not wish to undergo a complex surgery but still want to address concerns related to aging. Dr. Fichadia believes in tailoring her recommendations to each patient’s unique facial features, goals, and lifestyle with recovery concerns. You can be assured that all the options available to you will be discussed at your consultation.
Are Facelifts Safe?
As with any surgical procedure, facelifts do come with their risks. However, the best way to ensure that complications from a facelift are minimized is by seeking out a qualified and experienced professional such as Dr. Fichadia.
Does a Mini Facelift Tighten the Neck?
A mini facelift focuses on the midface and jowls. It does not do much for your neck, and the results don’t last as long as a full facelift. If you have sagging, inelastic skin on the neck you would be a better candidate for a standard facelift.