Facelift or Rhytidectomy
Facelift surgery was performed originally for many years with the goal of reversing the signs of aging by tightening loose skin. Gone are the expressionless, wind-tunnel looks of the past. Modern techniques allow a natural and long lasting result after facial rejuvenation because the current approach to facial rejuvenation involves repositioning of facial structures that have sagged downward, elevation of the jowls to improve the jaw line contour and eyelid / brow surgery when needed. Adjuncts such as fillers, neurotoxins, and medical skin care are often used to produce the “wow” factor of outcomes in facial rejuvenation by Dr. Jewell.
How is a facelift operation performed?
This is an operation that is custom designed for you, and depending on your specific needs, it may combine other facial rejuvenating procedures. The facelift involves incisions in the sideburn region of the hairline and right along the junction of the face and ear. Depending on your needs, it may be necessary to extend the incisions behind the ear somewhat in order to remove excess skin of a full neck. The major focus of facial lift surgery is the lifting or repositioning of the deeper layers of facial tissue that have become loose and the excision of redundant skin.
How has the facelift evolved over time?
Formerly, the facelift was just a tightening of the skin without any tightening of the deeper layers of the face. This resulted in the face being supported by the tightened skin only. As skin can continue to stretch, the results did not last too long. In the early 1970′s, a newer facelift operation was developed where the deeper layers of the face called in medical terms, SMAS-Platysma, was tightened in addition to the skin. Dr. Jewell uses an even newer technique that was developed by Belgian colleagues known as the MACS lift (minimal access cranial suspension facelift). This innovative approach to facial rejuvenation uses loops of suture to re-suspend facial structures that have sagged downward with aging. It does not require deep-layer dissection like the SMAS lift and has excellent long-term outcomes. Dr. Jewell is very experienced in this technique and has written textbook chapters on this approach. He also conducts teaching courses to train other surgeons on how to do the MACS lift.
Where are the facelift incisions located?
A facelift begins with carefully placed incisions. The incision starts at the sideburn, just above the ear and continues downward along the inside margin of the ear which makes it well hidden. For some patients, the incision stops here which is a limited or short scar facelift. For others, it continues around the ear lobe, behind the ear and into the hairline. The incision in the front of the ear is planned to fall into the ear so that it will be least visible. In some patients with laxness and banding of the neck, a very small incision concealed beneath the chin allows the vertical bands to be surgically manipulated for a smoothing effect and the fat pockets are corrected. Advancements in closing incisions have further improved the results with meticulous attention to stitches.
How painful is the facelift operation?
For most patients, this is an operation performed under general anesthesia. Most patients report that there is actually very little pain or discomfort after a facelift. A mild type of pain medicine is needed after the surgery.
Can I just have a “neck lift”?
In order to best define your neck line, a lower facelift is needed. It is not possible to just tighten the neck without tightening the jowls and cheek region. Localized fat deposits cause the blunting of the neck line and create a double chin or “turkey gobbler” appearance to the neck. These can be removed at the time of the facelift with liposuction. Bands that are seen in the neck may also be improved at the time of the facelift.
What is the recovery time from a facelift?
The recovery from a facelift is usually fairly rapid. Each patient recovers differently. Bandages are usually removed on the day following your surgery. We suggest giving yourself two weeks off away from the public eye; however some patients return to work after one week. Swelling and bruising usually resolves within two weeks. Patients report sensations of tightness and tingling for up to one month after surgery. Your maximum result from the facelift occurs within three to six months after surgery.
How long do the results last? Can I have a second facelift?
The facelift is an effective operation to rejuvenate your face; however, time and gravity still exist and the clock of biological aging still continues to tick away. After the facelift, you will appear younger than if you had not had the surgery. In time, as aging continues some individuals believe it’s time for a second face lift. The facelift lasts in most cases seven to ten years.
When in a person’s life is best to have a facelift?
Your needs for a facelift are usually determined by the rate at which you age. Your biologic aging process is largely influenced by your genetic heritage that you have received from your parents. If you notice in yourself a discrepancy between your outer appearance and your inner self in terms of how you feel because of lax facial skin and downward sagging of facial structures, a facelift might be beneficial to improve these effects of aging.
Can older patients have a facelift?
Patients over the age of 70 can have a facelift operation. Often times the result is quite dramatic when there are large amounts of lax skin to be tightened. Most importantly, you need to be in good health without heart or high blood pressure problems. A pre-operative complete physical examination by your personal physician is necessary.
What are the risks to the facelift and neck lift?
In all forms of surgery, there are risks of bleeding, scarring, and infection. Small amounts of blood may collect under the skin and need to be removed. It is important that your caregiver stay with you in Eugene, Oregon for the first 24 hours after surgery. Good healing usually occurs without problems when people are healthy, eat healthfully and give themselves adequate time to recuperate. Patients who smoke are not suitable for the facelift operation because nicotine compromises blood circulation to facial skin with the risk of skin dying after a facelift. The facelift is an operation for non smokers; people who use nicotine products need to be off of these products for a minimum of 3 months. Damage to facial nerves is very rare and generally self-correcting. Additional revisions of the facelift scars are infrequent. It is important that you understand the risks of the facelift operation. These will be discussed with you at your consultation.
What else is done to rejuvenate my face?
Eyelid tightening or Blepharoplasty can be performed at the same time of your facelift operation to improve looseness in the eyelid skin and to reposition fat bags. After your surgery, additional fine-tuning of your result may be accomplished with the use of medical skin care, tissue fillers to define the lip lines, neurotoxins to improve wrinkles in the crows feet and between the eyes. Light-based treatments may also be added to improve sun damage skin. The combination of facial rejuvenation surgery and cosmetic medicine by Dr. Jewell and his staff can produce a “wow” factor for patients seeking facial rejuvenation.
Should I have a facelift?
That is a question only you can answer. At the time of your consultation, ask questions and explain to Dr. Jewell your expectations. We’ll work together to make the decision that is right for you.