As we age, gravity, sun exposure, and the stresses of daily life can be seen in our faces. Creases form between the nose and mouth, the jaw line grows slack and jowly and folds and fat deposits appear around the neck.
A facelift can “set back the clock,” improving visible signs of aging by removing excess fat, tightening underlying muscles, and re-draping the skin of your face and neck. A facelift can be done alone, or with other procedures such as a forehead lift, eyelid surgery, or nose reshaping.
Most facelifts are performed under local anesthesia, combined with a sedative to make you drowsy. You’ll be awake but relaxed, and your face will be insensitive to pain.
A facelift usually takes several hours to complete. Incisions usually begin above the hairline at the temples, extend in a natural line in front of the ear (or just inside the cartilage at the front of the ear), and continue behind the earlobe to the lower scalp. If the neck needs work, a small incision may also be made under the chin.
In general, Dr. Bootstaylor will separate the skin from the fat and muscle below. Fat may be trimmed or suctioned from around the neck and chin to improve the contour. Dr. Bootstaylor then tightens the underlying muscle and membrane, pulls the skin back, and removes the excess. Stitches secure the layers of tissue and close the incisions.
You should be up and about in a day or two, but plan on taking it easy for the first week after surgery. Be especially gentle with your face and hair, since your skin will be both tender and numb, and may not respond normally at first.
Dr. Bootstaylor will give you specific guidelines for gradually resuming your normal activities. They’re likely to include these suggestions: Avoid strenuous activity, including sex and heavy housework, for at least two weeks (walking and mild stretching are fine); avoid alcohol, steam baths, and saunas for several months. Above all, get plenty of rest and allow your body to spend its energy on healing.
Expect by the third week, you’ll look and feel much better. Most patients are back at work about ten days to two weeks after surgery. If you need it, special camouflage makeup can mask most bruising that remains.
Complications with facelift surgery are infrequent and usually minor. Still, individuals vary greatly in their anatomy, their physical reactions, and their healing abilities.
Dr. Bootstaylor will give you clear and specific directions for creating the best possible outcome.