“I don’t want to look like I had a facelift!” This is often the first concern heard from a patient during a consultation for facial rejuvenation. If you are like the majority of our patients you want procedures that will improve your appearance without resulting in obvious signs of surgery.

With time, sun exposure, aging, or hereditary factors excess skin and facial wrinkles can develop. Facelift surgery is the removal of lax skin. Not everyone ages at the same rate. A great deal of the aging process relates to your tissues and what you do to care for them. There is no magical age to make the decision to have a facelift.

The appropriate time to have a consultation is when you no longer like what the mirror tells you. This may be in your 30s or your 80s. The facelift procedure can improve wrinkled skin, but skin type and patient age are important factors in the final result.

AM I A GOOD CANDIDATE?

The facelift can do more than improve the appearance of facial skin. It can also be a tremendous boost to a person’s self-esteem. While there is no “right” age to undergo rhytidectomy, your cosmetic surgeon will evaluate the condition of your skin and may discuss alternate or additional treatments with you. In combination with a facelift, other procedures may be performed including eyelid surgery, forehead lift, facial implants, partial chemical peel, laser resurfacing, Dysport®, lip enhancement, chin augmentation, nose reshaping or liposuction. If you are a smoker then you will be instructed to stop smoking at least four weeks prior to surgery. Smoking can delay healing and cause complications.

THE SURGERY

A facelift may be performed in our out-patient surgical facility setting, under general or IV sedation. The operation is performed on an out-patient basis and the patient returns home following the procedure. Within the first week you may experience minimal discomfort, but most patients can and should resume normal activities.

AFTER SURGERY

Immediately after surgery, bandages are placed about the head and face for 24 hours. A scarf may be worn to cover stitches until they are removed. Keep bandages and incisions dry until sutures are removed. Ask your physician when you can bathe or shower.
Patients can expect some swelling of the face and eyelids and some discoloration is common with any type of facial surgery. This is most notable on the second and third days and diminishes in approximately 12 days. This also depends on your type of skin, age and healing ability.

WHAT ARE THE RISKS?

There are risks in every surgical procedure and these will be thoroughly discussed with you prior to surgery. This procedure will result in some scarring. Dr. Wright will make every effort to make these scars as inconspicuous as possible. Some blood may accumulate under the skin, called a hematoma, but is rare and easily drained. Slight numbness may be noted around the ears, cheeks and incision areas. This, also, should be temporary. Infection and areas of skin or hair loss are possible, but uncommon. Nerve damage is a rare occurrence. Today, there are new innovations and techniques that help to make the final results safer, longer lasting and appear more natural.