If you look in your mirror and are concerned about signs of facial aging that are no longer completely addressed through non-surgical means such as BOTOX®, laser procedures and/or spa treatments, it may be time to consider a surgical procedure to turn back the clock and restore a more youthful visage!
What is a Facelift?
A facelift is an elective surgical procedure with the goal to create a younger appearance. It can be done at any age, although most of our Torrance facelift patients are between the ages of 36 and 70, with the majority in their 50’s and 60’s. Both men and women, who are in good health and unhappy with signs of facial aging, are good candidates for a facelift.
Although many people assume that the entire face is treated in a face lift, in reality a facelift addresses the mid-face and the neck. If there are deep wrinkles in the forehead, hooding in the brows, and/or bags beneath the eyes, these problems are addressed in other procedures that can be performed at the same time as the facelift.
How Is a Facelift Performed?
Facelifts by our Torrance plastic surgeons are performed as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia in a local hospital or accredited surgical facility. After general anesthesia has been induced, incisions are made. These are generally placed in the hairline at the temples and around the ears. After recovery is complete, the facelift scars are essentially hidden in the hairline and in the crease between the back of the ears and the head. For men, the incisions may be placed slightly differently, as they generally have less hair to hide incisions around the ears. The surgeon then tightens the tissues beneath the skin, called the SMAS, which is short for Superficial muscular aponeurotic system. The SMAS is a layer of tissue which, when tightened, lifts the jowls, elevates the cheek and eliminates sagging in the neck.
Depending upon the exact facelift procedure to be performed, your surgeon may use an endoscope, which is a tiny camera inserted through an incision to guide your surgeon in repositioning tissues.
After the SMAS has been tightened, the skin is redraped and excess skin is removed to create a smoother, younger appearance. Incisions are closed with absorbable sutures and a dressing is applied. If the patient has elected to have a brow lift, eyelid surgery or other facial enhancement, these can be performed at the same time.
Most of our patients spend 2-3 hours in the recovery area following a facelift procedure and then return home to recuperate.
Our Torrance facelift patients are surprised to find that recovery from a facelift is fairly easy. Sleeping in a chair or recliner for the first few nights can minimize swelling and the initial feelings of tightness. If the eyes are also treated, applying ice packs to the eyes for 15 minutes every hour also diminishes swelling. Your South Bay plastic surgeon may apply a compressive garment after surgery. If so, he or she will instruct you on how long to wear this supportive wrap. We advise against any activity that will increase blood flow to the face, such as weight lifting, aerobics or running. Walking is a wonderful activity for anyone, including facelift patients, and will lift your spirits without compromising your results. Of course, it’s imperative to apply sunscreen or to use an umbrella and/or large-brimmed hat if you go out during the first 2-3 weeks following your facelift.
While you will see some improvement almost immediately, most facelift patients find that swelling has decreased within 2-3 weeks and the final improvement is visible.
Patients who have taken care of their skin find that good skin quality enhances the beautiful results of a facelift. We suggest that, if you are considering facial surgery, you invest the time to meet with Barbara, our head aesthetician, to create a plan to get your skin in tip-top shape before your facelift procedure.