A surgical facelift, also known as a rhytidectomy, can reverse the impact of age, gravity, sun exposure, and stress by removing excess fat, tightening underlying muscles, and redraping the skin of the face and neck. A face lift can treat deep creases between the nose and mouth, a jawline that has become slack and jowly, and even folds and fat deposits around the neck. Most frequently done on men and women over 40, plastic surgeons Dr. Schmid and Dr. Mooty at The Lubbock Plastic Surgery Institute perform facelifts on their patients from West Texas and East New Mexico to give them a more refreshed, youthful appearance in just a few hours, with results that can last 5 – 10 years. For younger patients who want to stave off the signs of aging, a mini facelift can treat milder concerns. Dr. Schmid and Dr. Mooty can perform facelift consultations at their offices in Lubbock and Midland to help the patient review their concerns and expectations before discussing their individual surgical plan.
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There are numerous ways today to perform a facelift. Facial anatomical structures, skin tautness and the overall aesthetic goal of each patient will determine the best operative technique. Every surgery will be specific to the patient and will change based on the type and location of the incision, the depth of the tissue layers involved, the axis of elevation and the degree of impact.
Skin Only Facelift
The skin only technique has been popular among surgeons since the beginning of the 1900s. Known as a cutaneous face lift, this method is less invasive because of its limited impact, effecting the skin alone . The impact of this surgery is a bit slighter than some of the modern muscle tightening techniques. On the other hand, it also offers a slighter risk and involves a shorter recovery time.
Traditional Facelift (SMAS)
The SMAS facelift is considered to be the top choice in facelifts. This surgery, while more complicated, creates results that are a step or two more dramatic and have more staying power. The technique involves manipulating a muscle group that lies beneath the skin known medically as the superficial musculo-aponeurotic system (SMAS). This section of muscle directs your facial expressions. The incision is placed along the edge of the hairline from the temple to just behind the earlobe. The skin is then removed and lifted. The underlying muscles and tissue are tightened and attached to maintain their new position.
Deep Plane Lift
The deep plane lift goes a step further than the traditional approach. It is better suited for those with severe sagging and drooping — usually reserved for older patients. In addition to the SMAS layer being adjusted, a deeper section, known as the deep plane, is also treated. While this procedure offers certain advantages over a traditional facelift, surgeons must be skilled and act with caution so facial nerves are not damaged during the surgical process.
A mini facelift is geared towards patients who want some of the benefits of a facelift, while at the same time minimizing the cost and invasive nature of the surgery. Some procedures that are considered “mini” include the “Quicklift” or “Lifestyle Lift”. Patients who wish to maximize the outcome of their surgery, resulting in the most dramatic results, will most likely need to turn to having a full facelift in order to meet these aesthetic goals.
All facelift procedures are performed under general anesthesia at an accredited surgical facility. The length of the surgery will vary, but it generally takes between 3-4 hours. This surgery is considered an outpatient procedure. However, some patients may be required to stay overnight in the hospital. After surgery, patients will be bruised and swollen and the face and neck will feel tight. This will gradually improve within a few days. It is common for patients to feel anxious about how their face will appear. Patients need to understand it can take several full months for the final results to appear.
Plan Your Procedure
- Recovery Time
- 2 - 6 Weeks
- Average Procedure Time
- 1- 4 Hours
- Procedure Recovery Location
BOTOX®, injectable fillers, microdermabrasion and chemical peels are examples of some non-surgical procedures that can assist in smoothing out wrinkles, improving fine lines and adding facial volume. These procedures also help to even out skin tone. However, these are treatments that will only affect the skin’s surface. Patients with loose skin, drooping jowls or a sagging neck will need to consider surgery if they want these features improved.
Will I Look Fake?
In the days immediately following facelift surgery, patients will feel tight and pulled. These are some short-term effects, but they will subside. It’s important to find a reputable surgeon skilled in facial surgery. Surgeons who know what they are doing will make every effort to work within the confines of the patient’s bone, skin and muscle structures so a younger, more natural look can result.
Facelift surgery does require a long incision. However, in almost all cases, these scars are well hidden as they fall just along the hairline and around the ears in the natural folds of the scalp. In most cases, the scars should be barely visible to the naked eye.
The common age range for patients who undergo a facelift is between 50-70. It is safe to say most patients will look 5-10 years younger following a facelift procedure. Younger patients (40-50 years old) generally have stronger skin elasticity so their results may last longer than those of someone older. However, older patients may have results that appear more dramatic and, for them, this can be very worthwhile. Patients should think of a facelift as a process to turn back the aging clock. You will still age, but you will appear a few years younger.