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Face and Neck Lifts
A facelift / necklift (also called a rhytidectomy) is a procedure that restores a natural, youthful, and rested look to your face. Although face lifts vary in technique, the longest lasting surgeries rely on lifting and tightening the “SMAS” layer of the face and neck. This layer consists of the connective tissue that attaches the skin to the deeper tissue of the face. Relying on the SMAS layer for lifting the face and neck, as opposed to just pulling the skin back, leads to a more natural-looking and long-lasting result without that “too tight” look of the past.
A face lift and neck lift only affect the midface down, correcting sagging jowls and cheeks, mouth lines, and loose skin and bands on the neck. For those with signs of aging on the upper portion of the face, a face and neck lift can sometimes be performed simultaneously with a brow lift or eyelid lift. This combination usually requires an overnight stay in the hospital.
Dr. Beale will spend time with you in consultation to evaluate the skin and muscles of your face and determine the best techniques for restoring your face to a more youthful look. Sometimes, skin treatments such as chemical peels or laser therapy may be recommended to treat discolorations or roughness of the facial skin. Fat grafting may also be used to correct the appearance of deflation in the face. This can usually be done simultaneously with a face lift. Each surgical plan he makes is much like a designer and is based on his knowledge of facial anatomy and surgical techniques. No two face or neck lifts are the same.
The Face Lift / Neck Lift Procedure
This surgery is performed using general anesthesia and may be done as an outpatient procedure or may require that you spend a night in the hospital, depending on your case.
For most patients, the incisions for a face lift / neck lift start at the bottom edge of the sideburns and curve down in front of the ear, then back up behind the ear and into the hairline. Skin and fatty tissue are removed, and the muscles are tightened as well. The incision placement is usually well covered by hair.
Most patients undergoing a facelift require a necklift as well, and this can necessitate a small incision underneath the chin to tighten the stretched out muscles in the neck. The overall result will reduce sagging jowls, loose skin on the neck, and a sunken appearance in the cheeks.
Recovery from a Face Lift / Neck Lift
You will wear a soft cotton head wrap to support the neck for one to two days. Drains under the skin of the neck that exit behind the ear are placed for one to two days to capture post-operative fluids. Sutures are usually removed after about a week.
Some pain, tightness, numbness, swelling, and bruising are possible, but you will be given pain medication to help you through the recovery process. Facial swelling will continue for a couple of weeks, and a trace amount of swelling below the eyes might persist a while longer. You can reduce swelling further by sitting up during sleep for a few days.
Most patients can return to work and other normal activities, including driving, after seven to ten days. Avoid strenuous exercise and sports for at least four weeks. You should be able to shower a couple of days after surgery and wear makeup within a week. Please avoid dyeing your hair for about three weeks.
You will see Dr. Beale for follow-up examinations to make sure you are healing well and that you are happy with your results. While the aging process cannot be stopped, the results of your face lift / neck lift should last for many years.
Call us for an appointment to discuss how a face lift / neck lift can help you look years younger.