As life spans lengthen, most people feel energetic long after their appearance begins to show premature signs of aging. One of the most common requests we hear is "for the outward appearance to reflect the more youthful energy a person feels inside." Many patients want a smoother contour and tightening of the jowl area. Some want to elevate sagging cheeks; others want to elevate facial expression "laugh lines" from their drooping position. Many want to reduce jowling in the areas of the chin and neck. Patients who request one or any combination of these improvements are seeking information about a facelift.
Rhytidectomy (rye-tidd-ec-toe-me - the technical term for facelift) can affect one's appearance as dramatically as any facial cosmetic surgery. Rhytidectomy is a safe, effective procedure performed to restore a more youthful appearance and less fatigued look while maintaining or improving function. Once thought a beauty procedure sought by only wealthy women, men in today's competitive corporate workplace are increasingly seeking facelift procedures to restore a younger look that more typifies their energy level.
When patients come to our office seeking facial plastic surgery, it's not uncommon for them to focus on a single aspect of their appearance rather than the overall picture. One of the most common concerns we hear from patients seeking facelifts is the "turkey wattle," the loose skin dangling under the chin. Many times patients will request just a "neck lift." It is important to know that patients are rarely satisfied with "just a neck lift." Why? When excess neck skin is removed, the lax skin of the face bunches up in front of the ears and the look is unnatural. If a plastic surgeon tells you he can do a neck lift alone, we strongly encourage obtaining a second opinion before proceeding. Furthermore, the benefit of doing the neck and face together is the opportunity to combine neck liposuction to obtain fat for placement elsewhere in the face. Fat injections make use of fat that would otherwise be discarded. Fat injections can be used in many areas of the face including the smile lines and for lip augmentation.
A board certified facial plastic surgeon, trained to perform cosmetic and reconstructive surgery exclusively on faces and necks, knows that his responsibility is to evaluate not only the areas of concern but also the motivation behind the requests. It goes without saying, a facelift won't save a failing marriage. Similarly some patients not ready for cosmetic surgery are better served with conservative measures, such as Botox for fine lines and wrinkles or Restylane for crows feet. Patients who educate themselves about facial rejuvenation know when and if the time is right to proceed.
When discussing plastic surgery procedures the best place to start is by looking at before and after photos to see just what can be accomplished. As you will see in the photos, patients often ask to combine a face lift with a brow lift for correction of frown lines between the eyes or blepharoplasty for improvements in bags under the eyes. Chin implants, cheek implants, rhinoplasty (nasal surgery), otoplasty (ear surgery) and lip augmentation surgery can also be performed in conjunction with a facelift.
Many patients seek information about improving superficial skin wrinkles with a chemical peel, laser surgery or similar skin resurfacing procedure. Although some improvement in facial wrinkles can be obtained from a facelift, it will not address all the superficial lines that come from premature aging, overexposure to weather and genetics. Facelifts address "saggy" skin; skin resurfacing addresses textural wrinkles and imperfections.
At your initial consultation, we will evaluate the soft tissue and bony architecture as well as the form and function of the head and neck. An overall assessment of the face provides the basis for what one may expect from a facelift. Skin type, ethnic background and age, along with the degree of deformity and function are important factors influencing the outcome of facelift surgery.
As with all facial plastic surgery, a thorough health assessment and realistic expectations are prerequisites. Your understanding of plastic surgery procedures and routines is essential to a successful final result.
Click Here for Pre and Post-Operative Face Lift Instructions>>
For more information about this procedure, call 585.244.1000 or send us a message.
Copyright 2010 Quatela Center for Plastic Surgery