At Charlotte Plastic Surgery, we hear from many clients who are looking for a more youthful appearance; to minimize lines, wrinkles, sagging skin, and jowling, to reveal a more refreshed facial appearance. Often, what these patients have in mind is a facelift.
Many are surprised to learn that not all facelifts are created equal. Not only can facelifts be used to accomplish different cosmetic ends, but there are also different types of facelifts that can be performed.
Naturally, we recommend doing your due diligence and studying the different facelift options before you commit to one in particular.
What is a Facelift?
Before we get into different types of facelifts, let’s start with some basics: generally speaking, what is a facelift surgery?
A facelift is a surgical procedure in which loose or sagging facial tissues are lifted, repositioned or removed, helping to restore a more naturally youthful appearance. In a facelift, the surgeon will cut very small incisions near the hairline, lift up the skin, and reposition the facial tissues back to a more youthful location. The final result may include the removal of sagging skin, lifting and tightening of facial features, and smoothing over certain creases and lines.
Through a facelift, patients can rejuvenate their appearance and bolster their sense of confidence.
Why Get a Facelift?
As we get older, our skin loses a lot of its elasticity. Over time, this may result in “jowls” at the bottom of the face, as well as deep wrinkles and loose skin at the jawline and neck. While all of this is a fairly normal part of aging, that doesn’t always mean it’s welcome; patients who wish to minimize these effects of time may want to look into a facelift surgery.
The bottom line: If you ever feel self-conscious about the appearance of your face or your neck, you may be a good candidate to have a facelift surgery performed.
Choosing the Right Plastic Surgeon for Your Facelift
Choosing from the different types of facelifts is important, but even before you get to that step, it’s important to decide upon the right plastic surgeon. After all, performing a facelift requires refined surgical technique, as well as intimate knowledge of facial anatomy.
As you seek the right surgeon to perform your facelift, we welcome you to meet with a provider here at Charlotte Plastic Surgery. Before you confirm your surgery, you’ll have a chance to meet one-on-one with a surgeon, who can advise you on what type of procedure you need; set the right expectations; ask any questions; explain his credentialing and experience; and ensure that you’re a good candidate for a safe, successful facelift.
Different Types of Facelifts
During this consultation, your plastic surgeon will be happy to speak with you about the different ways in which a facelift can be performed.
One common option is the mini-facelift. This is typically recommended for patients who are experiencing some mild jowling or sagging skin. This is less invasive than other kinds of facelift surgery, allowing the surgeon to tighten loose skin through much smaller incisions. Typically, these incisions are made along the hairline.
The other main option is a traditional facelift, which is recommended for those who have moderate to advanced jowling or sagging skin. This procedure is a little more invasive and thus comes with a longer downtime, but it may also offer more dramatic results. The traditional facelift will require the surgeon to make slightly longer incisions, often starting behind the ears and extending up to the hairline.
How Are Facelifts Performed?
While mini-facelifts and traditional facelifts differ in certain ways, the basic procedure is much the same.
You’ll be under general anesthesia for your facelift. Once you’re properly sedated, the surgeon will make the needed incision marks, ensuring that they are easily hidden in natural folds of skin, behind the ears, or within the hairline. Skin is then pulled back from underlying muscles and connective tissues. The surgeon will reposition facial tissues and provide a firmer foundation for the skin. Excess skin is removed as necessary, and the remaining skin is gently set back in place before the surgeon closes and bandages the incision points.
What About Eyelids?
One important note is that, generally speaking, a facelift applies mostly to features on the lower half of the face. Thus, neither a traditional nor mini-facelift will address issues with the eyes or eyelids. With that said, patients who wish to have more extensive changes made can talk to their surgeon about combining a facelift with a brow lift, an eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), or something else. Indeed, it might make the most sense to have these different procedures done at the same time, while you’re already sedated, rather than go under anesthesia multiple times.
Recovering from Facelift Surgery
Those who seek a mini-facelift over a traditional facelift will probably have an abbreviated recovery period. Either way, though, you should anticipate some down time, allowing your body time to rest and recover before you jump back into your normal life.
Recovery from a facelift may take up to two weeks before you’re able to be back on your feet full-time, and up to four weeks before you’re ready to resume vigorous exercise. You can ask your surgeon about specifics.
You can also anticipate some minor discomfort, swelling, or bruising, but the worst of it subsides after a couple of days. Medications can be provided to help you coast through the worst parts of the recovery process.
Learn More About Having a Facelift Performed
As you can tell, having a facelift is nothing to take lightly. There are a number of issues to consider, including the specific type of surgery you require to meet your cosmetic goals.
The best way to make an informed decision is to consult with an experienced plastic surgeon. We invite you to contact our team of providers at your next convenience. Reach out to Charlotte Plastic Surgery at any time.
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