What Is A FaceLift
As we grow older, signs of aging become more apparent throughout our face. One of the earlier signs of aging is the development of jowling. This occurs along the jawline and is evidenced by tissue laxity and fat pad descent. Add this to the overall volume loss, increased skin laxity and development of folds and rhytids that come with aging, and patients begin to look much older then they feel. With the adoption of healthier lifestyles, well-balanced diets and improved medical care, patients want their external appearance to match how they feel on the inside. A facelift is an excellent option for addressing some of these concerns.
Facelifting is performed to improve sagging skin and muscle. It primarily addresses the lower half of the face and neck, and it can be combined with other procedures for more comprehensive facial rejuvenation. Dr. Hall is well versed in all types and aspects of facelift surgery including full face and neck lifts, mini or short incision facelifts and revision facelifts. He utilizes the newest minimally invasive techniques to bring a tailored approach to each patient, specifically addressing their needs and wishes. He does not believe in the overdone, “windswept,” artificial appearance that was common in the past, resulting in poor outcomes, short longevity and noticeable scarring. Dr. Hall’s technique is designed to provide patients with long lasting, natural results.
Dr. Hall takes an individualized approach to each patient and tailors his facelift accordingly. For those patients with minimal neck banding and thin necks, a mini or short incision facelift is an option. This would primarily address the jowls and jawline. For those patients with more advanced signs of aging, heavy necks, significant neck banding or skin laxity, a traditional facelift is recommended. This procedure includes a small incision under the chin which allows the surgeon to gain access to the anterior neck to tighten the platysma muscle and remove any redundant fat.
Both procedures involve making easily concealed incisions along the hairline and within natural skin creases around the ear. The skin is then elevated to gain access to the underlying SMAS (superficial muscular aponeurotic system) layer. This is a muscular/facial layer that is continuous with the platysma in the neck. It is also the workhorse of the facelift. The SMAS layer is then elevated off the underlying parotid gland and deep facial musculature in the deep plane. Once adequately elevated to allow for a smooth, non-tethered lift, the SMAS is trimmed and resuspended in a more youthful position.
A facelift can also be combined with other procedures on the face, such as blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), fat transfer, brow lift or chin augmentation, for optimal facial rejuvenation.
Following their procedure, patients are able to go home the same day. We recommend someone be with the patient at least the first night. We are happy to arrange for a home nursing service if desired. There will be a facelift dressing in place which is to remain on overnight. There are no surgical drains to worry about and every patient is seen in the office the following day. At this visit, the dressing is removed, the healing process is examined, incisions cleansed and wound care is taught. The patient returns for suture removal one week later.
Most patients do not experience significant pain and are actually surprised at how well they feel in the early recovery period. Pain medication is prescribed for pain relief but most patients are able to wean themselves off in one to two days, taking Tylenol only as needed.
Real patients, real results
The best candidates for facelift surgery are healthy adults with apparent signs of aging (jowling, skin laxity, tissue descent). There is no magic timeframe or age a facelift should be performed. It depends on the extent of the aging process, health of the individual and risk of complications. Patients in their 30’s up to their 80’s have successfully undergone face and neck lifting procedures. Dr. Hall will be able to help you determine which procedure is best for you to achieve your desired results.
Dr. Hall believes in providing a private, comfortable, honest environment to discuss each patient’s goals. He allots ample time for each consultation to not only address any and all patient concerns, but also to develop a strong rapport with each patient. He believes the keys to successful facial plastic surgery are natural, long lasting results coupled with a strong relationship between patient, surgeon and the rest of the staff.
At the beginning of your consultation, you will meet with a member of our staff who will tell you a little about our practice and what to expect going forward. They will also obtain your medical history which Dr. Hall will review so he can customize his treatment accordingly. Dr. Hall will then listen to your concerns and discuss various treatment options with you in detail. We are committed to providing you with all the information necessary for you to understand and make an informed decision about your treatment. At the conclusion of your consultation, you will be provided with a quote for the procedures or treatments discussed and you will have the opportunity to schedule if desired.
We know that questions arise after your consultation. We are happy to answer your questions via phone or e-mail and Dr. Hall is happy to see patients as often as necessary for follow ups and additional consultations.
Facelifts can be performed in our office-based surgical suite or at an accredited ambulatory surgery center depending on the degree of sedation required and patient preference. Procedures in the office are typically performed with local anesthesia and oral sedation if desired. More extensive surgery is performed at an ambulatory surgery center under IV sedation (twilight anesthesia). General anesthesia is not necessary.
While each patient heals a little differently, most patients are social within 7-14 days. You can resume work during this time, or earlier if desired, as long as your job does not require physical labor. We recommend avoiding exercise and strenuous activity for at least two weeks. At two weeks, light, low impact activity may resume and at three weeks you have no limitations. Residual swelling and firmness can last for a few months, continuing to improve during this time, but this is usually not apparent without close inspection.
Dr. Hall places all of his incisions along the hairline and within natural creases in the skin to camouflage any faint, visible scar that may appear. He utilizes minimally invasive techniques, meticulous tissue handling and ensures there is no tension on the incision to minimize the chance of noticeable scarring and poor wound healing. His skill and expertise allows patients to wear their hair in any style without fearing their incisions will be visible. Dr. Hall is also a proponent of sun avoidance and skin hydration to further minimize unwanted healing concerns.