As we age, our facial skin loosens and wrinkles, and the muscles of the neck may weaken as well. Anything that will cause the skin to lose elasticity will hasten the process, including sun exposure, weight fluctuations and heredity. A facelift can address these problems by firming and tightening the skin of the face and neck all in one step.
It is most effective for the lower face (jowls and neck). A double chin can be improved at the same time by a surgical procedure called supplemental lipectomy. To effect a more complete facial rejuvenation, facelifts are frequently done in conjunction with other procedures such as upper eyelid blepharoplasty and lower eyelid blepharoplasty. Dr. Kremer may also recommend injections of collagen or fat. Contrary to popular opinion, the texture of the skin will not be changed by a facelift. Acne scars, age spots, fine lines and smoker’s creases will soon return to their original texture, no matter how tight the skin is pulled.
A facelift will not give someone beautiful skin unless they have beautiful skin to begin with. However, skin treatments such as laser resurfacing or chemical resurfacing can be used in combination with a facelift to improve the texture of the skins and smooth skin wrinkles. If you're considering a facelift, the following information will provide you with a good introduction to the procedure. For further information please schedule a consultation with Dr. Kremer.
Frequently asked questions about facelift by Dr. Michael A. Kremer:
While this procedure cannot stop the aging process, it can often make a person appear to be a decade younger than their actual age. This is achieved by tightening the skin and facial muscles as well as resuspending the facial soft tissues.
During the consultation, you and Dr. Kremer will discuss the changes that you would like to make in your appearance. He will explain the different options available to you, the procedure itself, its risks and limitations, the anesthesia required and the surgical facility. Be sure to as all the questions you have about the surgery. Learning everything you can about your options, risks and benefits is the key to making an informed decision.
Each facelift procedure is different in different patients and the combination of techniques is dependent on the individual anatomical situation and the present aging process. The incision for a facelift usually begins near the hairline in the temple area and continues in front of the ear, around the ear lobe, behind the ear and into the hair. In men, the incision has to respect the sideburn pattern. The muscles and sagging tissue are tightened, excess skin is removed, and the remaining skin is repositioned to create a more youthful look. The incisions will be closed with stitches, some of which may be resorbable. If the neck needs lifting, a small incision may be made under the chin. If a midface lift is indicated, also incisions inside the upper lip, near the gums, or at the lower eyelids may become necessary.
Facelift surgery generally requires a few hours to perform, depending upon the complexity of the condition, additionally performed facial procedures (e.g. facial implants) and the desired results and can be performed using either local or general anesthesia. Preferences will be discussed with Dr. Kremer during your consultation.
A facelift can be done in the hospital or in an outpatient surgicenter, depending on your preferences as well as Dr. Kremer's. The longer the procedure is expected to take and the more complex the overall procedure, the more likely that general anesthesia will be recommended and that you need to spend the night in the hospital so your recovery process can be monitored by a medical staff.
Patients usually feel and look okay surprisingly quickly after a facelift. Despite the fact that it is a large operation, there is usually very little pain. Anyhow you will be administered pain medication as needed to make you feel comfortable after the surgery.
The swelling disappears within a few days, and bruises are usually gone by two weeks. Patients generally feel a sense of tightness and numbness that should gradually return to normal within several weeks. It is important to follow a careful plan on return to strenuous activity, in order to avoid tension on the wound (which could lead to worse scarring).
The scars will remain pink for a few months before maturing to less visible white scars, which can be hidden with makeup early on. Furthermore, the scars are often hidden within your hair and in non-visible areas like behind your ears.
After recovery, patients can expect a more rested and youthful appearance. Although a face lift can last for many years, patients continue to age. Therefore, it is impossible to predict how long it might be before an individual would consider a second lift.
The results of a facelift are different for each person. The people who look best after a facelift are those who looked the best before the procedure. Some people have one facelift in a lifetime, while others have a second surgery 7 - 15 years later.
In general, the best candidates for facelift are:
- People with good facial skin elasticity
- In good physical health
- Psychologically stable
- Wanting to improve the appearance of their face and neck
- Well informed in regard to the procedure's outcome
- Having realistic expectations
The above is only a partial list of the criteria that Dr. Kremer will consider in determining whether or not this procedure is appropriate for you.
A facelift is a surgical procedure, subject to all of the usual problems that accompany surgery. Bleeding from the cut tissues, leading to bruising and possible accumulations of blood under the skin, are unavoidable in any surgery. These problems are usually kept to a minimum. Infection can also occur any time the skin is cut, but again this is uncommon.
In order to minimize these risks, it is important that you follow all of Dr. Kremer's instructions, both before and after surgery.
A person should have a facelift when they feel that they are ready for it, and could enjoy the benefits it might offer them. For a person with fat deposits on the sides of the face, or on the neck, that could be as early as the twenties. For others, it could be in the eighties.