What is a Facelift?
They say that “time waits for no one.” Our faces certainly do show the passage of time – and the Florida sun doesn’t do us any favors! Jowls form on a formerly smooth jawline. Neck skin that used to be firm – loosens. Firm skin over the cheek becomes more lax or wrinkled.
Fortunately, there are things we can do to combat these aging changes – modern advances in plastic surgery make keeping a youthful & healthy appearance easier than ever. It’s no small wonder that the facelift operation is now the third most popular facial surgery performed in the United States!
Who is a candidate for a facelift?
If you are bothered by signs of aging in your face, facelift surgery may be right for you.
A facelift can improve:
- Deep facial creases near the nose and mouth
- Facial fat that has descended over time
- Loose skin of the cheek
- Loose skin and excess fatty deposits under the chin and jaw that can make even a person of normal weight appear to have a double chin
- You should be in good general health
- You should have realistic expectations
- You should not be actively smoking for at least full 2 months prior to surgery
How is the facelift performed?
In general, a facelift is performed using incisions around the ears to lift and re-position the soft tissues of the cheek and neck. Dr. Fiala has advanced fellowship training in this area, and uses a method called the extended SMAS facelift, to give a more rested and youthful contour to the face and neck, correcting the lax skin while still maintaining your distinctive natural look and characteristics. It does not look tight or distorted, but very natural. Most patients feel they look at least 8-10 years younger after the procedure. We want to maintain your distinctive look and facial character – a younger, more refreshed version of you!
The incisions are carefully hidden by the contours of the ear cartilage or within the hair – so once everything is healed, the incisions are typically invisible at conversational distances.
Dr. Fiala also offers a short scar mini-facelift technique, known technically as the MACS-lift, for patients who do not require as much corrective work in the neck and jawline area.
For patients who have lost facial volume in the cheeks, temples or near the eyes, facial fat grafting procedures are also offered. This technique involves borrowing a small amount of fat from another body area – commonly the abdomen – and injecting it in a micro-droplet fashion to restore the three-dimensional contours of the youthful face. It can be a very powerful enhancement when combined with a facelift or facial resurfacing.
Can other plastic surgery procedures be done at the same time?
Often, patients may benefit from other facial procedures. These can be safely performed at the same setting, for a harmonious rejuvenation effect. This may include eyelid lifts (blepharoplasty), forehead lifts, fractional laser resurfacing, chemical peels or micro-fat grafting volume enhancement. Dr. Fiala will make recommendations about which of these procedures might give you the best aesthetic outcome at the time of the consultation, based on a thorough evaluation of your facial anatomy.
What’s the recovery from a facelift like?
Most of our patients are very pleasantly surprised – the facelift does not have a painful recovery. Typically, pain medications are only used for a few days, postoperatively. There is some swelling, which gradually resolves over about 3 weeks for a full facelift procedure, and 1-2 weeks for a mini-lift. You may drive once you are no longer taking pain medication.
One of the biggest parts of the recovery process for the average facelift patient is the emotional part of recovery. There’s always some anxiety related to facial surgery – and we’re here to help support you through this process.
What is the best age to have a facelift?
In a younger patient, the tissues are in better condition, and the patient is less likely to have medical issues. However, the younger patient may not have such a dramatic change, since the amount of skin laxity is still relatively small.
Older patients get a more dramatic result when comparing the “before” versus the “after” photographs, but their skin and soft tissues are thinner and less elastic. There may be more medical issues to sort out, prior to anesthesia and surgery.
Can I be too old for a facelift?
If someone is in good overall condition, with a healthy heart and healthy lung function, the facelift operation can be done safely, even in the mid to late 70’s.
I’ve already had a facelift. Can I get a second one?
Yes, a second facelift can certainly be performed, to improve recurrent looseness in the cheeks, jawline or neck. In general, the second facelift is about carefully tailoring the skin and soft tissues – less skin is removed the second time than the first time.
What is a “non-surgical facelift”?
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get a surgical result without surgery? Unfortunately, we’re not quite there yet – there is no substitute for a well done facelift. Other methods, such as fillers or fat grafting, Ulthera, and radiofrequency, can be used to restore some of the youthful features, but aren’t even close to the level of correction that a facelift can do in terms of repositioning tissues that have fallen, or tightening tissues that have loosened.
Some physicians will call the use of fillers in large volumes in the face a “liquid facelift”. Fillers restore volume, but don’t tighten or lift tissues. And most fillers are temporary, and need to be repeated every 6 months or so.
How long will the facelift last?
With the techniques that Dr. Fiala uses, most people get a 8-10 year period of improvement, give or take. Even when the facelift relaxes a bit, you’ll still continue to look better than if you hadn’t had the operation, and better than your unoperated friends and colleagues.
I’m a smoker. Can I have a facelift?
You would need to quit for 2 months prior to surgery. The facelift is one of the operations that is very sensitive to the effects of smoking. Studies show a hugely increased complication rate in active smokers.
Why select Fiala Aesthetics for your facelift?
Dr. Fiala is one of the few plastic surgeons in Central Florida to have completed a year of additional fellowship training specializing in the facelift operation, with master plastic surgeon Dr. Jack Owsley, in San Francisco, California. This gives Dr. Fiala a unique background and level of experience with the details of the Extended SMAS facelift procedure.
To receive a personalized information pack with specific details on the procedure you’re interested in, send us a request by clicking here.