Facelift

Facelift

Facelift in Scottsdale and Phoenix, AZ

The natural process of aging involves a loss of facial volume and skin elasticity.   This results in the formation of  lines and wrinkles as well as sagging of the skin, fat, and muscle of the face and neck.  Factors such as sun exposure, genetics, weight change, and smoking may cause some people to show these signs sooner than others. For those who are seeing dramatic signs of aging and who want to restore their youth and vitality, a facelift can turn back the clock many years. If  you are considering a facelift, it is important to choose the best plastic surgeon to meet your goals.  Dr. Jonathan Weinrach is a double board-certified plastic surgeon who offers facelift in the greater Scottsdale and Phoenix, AZ area.  Patients love Dr. Weinrach for his compassionate approach to patient care and his commitment to safety and premium care.

Our practice is based on word of mouth referrals from happy patients.  If you wish to speak with one of our Facelift patients we will be more than happy to connect you with them.  Please call Weinrach Plastic Surgery today for your consultation!

What is a Facelift (Rhytidectomy)?

A facelift makes the face look more youthful by lifting sagging facial and neck tissues, and removing and tightening excess skin.   Areas such as the cheek tissues, jowls, and neck bands are areas that are targeted during a facelift.  Brow lift and eyelid surgery are commonly added procedures to provide full facial rejuvenation. When he performs a facelift, Dr. Weinrach uses a SMAS technique. Tightening the SMAS layer, which is a deeper layer under the skin, provides lift and fullness to the face without placing too much tension on the skin. This allows for much better scars and more natural appearing results compared to a skin only facelift.   There many different techniques available for treating the SMAS.  Dr. Weinrach’s preferred technique results in powerful lifting of sagging facial tissues while minimizing risk, swelling, and recovery time compared to facelift techniques of the past.  

What Signs of Aging Can a Facelift Improve?

A facelift is a comprehensive plastic surgery procedure designed to address advanced signs of aging such as sagging skin, deep folds and wrinkles, loss of volume in the cheeks, jowls, and excess fat deposits. A facelift will not change your fundamental appearance; you will still look like you.  The goal is to leave you looking younger, more vibrant, and refreshed.  A facelift by itself can significantly improve your facial aesthetics, but other modalities are also often used to complement results including dermal fillers, neuromodulaters, fat injections, medical grade skin care products, chemical peel, and others to improve the texture and brightness of the skin.

Want to learn more?

Make your aesthetic goals a reality. Jonathan C. Weinrach, MD FACS and his team look forward to exceeding your expectations. Schedule a personalized consult with Dr. Weinrach by clicking below.

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Want to learn more?

Make your aesthetic goals a reality. Jonathan C. Weinrach, MD FACS and his team look forward to exceeding your expectations. Schedule a personalized consult with Dr. Weinrach by clicking below.

Get Started

Ideal Candidates for a Facelift

Jonathan C. Weinrach, MD FACS finds that most patients who come to him for a facelift are in their 50s or 60s and are showing dramatic signs of aging. For younger patients who are just starting to see the formation of lines or a loss of tissue volume, Dr. Weinrach usually recommends some combination of dermal fillers, neuromodulators, medical grade skin care products, or other nonsurgical treatments to address their concerns.  Use of dermal fillers to rejuvenate the face in nonsurgical fashion is what is commonly referred to as a liquid face lift.  Nonsurgical treatments can often produce nice facial rejuvenation and delay the need for a facelift for many years.  

Especially good candidates for a facelift are non-smokers who are in good health and who are at or near their ideal weight. Significant weight gain or loss can alter the results of a facelift.  Facelift patients should not be on blood thinners or medications that interfere with healing.   This includes both prescription medication and herbal supplements.   It is very important to be in good overall health before facelift surgery.

What is the Facelift Surgical Procedure?

Dr. Weinrach performs facelift at accredited surgery centers in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Sometimes facelift can be done on an outpatient basis, and some require an overnight stay.  If no overnight stay is planned, you can expect to be at the surgery center for five to six hours.  You should have a friend or family member available to drive you home and look after you for the first day or two after surgery.

Facelift is usually done under general anesthesia.  Incisions are made in hidden locations near the sideburn and ear, in back of the ear, and in the hairline behind the ear.  Through these incisions the sagging tissues of the face can be accessed and lifted into better postion.  This tissue that is lifted underneath the skin is called the SMAS layer, and is secured into its new, more youthful position with sutures.  The excess skin is then removed, and the remaining skin is repositioned and closed with sutures.   Scars from a facelift fade over time. Dr. Weinrach places the incisions in areas where they can be easily hidden by natural creases and hairlines.   Depending on the situation, you will either stay overnight or be discharged home to complete your recovery.

Neck Lift

Neck lift, or lower rhytidectomy, addresses sagging and aging of the neck only.  This can be considered when a person is concerned with aging changes of the neck only.  Most of the time women have associated aging changes in the face as well; usually it is best to do a facelift at the time of necklift to create better overall facial balance and harmony.  Neck lift in women requires incisions along the ear and scalp.  Sagging muscle can be accessed through these incisions and tightened.  Excess skin is removed.  Sometimes liposuction of the central neck may be added through a small incision under the chin. 

Men have an alternative option: the direct neck lift. Sagging central neck tissue can be directly excised through an incision in the central neck.  This is a very powerful neck lifting procedure with a much shorter operating time and recovery than the more traditional neck lift done through incisions near the hairline.  The scar heals very well and becomes almost inconspicuous in men;  this is not the case for women though and direct neck lift is not done in women.   

Preparing for a Facelift

Dr. Weinrach will advise you if any further medical evaluation or lab testing are needed before having a facelift.  He will review your medical history and may recommend adjustments of any medication or supplements you are taking.  Smokers are poor candidates for facelift surgery. Smoking and all nicotine products will have to be discontinued for at least three months before facelift surgery.  Alcohol and herbal supplements should be discontinued for two weeks before surgery.  It is helpful prepare the facial skin before surgery with a regimen of medical grade skin care products.   Facelift surgery does dramatically lift facial tissues into more youthful position, but does not change the quality of the skin itself.  That is where good skin care comes in, and Dr. Weinrach can custom design a skin care protocol for you based on your skin characteristics.

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Dr. Weinrach

Dr. Weinrach is dedicated to helping patients achieve their aesthetic goals through an individualized approach to patient care and commitment to safety. His extensive experience and unique skill set produces long-lasting, natural looking results.

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Recovery from a Facelift

Patients will be discharged from their facelift surgery with a bandage around the treatment site and may have a small drainage tube.   This drain is usually removed the morning after surgery; patients staying overnight will have the drain removed before discharge.  For the next few days, there may be some mild swelling and bruising;  this resolves with time.  Activity should be kept very light during this time, but walking is important and encouraged.   Dr. Weinrach advises most facelift patients to take at least a week to two off of work and to avoid any strenuous activity for the first few weeks after surgery. Most of his patients can resume their normal schedule a week or two after surgery, but full healing can take a month or more. During this time, your appearance will continue to improve as inflammation resolves.

Choosing the Best Plastic Surgeon for Your Facelift

Look for a board-certified plastic surgeon when choosing a doctor to perform a facelift. Jonathan C. Weinrach, MD FACS is double board-certified and has expertise in performing safe, effective facelift surgery that dramatically rejuvenates the appearance of his patients. Consultation with Dr. Weinrach involves a thorough review of your medical history, a detailed physical examination and analysis of your facial features, and through explanation of the plan to rejuvenate your face.  Safety and satisfaction are Dr. Weinrach’s top priorities.

If you are ready to reverse your signs of aging and regain your youthful appearance with a facelift in Scottsdale or Phoenix, contact Dr. Weinrach today for a consultation.

Facelift FAQs

Patients which aging facial changes such as facial and neck sagging, jowls, midface (cheek) sagging who are healthy and do not smoke are great candidates for a facelift.

Yes, there are many different facelift techniques.  The variations mostly involve how the underlying SMAS layer, which is the layer of tissue over the facial muscles, is handled, as well as how the midline of the neck is handled.   Dr. Weinrach’s technique involves tightening the SMAS layer which lifts the face and neck tissues in a very powerful way yet with the least amount of risk to deeper structures.  This technique also involves much less sharp “undermining” of the midline neck tissues, resulting in far less swelling, much less downtime, and much less visible scars compared to older facelift techniques.

During your facelift consultation, Dr. Weinrach will review your medical history and discuss your concerns.  After a thorough examination of your face, he will discuss with you the best way to address your facial aging.  If this involves surgery, he will show you where the incisions and scars will be and discuss the techniques involved.  If nonsurgical options are better than surgery, than these will be discussed with you as well.

It is important to closely follow all of Dr. Weinrach’s pre and post-operative instructions.  You should refrain from smoking or using any nicotine containing products for three months prior to surgery and after surgery forever if possible.  You should also refrain from all herbal supplements and anti-inflammatory medication for at least 2 weeks before surgery unless specifically recommended otherwise by Dr. Weinrach.  Management of prescription medications is individually planned; consultation with Dr. Weinrach with your prescribing physician is required for prescription medication recommendations.

The day of surgery you can expect to arrive at the surgery center approximately an hour before surgery is scheduled to begin.  You will meet the anesthesiologist who will discuss anesthesia with you and will have an IV started by a nurse.  Your medical history will also be reviewed by the operating room nurse and anesthesiologist.  Dr. Weinrach will meet with you as well and may make some markings on your face before going back to the operating room for your surgery.

Facelift typically does not result in a lot of pain.  Sometimes oral pain medication is needed to control mild discomfort.

You may have a gentle bandage wrap for the first 24 hours.  Dr. Weinrach will see you the morning after surgery to remove this.  You may have some mild swelling and bruising after surgery.  Some people have more swelling and bruising than others; some patients have little to no bruising.  It is best to keep activity very light during the first week after a facelift, and sleep with your head flat without a pillow to keep your neck open and not flexed.

This depends on the kind of work you do.  Desk type of work than can be done at home can be resumed as soon as prescription types of pain medicine are no longer being taken.  This may be within a day or two after surgery.  For work or social functions that require a more healed type of appearance it is probably best to plan on 3-4 weeks.  Work that requires strenuous physical activity should be avoided for 6 weeks.

Activity should be very light for the first week after a facelift.  After this, aerobic activity can gradually be increased.  Heavy weightlifting should be avoided for 6 weeks.

Any surgery carries some risk.  When ever human tissues are cut, there is a risk of bleeding complications, infection, and poor scarring.   Bleeding risk is minimized by the avoidance of herbal supplements and medications that are known to cause bleeding.  Infection after facelift is extremely uncommon, mostly due to the robust blood supply to the face.  Antibiotics are also given to minimize this risk.  Regarding scarring, the facelift technique Dr. Weinrach uses places the incisions in very well concealed areas, with minimal tension on the skin closure, both of which greatly reduces the visibility of the scars.  In most patients the final scars are hardly noticeable.

Changes after a facelift will be immediately noticeable.  You can expect some swelling and bruising right after surgery.  The swelling and bruising gradually resolve over the next several days to weeks.  Most people will be able to go to a social function approximately four to six weeks after their facelift.

Facelift is the most permanent aging facial treatment there is compared with nonsurgical treatments.  However, gravity, time, and genetics do continue to age the face, even after facelift.  To maintain a great result for as long as possible, it is important to refrain from smoking, have a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and limit sun exposure with hats and sunscreen when possible.

A liquid facelift refers to the use of fillers to add volume to various areas of the face.   Combinations of different types of fillers may be used depending on the locations of the face needing volume.  While adding volume to the face does provide rejuvenation, it will not correct more severely sagging face and neck tissues in women and men with significant skin excess.  Large amounts of excess skin are best treated by removal during a surgical facelift.  A liquid facelift can be a great way to rejuvenate the face when there are early to moderate signs of facial aging, before someone is ready for a facelift.

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