Also Serving Phoenix, Paradise Valley, & Mesa
What is a Face Lift?
A facelift, also called rhytidectomy, can greatly improve the signs of facial aging. Stress, gravity, and sun damage are all factors associated with aging which cause visible changes in the face. Changes in the face associated with aging include nasolabial folds (the deep crease between the nose and mouth), jowls (loose tissue at the jawline making the face look rectangular), sagging of the cheeks, and loosening and sagging of the neck tissues.
Excess fat can be removed or repositioned, the underlying muscle layer is tightened, and extra skin of the face and neck is removed, with redraping of the remaining skin into a more youthful position. A facelift is often combined with other procedures, such as a brow lift, and eyelid surgery. There were 131,000 face lift procedures performed in the United States in 2016.
individual results may vary
Is Face Lift Right for You?
The ideal patient for a facelift is a person showing signs of facial aging: primarily sagging of the face and neck, and who are physically healthy and do not smoke. Facelifts can be done at almost any age; even people in their eighties can have a facelift if they are healthy.
In addition to making you look younger and fresher, a facelift can improve your self-confidence in the process. A facelift will not completely change the way you look; your friends and family will still recognize you. You will however look younger and refreshed.
Your Face Lift Consultation with Dr. Weinrach
Facelifts are complex procedures which are customized to each patients individual anatomy and concerns. During your initial consultation Dr. Weinrach will evaluate your face, including the skin and underlying bone, and discuss your goals for the surgery.
Dr. Weinrach will review your medical history. Please be sure to tell Dr. Weinrach if you smoke or are taking any drugs or medications, especially aspirin or other drugs that affect clotting.
If you decide to have a facelift, Dr. Weinrach will explain the technique that he will use, the anesthesia, the type of facility where the surgery will be performed, and the risks and costs involved. Please do not hesitate to ask Dr. Weinrach any questions you may have.
Before Your Face Lift
Dr. Weinrach will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications. Carefully following these instructions will help your surgery go more smoothly. Smoking greatly increases the chances of complications after a facelift. Dr. Weinrach in general does not consider active smokers to be good candidates for a facelift.
Arrangements should be made for a friend or family member to drive you home after surgery. Someone should be available to help you for a few days as well.
Where Your Face Lift Will Be Performed
Your safety is always Dr. Weinrach’s number one priority. Dr. Weinrach only operates at accredited surgery centers and hospitals. He has hospital priviledges for every procedure he performs. Facelift can be performed either as an outpatient or an overnight stay, depending on individual circumstances.
Types of Anesthesia for Facelift
Facelifts are performed under either sedation or general anesthesia. Local anesthesia is always used in combination with one of these two techniques as well. The choice of anesthesia will be discussed between you, Dr. Weinrach, and the anesthesiologist.
A facelift usually takes several hours. If you are having more than one procedure, more time may be required. Occasionally, two separate sessions may be needed for very extensive procedures.
Incisions are strategically designed to be as inconspicuous as possible after healing. The incision usually begins at or within the hairline of the temple, and follows a natural line where the ear meets the cheek, and continues around the earlobe to the lower scalp. In cases where Dr. Weinrach plans to tighten the neck, a small incision may also be made under the chin.
In general, skin is separated from the fat and muscle below. Fat may be trimmed or suctioned from around the neck and chin to improve the contour. The underlying muscle layer is then tightened, the skin is redraped and the excess is trimmed. Stitches secure the layers of tissue and close the incisions.
After Your Face Lift
Significant discomfort is not normally an issue after facelift. Minor discomfort, if present, is relieved with medication. You may have some numbness in the facial skin. This is normal and temporary. It will resolve in several weeks to possibly a few months after surgery.
Bandages and drainage tubes will be usually be removed the day after surgery. Your stitches should all be out by about one week after surgery.
Getting Back to Normal after a Facelift
You will be up and walking the night of your surgery, with light activity gradually increasing over the next couple of days. There is a normal amount of swelling and bruising to be expected.
Dr. Weinrach will give more specific guidelines for gradually resuming your normal activities. In general, strenuous activity for at least two weeks should be avoided; walking and mild stretching are fine. Alcohol, steam baths, and saunas should be avoided for several months. Plenty of rest is important to allow your body to spend its energy on healing.
By the third week, you will look and feel much better. Most patients are back to work within ten days to two weeks after surgery. If needed, special camouflage makeup can mask any temporary bruising that remains.
Your New Look
The chances are excellent that you will be pleased with your facelift. You will have some scars from your facelift, but they are usually very well hidden by your hair or in the natural creases of your face and ears. In any case, they will fade with time and should be hardly visible.
The results of a facelift are long-lasting. Although time and gravity do continue to take their toll, a facelift can leave you appearing much younger and refreshed for many years.