Modern day facelift techniques not only remove excess skin from the face and neck, but also tighten the underlying muscles to provide more natural appearing and longer lasting benefits. Facelifts are frequently combined with other procedures to render a more youthful appearance to the forehead (brow lift) and eyes (blepharoplasty), or to treat wrinkles around the lips (laser, chemical peel or dermabrasion). To learn more about a facelift at our Columbus practice, contact us today.
The old, antiquated facelift procedure was simply a skin operation where excess skin was removed while the remaining skin was pulled as tight as possible. This resulted in an operated wind-swept look that not only looked unnatural, but also did not last very long. While a modern day facelift does remove excess skin, it is the suspension of the underlying tissue and removal of excess fat that creates a long lasting non-operated rejuvenation of the face and neck.
The extra skin on your cheeks and neck is removed and the tissue that invests the muscle layer that lies beneath is tightened with strategically placed sutures. Liposuction is sometimes used to eliminate excess fat in the jowls and neck while other fat pockets may be removed with direct excision. The surgical procedure will be performed under the anesthesia of your preference along with the doctor’s recommendation. The options are intravenous sedation with local injections or general anesthesia.
Follow-up and Pain
A facelift is performed as an outpatient procedure with the first follow up visit in 24 hours to change the dressing and possibly to remove a drain if present. There is surprisingly relatively little pain with most facelift procedures. One thing that helps significantly is to place both short and long acting local anesthetics in the area to dramatically reduce pain immediately at the end of the surgery. Over the past few years, almost half of our facelift patients have not used their pain pills after surgery; many only taking Tylenol®.
“Dr. McMahan did my facelift, forehead lift and eyes. The results were great!"
If you are worried about scars, remember that facelift scars will mostly be in hidden areas such as your scalp and behind the ears. A few fine scars will be located under the chin or in front of the ears. The scars are shorter with a mini-facelift, which concentrates on the cheeks and jowls but does relatively little for the neck. A full facelift is basically a combination of a mini-facelift and a neck lift. A neck lift can be done as an isolated procedure if that is the only area that bothers a patient. In a neck lift, the incisions are below the chin and behind the ears only; however, there is no change to the cheeks or jowls.
It is common for the cheeks to be somewhat numb for a few months until the sensation completely returns. Men should be very careful shaving after a facelift while the skin is still numb to avoid gouging themselves with a razor. It is probably best to change to an electric razor until the sensation returns.
Tightness of the neck is also a common after a neck lift or full facelift as a result of suspending the platysma muscle in the midline of the neck. This gradually relaxes and swelling goes down so that this sensation is usually gone in less than a week.
For more information on how Dr. McMahan can improve your facial features contact us today!