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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.
Am I a Good Candidate for a Full Facelift?
The best candidates for a full facelift are individuals who want to correct sagging skin on the cheeks down to the jawline and loose skin on the neck. A full facelift can also improve the appearance of volume loss in the cheeks.
Since a full facelift is a surgical procedure, the best candidates are people who are healthy enough to safely undergo surgeries. People with medical conditions that could lead to slower healing may need to consult with Dr. McMahan for alternative options.
Quit smoking for 4 to 6 weeks before and after the procedure. Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages for at least 48 hours as well. Taking a break from these will help you experience a smooth and quick recovery.
Before considering a full facelift, surround yourself with a healthy support network that can help you maintain a positive outlook. Make sure that undergoing a full facelift procedure is your decision alone and is not coming from pressure from others.
Your Full Facelift Consultation
A full facelift consultation will involve an in-depth conversation about your appearance goals. Dr. McMahan will assess your signs of aging and let you know whether a full facelift may be the right option for you. Surgical techniques that can be utilized will be discussed to help you better understand the procedure and possible outcomes.
Provide your complete medical history during your consultation. This will help the surgeon determine your eligibility for the procedure. Inform Dr. McMahan of possible allergies to help select the best anesthesia for you.
Skin Lift vs. Modern-Day Facelift
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.