About FaceLift Surgery
Nobody has to know how old you really are, but as you age, it becomes harder and harder to hide it. The elasticity of your skin begins to loosen, smooth and youthful contours disappear from the loss of evenly distributed fatty tissues, wrinkles multiply around your eyes and mouth, and skin in the chin area sags.
Keep your age a secret with a FaceLift, also known as Rhytidectomy.
Candidate for FaceLift
A FaceLift or Rhytidectomy Surgery, restores the youthfulness of your appearance by simply removing major wrinkles and sagging skin.
Men and women around the world have experienced the revitalizing effects of FaceLift surgery. For men, the procedure eliminates sagging skin obscuring their neck and jawline, establishing once again the chiseled appearance of their youth. For women, a FaceLift achieves the smooth facial contour and overall feminine softness lost due to sun damage, aging, and gravity.
There is no age requirement for a FaceLift, and good news if you're a senior citizen - FaceLifts have been performed on patients well into their 70s, with successful results!
The main goal is to correct facial aging in the lower two thirds (⅔) of the face. Based on the type of FaceLift, the surgery will address:
- The loss of fat in the cheek area
- Lax skin along the jawline (jowls)
- Nasolabial folds & marionette lines
- Vertical neck bands
- Accumulated fat in the chin/neck area
- Deep folds and wrinkles along the mid to lower region of the face
Types of FaceLift
There are varying degrees of aggressiveness that a surgeon can employ all based on the amount of correction you are looking for. This is why a detailed consult with your surgeon will allow you to openly communicate the end result that you are wanting and the technique that he feels will best suit your expectations.
Full - A full FaceLift corrects all aspects of aging with respect to neck and cheek laxity as well as the jowls. It tightens the skin and also deeper underlying muscles for a more definitive pull. The incisions can vary based on the patients, but are made in the natural creases in and behind the ears to conceal them as much as possible. They can also be found under the chin and sometimes in the hairline, depending on the amount of correction needed.
Mini - Candidates for a mini FaceLift are those who want a softer look in the cheeks and jowls. Many patients who undergo this type have previously had a full FaceLift and need a bit of a refreshment or are of a younger age. This type can also be referred to as the “limited incision lift” or the “S-type lift” since the incisions are typically made in the shape of an “S”. Less skin is removed then with a full FaceLift and usually does not involve tightening the deeper tissues in the face.
Mid - A mid FaceLift corrects sagging tissues in the center region of the face and also improves Nasolabial folds. It typically improves the region from the corners of the eyes to the sides of the mouth. It can also be referred to as a “cheek lift”. Candidates are those who do not have prominent sagging in the lower region of the face, and are typically younger than those patients who go through with a full FaceLift.
Lower - For those who are experiencing deep wrinkles and jowls, along with sagging in the neck only, may be a suitable candidate for a lower FaceLift. Usually incisions are made along the hairline and down in front (or behind) the ears to help lift the lower tissues up. Liposuction may be done simultaneously.
Full FaceLift Surgery at Toronto Cosmetic Clinic
In a procedure that averages 5-6 hours under general anesthesia, a FaceLift involves a number of tiny incisions made inside the hairline at the temple, in front of the ear, and around the earlobe and behind the ear, ending at the scalp area. Once the FaceLift has been completed, all incisions are closed with small sutures. The targeted excess skin is removed and muscles that have begun to sag, along with connective tissues, are tightened. Therefore, it is not only the face that benefits from a FaceLift or Rhytidectomy surgery, but also the muscles of the neck.
It is believed that prominently defined bone structure and saggy skin on the neck and face improve results. For those with less defined bone structure, facial implants may be a better option. Because an amount of stretching will be involved, the skin should have some elasticity. However, with the experience and knowledge of your physician, they'll be able to determine whether a FaceLift will achieve the results you want. Results will vary with each individual and depend on age, gender, weight, and other such factors.
For complete rejuvenation of the face, a FaceLift may also include the removal of fatty deposits from the neck and beneath the chin (liposuction), as well as Blepharoplasty, more popularly known as eyelid surgery, and/or chin augmentation.
With a FaceLift, it is hard to give any type of exact estimate until you meet the surgeon. From there it will be determined on the type of FaceLift (the areas on the face that need to be corrected-, ie- mid, lower, neck, or full face). The starting price is $15,000 at Toronto Cosmetic Clinic and is based upon the surgeons experience, and also the nature and how delicate this type of procedure is. If you want to add Blepharoplasty or facial implants this will be an additional cost.
Some patients may only be bothered by the look of their neck, especially the profile of it. Some women and men are genetically predisposed to have weaker neck muscles. This becomes more apparent as time passes, generally after the age of 40, and only becomes worse.
Anatomically, there are muscles that lay over your neck and run from your chin to your sternum. These are known as platysmal bands, and just like any other muscle in our body they can weaken and become flaccid. The skin that overlays of the platysmal bands are therefore not adequately supported and are likely to sag.The severity of how lax your skin has become will determine the best treatment option.
Laser Skin Tightening and BOTOX COSMETIC® injections, are all great for those individuals who have minimally loose skin. For skin that has a very apparent droop, surgery most likely will present you with the best results.
Surgery for the neck can be done under local anesthesia. It involves having a small incision made right underneath the chin. This allows for fat removal through liposuction as well as room for the surgeon to tighten the platysmal bands (muscles in the neck).
Before the FaceLift Procedure
You will be asked to visit a physician to discuss the goals and expectations of your FaceLift in a confidential setting. Remember to be frank and honest, as your physician will be able to help you better attain the goals of your surgery. Your physician may also provide alternative options that are more suitable for your situation.
Detailed information will be give to you regarding the procedure, and how to take care of yourself before and after surgery. The risks of surgery will also be discussed. You may be asked to stop smoking and change other lifestyle habits for a period of time before (and possibly after) the surgery. If you find this difficult to do, just think about the results your FaceLift will achieve and it might make things easier!
For a very general list of things to do to adequately prepare your body for surgery, please visit Preparing for Cosmetic/Plastic Surgery. This list, however, is not exhaustive.
Following a FaceLift Surgery
Healing is gradual. Most patients need 10-14 days off work for the bruising and swelling to subside. A special compression garment is worn for 2-3 weeks around the head and neck to help reduce this. In some cases, patients may also have drainage tubes to prevent fluid accumulation and will be removed in a few days after surgery.
In the weeks following a FaceLift or Rhytidectomy surgery, it is common to feel numbness in the skin on the face and around the ear. Some temporary discoloration also may occur once the healing begins, which may take a few months to disappear. You can facilitate recovery by sleeping with your head elevated.
Though permanent damage to the facial nerve only occurs in the rarest of cases, occasionally, the facial nerve can be bruised during surgery, resulting in only a temporary loss of sensation or function. Numbness around the earlobes, neck, and face is normal and will be present for 1-6 weeks, along with a tight sensation when opening the mouth. Desired results will normally appear within 6 months following just one FaceLift surgical procedure.
If other procedures such as a facial implant or eyelid lift are done simultaneously this will change the recovery period.
The first step of your treatment will be a consultation. Meeting with your surgeon will prepare you both physically and mentally for the procedure. You'll find out everything you need to know!
FaceLift (Rhytidectomy) Q & A
Can a FaceLift be done with another procedure?
Yes, sometimes. It depends on the extent of your procedure. Often, FaceLifts are done with eyelid surgery (Blepharoplasty) and BOTOX. Sometimes, they can be done with nose jobs (Rhinoplasty). It is important to remember that healing times may vary and every case is different so your surgeon might suggest separate procedures if you plan on having multiple ones done.
What does a FaceLift not correct?
A Faceift is not to be confused with a forehead or brow lift. Even though the ForeHead is part of the “face” a FaceLift addresses more of the mid to lower region of the face. A forehead lift or brow lift is a separate procedure which can be done simultaneously with a FaceLift.
A FaceLift also does not correct aging of the eye area. A Blepharoplasty will correct the tissue and skin around the eyes. It is often one of the most common cosmetic procedures that’s performed simultaneously with a FaceLift.
Are there alternatives to a FaceLift Surgery?
The FaceLift procedure is designed for dramatic rejuvenation; therefore it is not recommended for the removal of fine wrinkles. There are several other cosmetic procedures better suited for this problem, including dermal fillers and laser skin resurfacing.
How long do the results last?
On average 8-10 years if you take good care of yourself and lead a healthy lifestyle. Your skin will be lifted to create a young and youthful appearance and should not sag again for a very long time. A mini FaceLift later on can help maintain results.
How visible are the scars?
Our surgeon tries to make the incisions as conspicuous as possible. Most of the incisions are made in the natural creases along and behind the ear and blend in, thus they are hardly noticeable. For the first couple months until the redness subsides, camouflaging them with makeup will help tremendously.
What are the risks to surgery?
Infection, Hematoma, Nerve Damage, Anaesthesia Complications, Scarring and Hair Loss at the incision site are some of the associated risks and complications that can arise. Your surgeon will discuss this with you in more detail.
Should I lose weight before or after my FaceLift?
Any surgery should be done when you are at your best maintainable health. If you plan on losing weight, you need to lose it and make sure you are able to maintain it before you come in for your FaceLift. This is because your FaceLift will be designed for the body you have at the time of procedure, any changes could result in unfavourable outcomes later on.
Will I look like a different person?
The most successful FaceLifts are those that create a look of youthfulness and rest. You will still look like you, but a happier, younger, well rested you.
How long does the healing process take?
A full FaceLift procedure is quite complex and initial swelling can last up to 3 months. You also have to allow the full healing process to be completed, and then your muscles and tissue will naturally settle into their new positions. To see the completed result of your FaceLift, it takes about 6 months.
How do I sleep after a FaceLift?
You should sleep with your head elevated above your heart after your FaceLift procedure. This prevents venous congestion at the surgical site and also prevents swelling from too much blood flow to the head.
Can I get my hair colored after my FaceLift?
Generally, you can resume coloring your hair 4 to 6 weeks after the procedure. This is assuming that all of your incisions are healing properly and you have no openings or complications.
How long do I have to wait to fly after my FaceLift?
We recommend you wait at least 2 weeks after this procedure, assuming it was not extensively complex. Flying prior to the 2-week mark you risk blood clotting and being affected by the change in air pressure. After 2 weeks, however, flying is generally safe.
Can smoking affect my FaceLift?
Smoking and Nicotine intake must be stopped months prior to your FaceLift. This is because nicotine can make you more prone to skin necrosis, poor healing, and other complications that can be avoided.