There are two major changes that occur in the face with aging. The obvious changes are a loosening of the skin in the face and neck from laxity and sagging, the prominence of nasolabial folds, jowl formation, and what are referred to as “marionette lines”—creases extending downward from the corners of the mouth. The other less obvious change is a loss of volume, particularly in the cheeks. Genetics, diet, smoking, sun exposure, weight fluctuations, and the natural aging process can all contribute to these changes. The neck muscles can also loosen, causing people to look years older than they really are.
- What Is a Facelift?
- Facelift Candidates
- Facelift Timing
- Facelift Limitations
- Facelift Procedure
- Facelift Recovery
- Facelift Results
- Facelift Scars
- Facelift Cost
- Choosing a Facelift Surgeon
- Facelift Without Surgery
- Facelift Articles
What is a Facelift?
Facelift surgery is designed to eliminate laxity or looseness in the face and neck, thus restoring a more youthful jawline, neck line, and midface projection. This can create the appearance of stronger cheekbones and, therefore, a younger overall appearance. This tightening effect also has a secondary benefit of eliminating folds and wrinkles. When our plastic surgeons, Dr. Ram Kalus and Dr. Craig Rowin, are performing facial surgery at their South Carolina practice, their goal is to produce the “un-operated” appearance of a natural, younger-looking face. Every effort is made to place incisions such that scars are hidden as well as avoid the overtight, “windswept” appearance that can often be seen after facelift surgery. Special care is taken to ensure that the earlobe is set properly to avoid the stigma of a facelift.
Today, the effects of aging on the skin no longer need to be permanent. The appearance of youth can be restored with surgical or non-surgical procedures designed to enhance the look of facial skin. Drs. Kalus and Rowin provide patients with multiple options for facial rejuvenation to accommodate their busy lives. For individuals seeking long-lasting results, a surgical facelift can address many cosmetic signs of aging to achieve your desired aesthetic outcome. Damage caused by excessive sun exposure may require other treatments, such as fractional CO2 laser resurfacing; however, a facelift can provide significant structural facial rejuvenation customized to your unique needs.
Am I a Candidate for Facelift Surgery?
You may want to consider facelift surgery if you are bothered by signs of aging in the face and neck and you are seeking a more long-lasting solution than cosmetic injectables can provide. A facelift can restore your youthful appearance by eliminating or improving:
- Loose and sagging skin
- Deep creases between the cheeks and mouth (nasolabial folds)
- Fallen or displaced fat
- Double chin
What is the Best Age for a Facelift?
Good candidates for facelift surgery are determined based on an individual’s unique needs and desires as opposed to what age is considered “appropriate.” Our plastic surgeons have performed this procedure with successful, beautiful results on a range of ages. While many patients considering facelift surgery are near middle-age or older, the aesthetic concerns that can be resolved by a facelift are found in patients as young as their twenties. During a consultation, our surgeon can examine your facial anatomy and help you determine whether you would benefit from facelift surgery.
Does Facelift Surgery Address the Entire Face?
Facelift surgery typically addresses the lower two-thirds of the face, and the neck. The area that extends from the upper cheeks to the neck generally exhibit signs of aging—such as jowling and sagging skin on the cheeks and jawline—most prominently. If you wish to address aesthetic concerns in the upper face, our practice also offers brow lift and eyelid surgery to correct a descending forehead and improve the appearance of droopy eyelids or aging eyes. Brow and eyelid surgery can be performed together, or as separate procedures.
How is Facelift Surgery Performed?
Depending on the complexity of your facelift surgery, the length of the procedure may vary but is usually several hours. Typically, the facelift procedure is an outpatient surgery, but a short inpatient stay may be required for some patients. General anesthesia is utilized. The particulars of a facelift vary according to each patient’s unique treatment plan, but generally, the goal of surgery is to firm, smooth out, and tighten facial skin for a more refreshed, youthful facial appearance.
During your facelift consultation, Dr. Kalus or Dr. Rowin may recommend additional facial plastic surgery or skin treatments, including facial fat grafting and/or submental (under the chin) liposuction. Microdermabrasion and other adjunctive procedures, such as fat grafting, radiofrequency, microneedling, laser or IPL treatments, chemical peels, and skin conditioning can all be excellent complements to facelift surgery and help further refine the skin’s texture and restore volume.
What is Recovery from a Facelift Like?
Detailed post-operative instructions will be provided by our surgeons. Following surgery, patients may experience some bruising or swelling; these reactions are to be expected and typically diminish as your recovery progresses. Any discomfort can be managed with pain medication prescribed by Dr. Kalus or Dr. Rowin. Bandages are worn on the face to facilitate healing for 12 to 48 hours after the procedure, and you may also be advised to keep your head elevated during this time. Plenty of rest is essential during your healing period. In general, patients typically return to their daily routines within one to two weeks, although strenuous activity and aerobic exercise should be abstained from until you receive confirmation from our surgeon, usually about 4 weeks.
What are the Results of Facelift Surgery?
After the facelift procedure, patients typically report satisfaction from the surgery’s ability to tighten sagging facial skin and lax musculature. Depending on your treatment plan, the noticeable reduction in wrinkles, creases, jowling, and excess skin and fat generally results in a renewed, youthful aesthetic that looks natural.
Facelift surgery can typically provide exceptional results that last for years. The longevity of surgical results generally depend on a patient’s lifestyle habits, skin tissue elasticity, skin care regimen, age, and genetics, among other factors. However, as the aging process continues, a more youthful appearance can be maintained with a program that may include a variety of non-surgical procedures and touch-up treatments to help preserve the look of youth.
Will there be any Noticeable Scarring from a Facelift?
Because Dr. Kalus and Dr. Rowin strategically place their incisions within the hairline, any residual scarring is typically hidden by an individual’s hair. As the healing process progresses, most patients notice substantial fading in any existing scars to the extent that they are virtually undetectable.
How Much Does a Facelift Cost?
As every individual has different needs and cosmetic goals, the price of facelift surgery is calculated on a patient-by-patient basis. Your cost estimate will depend on the techniques employed during surgery, the extent of your aesthetic concerns, and the inclusion of any complementary procedures. The average surgical fee for a facelift also varies by geographic location, as well as by the expertise of your plastic surgeon. After your consultation, our office will be able to provide you with a personalized quote and complete price breakdown of your facelift expenses based on the details of your treatment plan. If you are interested in paying for a facelift over time rather than in a lump sum, our practice works with CareCredit® to make the cost of surgery more affordable. Through this premier healthcare lending company, qualified applicants can choose from a range of payment plans with low monthly installments to find the most ideal option for their budgetary concerns. If you have any questions about financing your cosmetic treatment, please call our office to speak to a friendly member of our team.
How to Choose the Best Facelift Surgeon
Once you have decided to pursue facelift surgery, selecting the most qualified plastic surgeon to make your aesthetic goals a reality can mean the difference between a natural-looking outcome and substandard results. While choosing the best facelift surgeon for your unique needs may seem daunting, the following tips can help you narrow your search:
- Choose a board-certified plastic surgeon. Although plastic surgeons are not required to maintain board-certification to practice, accreditation by the American Board of Plastic Surgery can convey a higher level of training, ongoing education, and commitment to discovering the most effective techniques within the field of plastic surgery. Simply put, completion of the rigorous educational and training requirements necessary to attain board-certification can speak volumes about a plastic surgeon’s commitment to their craft— a quality that can be pivotal to achieving the results you desire.
- Look at before-and-after photos of previous facelift patients. There is no greater indicator of your potential results than the aesthetic outcomes achieved with previous patients. Take a look at a prospective surgeon’s photo gallery to glean an idea of their past work, and determine whether the results align with your cosmetic goals.
- Read online patient reviews. In addition to achieving your aesthetic ideal, unmatched patient satisfaction should be a top priority for your prospective surgeon. When conducting your research, explore plastic surgeon reviews from a range of different platforms (such as Google, Realself, and Facebook) to gain an idea of previous patients’ levels of overall satisfaction. Patient reviews can not only give you an understanding into the treatment process, but they can also provide valuable insight into the type of care you can expect to receive.
- Meet your prospective surgeon. Ultimately, your ability to feel comfortable and confident under your surgeon’s care is the most important factor to consider when choosing the right person to perform your facelift. Schedule a consultation to meet your potential surgeon in person, and don’t hesitate to ask them any questions you may have about their training, educational background, or how they perform a facelift. Remember, a good plastic surgeon should never pressure or intimidate you into undergoing treatment.
To learn more about selecting the right surgeon to perform your facelift, please reach out to our practice.
What are Non-Surgical Alternatives to a Facelift?
Should an individual decide against a surgical facelift, our practice offers an array of non-surgical options that can improve the look, feel, and texture of facial skin for a youthful and revitalized aesthetic. The Perfect Derma™ Peel and SilkPeel® Skin Rejuvenation treatments can effectively address oily and acne-prone skin, diminish the appearance of hyperpigmentation, and smooth wrinkles and fine lines in the face for impressive results. Additionally, BOTOX® Cosmetic, Juvéderm®, and other injectables offered at our practice are designed to target common areas of concern that may cause an aging appearance, such as the nasolabial folds and “smoker’s lines.” For more medical-grade treatments that can fulfill whatever your unique needs may be, please don’t hesitate to contact our practice.
For more information on facelift surgery, contact our plastic surgery center. During your consultation, Dr. Kalus will help you decide which surgery and which technique can provide you with the most natural-looking results.