Beauty is not just skin deep. In fact, when it comes to the aging face, what’s going on beneath the surface is just as important — if not more important — than the changes you can see. The tissues under your skin play a crucial role in how young you look. Loss of muscle tone can give your face a flabby or drooping appearance, and reduction of the underlying fat layer causes your face to lose its defined contours and plump, smooth surface. Wrinkles, jowls and sagging neck folds further detract from a once-youthful countenance.
Although natural aging is a fact of life, it’s not impossible to turn back the clock. A facelift performed by Dr. Kahlil Andrews at Dr. Andrews Plastic Surgery targets the lax muscles and excess skin that are making you look older and feel dissatisfied with your image. Your facelift can be done alone or coupled with a neck lift, brow lift or eyelid surgery as part of a comprehensive anti-aging makeover.
What Is a Facelift?
Facelift surgery (rhytidectomy) lifts and firms facial tissues to restore a more rested and youthful appearance. Specifically, a facelift improves the lower region of the face from the eyes downward, including the midface, cheeks and jawline. A growing number of noninvasive and minimally-invasive techniques can address some of the same concerns as a facelift, but none can match the dramatic results of a surgical approach. A facelift is the most effective and longest-lasting solution for facial aging.
Why Choose to Have a Facelift?
Every patient at Dr. Andrews Plastic Surgery has individual reasons for considering facelift surgery. Dr. Andrews will design your facelift around the particular problem areas you’ve noticed, which could include:
- Creases along the lower eyelids
- Facial folds starting from the nose and traveling to the mouth
- Lines extending from the corners of the mouth to the chin
- Loss of fat in the cheeks and around the eyes
- Drooping or displaced facial fat
- The appearance of jowls in the lower face
- Sagging in the midface region
- Loose skin and fatty deposits in the neck and chin
It’s important to remember that, although a facelift can dramatically improve the way you look and feel, it will not change the unique structure of your face. You will still look like you, but you will be a naturally refreshed, younger-looking version of yourself.
Am I a Candidate for a Facelift?
A facelift is the most efficient way to reduce visible signs of aging. Like any surgical procedure, however, it is not the right choice for everyone. Facelift surgery is beneficial for individuals who are troubled by moderate to severe facial aging, often those in their 40s or 50s and beyond. You might be ready for a facelift with Dr. Andrews if:
- You look older than your actual age
- You feel your face does not reflect your youthful spirit and energy
- You are concerned that your facial appearance is a social or professional obstacle
- You wear cosmetics or clothing to hide signs of aging that make you self-conscious
- You are in good overall health
- You do not smoke
- You have realistic expectations regarding your results
While many facelift patients fall into a certain age bracket, there is no “right age” for a facelift. Surgical rejuvenation may be an appropriate option even if you’re relatively young, as the aging process progresses at a different rate for everyone. Younger patients who are only exhibiting the beginning signs of aging can still benefit from the significant results of a facelift procedure. You and Dr. Andrews will determine whether facelift surgery is right for you during a personal consultation.
Finding the Right Technique
There are different types of rhytidectomy surgery. In your initial consultation, Dr. Andrews will discuss your goals and examine the quality of your skin to understand the best way to approach your facelift. Based on this assessment, he will choose the surgical technique that will be most effective and create the most natural result for your facial characteristics.
The traditional facelift technique involves an incision that starts at the hairline near the temples, then wraps around the ears toward the back of the scalp. This approach is the most extensive, and thus requires the most recovery time, but the results are the most dramatic. A traditional facelift is usually recommended for patients with moderate to advanced signs of aging.
Less invasive facelift techniques, such as a mini-facelift, involve shorter incisions and reduced recovery time. The trade-off is that these techniques produce more limited improvements. They are best for patients with a mild degree of wrinkling and sagging skin who want to correct these unwelcome changes before they become more pronounced.
Regardless of the incisional technique that is chosen, the basic steps of a facelift are more or less the same. Dr. Andrews will focus on eliminating fatty deposits, excising lax skin and repositioning facial tissues to take years off your appearance.
Combining Procedures for Comprehensive Facial Rejuvenation
Many patients benefit from a multi-faceted treatment approach. Your facelift may be an ideal time to receive additional rejuvenation procedures that complement the improvements achieved through rhytidectomy. Today there is a wide array of treatment options that plastic surgeons can use to help patients achieve a more attractive and youthful appearance.
One popular option is a neck lift. Neck lift surgery tightens lax tissue along the chin and jawline and corrects hanging skin (often called a “turkey neck”) along the front of the throat. Many patients who show signs of aging on the face also show signs of aging on the neck, making this a very commonly performed combination.
Other popular pairings with a facelift are a brow lift and/or an eyelid lift. A brow lift tightens and smooths the skin of the forehead. An eyelid lift (blepharoplasty) creates a more refreshed appearance around the eyes by removing excess skin from the upper lids and reducing puffiness and bags in the lower lids. These procedures go well with a facelift because they improve the upper third of the face, an area that facelift surgery has no effect on.
Many patients opt to combine their facelift surgery with nonsurgical rejuvenation procedures. Dr. Andrews can replace lost volume and enhance facial contours with injectable dermal fillers, relax facial wrinkles with Botox, or repair skin damage with dermabrasion, chemical peels, microneedling and laser therapy.
Your Facelift Procedure
The exact technique used for your facelift will depend on a number of factors, including your cosmetic goals, your facial anatomy, the extent of your procedure and whether or not another procedure is being performed at the same time. Facelift surgery is typically done under general anesthesia and follows this general outline:
- The initial incisions are made
- The skin is separated from the underlying tissues
- Muscles and fat are lifted, tightened and repositioned
- Excess skin is removed
- The remaining skin is redraped and smoothed over the improved contours
- The incisions are stitched closed
The time it takes to complete facelift surgery varies. Typically, you can expect the procedure to take between two and four hours. Afterward, Dr. Andrews will insert drains, wrap your face in bandages and transport you to a private recovery area.
Recovering After a Facelift
While you will likely be anxious to see your new look right away, your face will need time to heal before it’s ready to make its public debut. Pain, swelling, bruising and tenderness are common after facelift surgery. Some of these effects will start to subside within days, while others may persist for a few months. Dr. Andrews will provide you with aftercare instructions to follow at home.
If pain is a concern for you, Dr. Andrews can prescribe oral medications for you to take. Keeping your head elevated and using a cool compress will help alleviate the swelling. Stay home and rest while your body is in the critical early stages of the healing process. Patients typically take up to two weeks off work and social engagements following a facelift. You should not resume strenuous activities, including exercise, until you are cleared to do so. Dr. Andrews will schedule follow-up appointments with you to monitor the progress of your healing.
What Results Can I Expect After a Facelift?
Dr. Andrews’ facelift surgery in Coralville erases signs of aging to restore a more refreshed and youthful facial appearance. After your procedure, you will look like a naturally revitalized version of yourself. Facelift patients report that they feel younger, sexier, more energetic and more confident about the way they look. These benefits can last a very long time — perhaps even the rest of your life. A facelift cannot stop the aging process, but it can help you enjoy lifted facial contours, a defined jawline and smoother, tighter skin for many years.
Be sure to make choices that are conducive to healthy skin and a healthy body if you want your results to last as long as possible. This includes eating a nutritious diet, staying hydrated, exercising regularly, using high-quality skincare products and applying sunscreen daily.
Contact Dr. Andrews Plastic Surgery About Your Facelift Today
The passing of time is inevitable, but you don’t have to leave your youthful good looks and confidence behind as you age. Dr. Andrews is experienced in a wide range of facial rejuvenation techniques that he can customize to match your facial features and target your areas of concern. To learn more about facelift surgery or to find out whether the procedure is right for you, contact Dr. Andrews Plastic Surgery at (319) 382-8230 and schedule a consultation with Dr. Andrews. Dr. Andrews and his staff proudly serve the communities of Cedar Rapids, Coralville, Iowa City, Cedar Falls, Dubuque, Waterloo and the Quad Cities.