Do I Need a Facelift?
Everyone – both men and women – deal with the changes in their skin due to age in a different way. Some may accept lines and wrinkles as proof of a life of adventures, while others look to get rid of the lines that make them look older on the outside than they feel on the inside. Now that both cosmetic surgery and nonsurgical cosmetic procedures are becoming more accepted and less taboo, you may be one of the nearly 130,000 Americans each year to choose to undergo a cosmetic pick-me-up in the form of a facelift.
Unlike the windswept, artificial-looking facelifts of the past, modern facelifts employ a variety of techniques to keep you looking as natural as possible. Gone are the days of dramatically tightened faces that make it obvious that you’ve “had work done.” Today’s facelift procedure is designed to refresh and restore a more youthful appearance in a subtle, beautiful way.
Is a Facelift the Best Option?
Even though advances in aesthetic treatments have made facial rejuvenation a booming business, Botox and fillers can only do so much to hold off the years. When you start to notice lines and wrinkles creeping in or see a loss of volume in your cheeks or lips, nonsurgical filler options, laser treatments and other facial treatments are an ideal way to keep you looking fresh. However, as you enter your late 40s and early 50s, you may begin to notice that you’ve got deeper furrows or loose and sagging skin that nonsurgical procedures just can’t remedy.
Once you’ve exhausted your nonsurgical options, a facelift is something to start to consider, especially if you’ve got facial issues that can truly only be fixed with surgery. A facelift may be the next step once you’ve exhausted your other options or if you notice the following problems:
- Deep folds around the nose and mouth (nasolabial folds)
- Loss of volume due to lost or “fallen” fat
- Weakened or excess skin, resulting in drooping or sagging
- Excess or loose skin on the neck, resulting in jowls or a “turkey wattle”
Again, noninvasive treatments are excellent options, but they can only do so much. Disregarding the limits of what fillers can do won’t help you look better, but instead cause you to look unnatural and overdone.
Choosing the Right Facelift Procedure
At the Houston Center for Plastic Surgery, Dr. Rappaport offers you two facelift options to choose from, depending on your needs and your goals.
- Mid-Face Lift – This procedure addresses the cheeks and the outer corners of the nose and mouth. It lifts sagging cheeks, and smooths the transition between the lower eyelids and cheekbones. A mid-face lift can either be performed alone or in conjunction with a standard facelift.
- Standard Facelift – A standard facelift addresses the lower two-thirds of the face, from cheekbones to jawline, and may also include the neck from the jawline to Adam’s apple.
At your initial consultation with Dr. Rappaport, you will discuss your expectations and desired results. He will assess your face and skin, and determine the best treatment plan for your needs. Keep in mind that a vital component of a successful facelift is going into the procedure with realistic expectations. As with all cosmetic procedures, there are limits to what facelift surgery can achieve, and it is important that you enter into the process with a clear understanding of what can be realistically achieved. If you have any questions or concerns, Dr. Rappaport is happy to answer them and provide guidance throughout the process.
What to Expect From Your Facelift Procedure
At the Houston Center for Plastic Surgery, a facelift is typically an outpatient procedure performed using general anesthesia. Depending on which type of facelift you have chosen, the incision options include:
- Standard Incision – Begins in front of the ear, and continues around the earlobe, ending in the hairline at the back of the neck.
- Short-Scar Incision – Begins at the front of the ear and continues around the earlobe, but does not extend into the hairline.
Using these incisions, Dr. Rappaport will lift and correct the underlying tissue in your face, and then redrape your skin to produce a smooth, supple result. You will look natural and refreshed, all with minimal visible scarring or any indication that you had a facelift.
Recovery and Longevity of Your Facelift Results
Post-surgery, most patients will experience significant swelling, as well as some degree of bruising. Dr. Rappaport will provide you with post-operative instructions so that you can minimize any swelling and care for your incisions to ensure proper healing. You will most likely be able to return to your regular activities within 10-14 days, although strenuous activities and exercise are prohibited for a few additional weeks.
As is the case with any surgery, there are risks for complications, although very slight. Infection of the incisions can occur, but if you follow your post-operative instructions closely, chances are greatly reduced.
It will take about six to twelve months for the complete results of your facelift to be visible, including the dissipation of any residual swelling. Your newly refreshed look is considered permanent, but it is important to remember that your face will continue to age naturally. You can enhance and extend your results with the use of fillers, proper skin care and sun protection, as well as avoiding smoking and maintaining a healthy diet and hydration.
If you are searching for a way to lift and smooth sagging or aging skin, rejuvenating your face and giving you a refreshed outlook on life, call the Houston Center for Plastic Surgery today at 713-790-4500. Let Dr. Rappaport restore your face to a more natural, beautiful state.