- Eliminate sagging skin in the mid face.
- Redefine your cheeks.
- Get rid of jowls for a better defined jawline.
- Change the overall shape of your face to make it look more youthful.
- The ability to get back to work in about a week.
- The ability to see the results of your treatment in a few days to weeks, with optimal results appearing after swelling and bruising have subsided.
- Results that are long lasting and can be maintained with nonsurgical treatments.
- No “windswept” or tight look that is a telltale sign of surgery.
You’ll enjoy looking younger and feeling better about your appearance.
According to 2013 statistics compiled by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, facelift surgery was the most popular treatment for patients 55 years old and over and accounted for just under a third of all the cosmetic surgical procedures performed for this age group that year.
What makes your facelift at Gartner Plastic Surgery unique
1. You’ll first meet with Dr. Gartner rather than a patient consultant who is a trained only to sell. Dr. Gartner is a double board certified plastic surgeon and general surgeon with over a decade of experience performing a variety of facelift techniques. That means your initial consultation is actually a medical appointment with a fully qualified doctor, not a “salesman”. You’ll be able to get reliable information about your facelift from the point of view of a medical expert.
2. Only local anesthesia with sedation is administered during your rhytidectomy. You don’t have to worry about not being able to wake up, experiencing temporary memory loss, or feeling queasy after your surgery, which are side effects all related to general anesthesia. Dr. Gartner performs two types of facelift: SMAS plication and SMASectomy. He specializes in these techniques since they are less invasive than other facelift methods and have a lower set of risks or complications (such as nerve injury). This means your surgery is less intensive then other kinds of facelifts, causing less trauma to your tissues so your recovery period is shorter. You’ll be able to see your results sooner. Some patients see their results in a few days, while for others it can take a few weeks.
3. Dr. Gartner will make sure to create the shortest possible incision to achieve your desired improvement. This means that you won’t have as much scarring, one of the telltale signs of surgery, and it will be well hidden in any naturally existing creases on your face.
Your results will be long lasting and can be easily maintained or complemented with nonsurgical treatments such as injectable fillers.
Are you a candidate for a facelift?
A facelift may be suitable for you if possess the following criteria:
- You are in good health.
- You have realistic expectations.
- You have deep creases running from the corners of the nose to the corners of the mouth (nasolabial folds).
- You have jowls or lack a well defined jawline.
- You have sagging cheeks.
- You have loose skin, wrinkles, vertical “cords” or excess fatty tissue in the neck.
- You are committed to achieving the best surgical outcome possible by following the care instructions outlined by Dr. Gartner.
You’ll talk to Dr. Gartner about your aesthetic concerns during your private medical consultation and what you’d like to change. Your medical history and current condition will be reviewed and your facial contours assessed. Dr. Gartner does this to see whether a facelift would help you, or if another treatment would be better. The risks related to facelift surgery will be discussed. Dr. Gartner will also talk about his experience in performing the procedure as well as provide more information about our surgical facility.
During your consultation, feel free to ask any questions you have or bring up any concerns that would help you feel more comfortable about pursuing, or not pursuing facelift surgery.
How to prepare for your facelift
It’s important to prepare yourself for surgery, since it can help make the experience safer and improve your rate of recovery—which means you’ll be able to see your results sooner. You’ll get a complete list of instructions to follow from Dr. Gartner. Some things that will be included are the following:
- Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking a few weeks before your surgery. These can increase your risk of swelling, bruising and bleeding.
- Avoid medications that promote bruising and bleeding, particularly those containing Aspirin and Ibuprofen. If you need to take a pain reliever, try Tylenol instead.
- Follow a healthy lifestyle and dietary habits. This will minimize the risk of developing an infection, sickness, or anything else that may make your surgery more dangerous. In fact, if you are sick or have an infection on the day of your surgery, your procedure may need to be postponed until you are better.
- Avoid tanning before your surgery, since UV exposure weakens your skin and can make scarring more apparent.
- Ask Dr. Gartner if you should take a multivitamin, vitamin C or arnica supplements. These may help with your recovery.
Dr. Gartner performs SMAS with plication, a type of facelift that provides a lasting lift that is maintained by the supportive tissues below the skin known as the superficial musculo-aponeurotic system (SMAS). The procedure generally takes about two to three hours.
1. Pre-emptive anesthesia is administered before your surgery begins. This helps to decrease inflammation after surgery, making your recovery more comfortable and faster.
2. Local anesthesia with sedation is administered.
3. If the face and neck are targeted, an incision is made above the hairline at the temple, extending into the natural line in front of the ear and continuing behind the ear lobe to the lower scalp. A tiny incision may also be made under the chin.
If the face is targeted only, a short scar facelift may be performed. This requires no incisions made behind the ear or on the neck.
4. The underlying SMAS layer is lifted to a more youthful position and secured with sutures.
5. Excess skin is removed.
6. The incisions are sutured and dressed.
Once you’ve rested for a bit in the recovery room at our surgical facility, you’ll be able to go home. Please make sure that a trusted family member or friend drives you home and stays with you for the first 24 hours after your surgery. You’ll most likely feel tired and we recommend that you take it easy in the days after your surgery (although you should do some leisurely movement just to decrease your risk of developing blood clots). Keep your head elevated when you sleep by propping it up on a couple of pillows. This will help minimize swelling and bruising. You should also avoid bending over or lifting anything for a couple of weeks.
Bandages and drain tubes will be removed in one or two days and any nonabsorbable stitches will be removed four to seven days after your surgery.
How you'll look while you recover
Swelling and bruising can be quite prominent after a facelift, being at their worst at 24 to 48 hours after surgery. You may find puffiness and discoloration to be more pronounced in some areas of your face, such as around your eyes. The swelling may also be uneven, giving you an asymmetric appearance. Over the next few weeks, all of this will subside.
When you can go back to work
You’ll probably be able to get back to sedentary work in 10 to 14 days. Physically demanding jobs may require a couple more weeks.
When you can get back to the gym
You can start exercising at about four weeks after your surgery, however it’s important that you don’t exert yourself too much at first. Start off with cardiovascular exercises then gradually add weightlifting to your regimen.
Your results will make you look years younger and more refreshed. People won’t know that you’ve had surgery—they’ll just think you look great!
Complications and risks associated with facelift surgery
Infection: This is a risk associated with any surgical procedure. It can be resolved with antibiotics or may require surgery.
Nerve damage: This could negatively affect facial movement and may be temporary, but in rare cases it can be permanent.
Scarring: All efforts are made to place incisions in discreet locations. You can help minimize scarring by following incision care instructions provided to you by Dr. Gartner as well as avoid direct sun exposure during the healing process.
Numbness: This is considered temporary and rarely is it permanent.
Necrosis: This risk is higher in patients who do not stop smoking for the advised period of time before and after their surgery.
Hematoma and seroma: Drains help to minimize this risk.
Dissatisfactory results: Corrective surgery or a nonsurgical aesthetic treatment can be performed to achieve the desired result.