15 Sep Surprising Facelift Facts Most People Don’t Learn Until Their Consult
Considering a facelift? The skill of a surgeon is just as important as the procedure itself, which is why at RefinedMD our facial plastic surgeon specializes in just a few key procedures so you know you’ll have the best experience and outcome. For many people, a facelift is the first facial plastic surgery they consider, but there’s a lot about facelifts you may not know. For starters, the technical term for a facelift is rhytidectomy, which is derived from the Greek terms meaning “wrinkle excision.” The very first facelift was performed in Berlin at the turn of the last century and while we have certainly come a long way in terms of techniques since that time, the phrase “wrinkle excision” remains quite apt.
One of the biggest differences in today’s facelifts compared to facelifts of yore is that surgeons now address not just the skin but also the underlying facial tissues. In the 1990s (and, unfortunately, sometimes even in the early aughts), facelifts addressed just the skin which led to a pulled, windswept look. There is a big emphasis today on restructuring the underlying facial tissues and then re-draping the trimmed skin onto this new canvas. This means you get an outcome that is both natural-looking and gorgeous.
The Term Facelift is a Bit of a Misnomer
Many people assume that a facelift is going to “lift” the entire face. This isn’t true. A facelift actually just targets the lower half of the face, including the cheek area and the neck. It does not in any way address areas around the eyes or the forehead. If you want this revitalized as well, you’ll need to add on an eyelid lift (there are lower and upper eyelid lifts) and a brow lift. This is commonly done and can be a fantastic way to get a full refresher. Compounding surgeries also decreases recovery time.
However, also keep in mind that facelifts work at deeper levels and are not going to change superficial skin imperfections such as hyperpigmentation and fine lines that are engrained into the skin. To do this, you’ll need non-invasive or minimally-invasive procedures like laser skin rejuvenation or chemical peels. It’s often recommended to undergo these procedures after your initial facelift healing is complete so that you can also tackle the incision scarring.
Facing Up to a Facelift
Facelifts are also often paired with Botox, dermaplaning, dermal fillers, and other non-surgical treatments to get and maintain optimal results. Many patients, especially those who are slender or don’t have much fat in their face, may find that they seem gaunt after a facelift. This is because the skin laxity that was providing the appearance of volume is now gone. Fillers can restore this and help with the appearance of youth, while Botox keeps superficial wrinkles in check. Dermaplaning on a monthly basis removes surface debris, exfoliates, and gets rid of peach fuzz (which is another sign of aging).
There are many types of facelifts, and all require general anesthesia. However, no matter what kind of facelift you get, you’ll need incisions in your skin. This is necessary to both remove excess skin and to redistribute tissue and fat. On average, a facelift takes 2 – 3 hours to complete and can result in swelling and bruising for weeks. Most people feel confident going out in public after 2 – 3 weeks, but full healing can take 6 – 9 months. Curiously, although men are getting facelifts at an increased rate, they are typically considered more challenging compared to facelifts on women. This is because men have thicker skin and a higher tendency to develop hematomas thanks to high vascularity in the beard area. Surgeons also need to think about how facelifts will affect facial hair on men (another reason you need a reputable surgeon).
Finally, remember that facelifts don’t give results that last forever yet they are irreversible. We will continue to age, but a facelift can “reset” your starting point. If you’re interested in a facelift or other facial plastic surgery, the first step is finding a skilled surgeon you trust. Schedule a consultation with RefinedMD today by calling the office during business hours or, for the fastest response, complete the online contact form right now.