As you age, your skin becomes less elastic. This loss of elasticity creates skin that sags, causing wrinkles to form. Many people turn to facelift procedures to reduce and remove the wrinkles that have formed, tightening the skin once again. There are a number of facelift options to consider, based on the area you are trying to treat and the extensiveness of the facelift that you seek.
The Traditional Face Lift Procedure
In a traditional facelift, the neck and lower portion of the face are treated. An incision is made that begins above the ear in the hairline. This incision goes behind the ear, going around the ear and stopping at the base of the ear, still at the hairline. The skin is then separated from the underlying muscle tissue by the surgeon, so that sutures can be put into place to tighten the muscles below. The muscles are tightened to make the face lift last longer. Once the muscles below have been sutured, the surgeon will then remove any excess skin and close the sutures back up.
Face Lift Procedure without Muscle Involvement
A less invasive procedure, the skin-only face lift allows the surgeon to tighten and remove excess skin without treating the underlying muscle tissue. The procedure is similar to the traditional face lift, as the incision is made behind the ear at the hairline. The incision goes around the back of the ear, and ends at the base of the ear, remaining in the hairline to ensure that any potential scars will be covered by your hair.
This is the first type of face lift procedure created, and is less effective than what is now considered the traditional face lift. In this procedure, only the skin is touched. Skin is elastic, and the effects of this type of face lift do not last as long as when the muscles below are also tightened. The surgeon will tighten the skin, remove any excess skin, and close up the incisions.
Eyebrow, or Temporal Face Lift
In this type of procedure, the eyebrow area is treated using cosmetic surgery. The brow lift is for patients who have a slightly drooping brow, and it is used instead of a full brow lift procedure which is more extensive. Small incisions are made on both side of the brow, and the skin is lifted slightly to reduce wrinkles. Surgeons may also remove excess fat from your face and neck areas when performing a face lift procedure with the use of liposuction. This helps the surgeon reshape your face, and smooth out wrinkles. Liposuction will not have an effect on how elastic your skin is, and may cause further drooping if you try liposuction only on your face.
Risks Associated With Face Lift Procedures
While the risks associated with face lift procedures can be minor, risks can include:
- Swelling or bruising as you heal from the procedure. This should be expected as you recover from a face lift procedure and it will last up to several weeks.
- Potential numbness in your cheeks, neck or scalp that can last several months to years.
- Hair loss may occur at the incision sites, but this is not expected to last more than a few months.
- Facial nerve injury. While this is rare, sometimes your facial nerves can be affected by a face lift procedure.
Most face lift procedures only take a few hours and are done either with a local anesthetic or under general anesthesia. The recovery process can take several weeks, but in smaller procedures patients recover more quickly. Patients who want to look more vibrant, and those that feel their outward appearance does not match how they feel on the inside, can benefit from the use of face lift procedures to smooth out wrinkles.
If you think a facelift might be right for you, contact us today to schedule a consultation.