Facelift FAQ’s2018-11-27T00:36:36-04:00

Facelift FAQ’s

Let us face (pardon the pun) it – we all want to drink from the cup of eternal youth. Presently, this elixir remains elusive, and the closest we can come to the fountain of youth is a facelift – there simply is no substitute, regardless of advertising claims to the contrary. A facelift, when properly performed, can do wonders to provide true facial rejuvenation by reversing many of the undesirable effects of time and gravity. Perhaps, more accurately, a facelift is more of a cheek and neck lift, as the areas, which have to be improved, include:

  • The cheeks,
  • The area around the corner of the mouth, and
  • The loose skin at the jawline and the neck.

Below, we look at some of the types of facelifts and offer a few tips to help you make the important decision of choosing a plastic surgeon for the procedure.

What Is A Facelift?

A facelift, or rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure to improve visible signs of aging in the face and neck.

Facelift Surgery in Miami by Dr. Michael Kelly
Facelift Surgery Miami by Dr. Michael Kelly

How Long Does A Facelift Last?

Typically, the more invasive the technique, the longer the results will last.

  • A full facelift provides the most dramatic results, which can last for up to 15 years after the procedure.
  • Mini facelifts, being less invasive, yield more moderate results that typically last between 2 and 6 years.

Keep in mind that, even though a facelift will not stop the aging process, you will always look younger than you would have without the surgery. From that point of view, the benefits are lasting.

How Is A Facelift Done?

A facelift can be done under sedation or with general anesthesia (appropriate medications will be given beforehand to relieve anxiety and ensure tranquilization).

A traditional facelift incision often begins just behind the hairline at the temples, continues around the ear where it is hidden in the folds, and ends in the lower scalp. Fat may be sculpted or redistributed from the face, jowls, and neck to eliminate sagging skin under the chin. Underlying tissue is repositioned, commonly the deeper layers of the face and the muscles are also lifted to remove excess skin and to smooth creases.

How Long Does It Take To Recover From A Facelift?

It will take about two weeks to get back to a relatively normal routine after your facelift. However, it will take a full year for all of the residual swelling, bruising, and changes in skin sensation to resolve.

What Happens During A Facelift?

A facelift is always an ambulatory procedure. The hair is bundled out of the way with small rubber bands and surgical ink lines are drawn (no hair is cut).

The facelift incision will begin just behind the hairline at the temples, continues around the ear where it is hidden in the folds, and ends in the lower scalp. Fat may be sculpted or redistributed from the face, jowls, and neck to eliminate sagging skin under the chin. Underlying tissue is repositioned, commonly the deeper layers of the face and the muscles are also lifted to remove excess skin and to smooth creases.

A soft substantial bandage will be placed over the top of the head around the cheeks and chin to protect the skin and to absorb any drainage. It also acts to hemostatically compress the skin against the undersurface areas and to encourage a splinting effect, preventing side-to-side, or up-and-down head movement.

Facelift Surgery Recovery - Dr. Michael Kelly
Facelift Surgery Recovery Miami - Dr. Michael Kelly

What Can I Expect After A Facelift?

Expect to look worse before you look better. Do not panic – this is normal! The general course of events after your facelift is as follows:

  • Typically, you will be discharged the same day after the facelift surgery. The first night should be spent relaxed, keeping activity to a minimum. Maintain a liquid diet for the first eighteen hours after anesthesia. Keep your head elevated using two pillows for two to three days to minimize swelling and to speed recovery. Ice your face with ice packs (or use small zip lock bags with frozen peas) every fifteen minutes for the first two days.
  • Following the surgery, your entire head will be bandaged to keep the skin flat. Pain should be minimal and can be managed with pain medication, which your doctor will prescribe. The bandage will be removed on the first day after surgery. It is normal for some bruising to appear in the neck. You will wear a small bandage for one more day. On the fifth postoperative day, the small stitches in front of the ear and under the chin will be removed, where after you can usually shower and wash your hair.
  • You should be able to return to work and normal daily activities after about two weeks. Seventy percent of the swelling resolves in the first three weeks after the facelift.
  • Physical activity, such as running or lifting can be resumed three weeks after the surgery.
  • The final results of the facelift surgery may not be completely evident until several months after the surgery.

How Can I Reduce Swelling & Bruising After A Facelift?

Bruising and swelling are inevitable; however, the following steps will help to reduce the swelling and bruising:

  • Ice Packs/Cold Compresses
    Apply a soft ice pack to the area that was operated on.
  • Keep Your Head Elevated
    Keep your head elevated while sleeping and resting for the first two or three days using a couple of pillows prop yourself up in a comfortable manner.
  • Drink water
    Drink the recommended amount of water to flush your system.
  • Limit activity
    Overexerting yourself in the first couple of weeks after surgery can worsen bruising and swelling and delay healing.
  • Do Not Smoke
    Smoking cigarettes slows wound healing and increases your risk of post-surgical complications.
  • Avoid Blood-Thinning Medications
    Certain medications, herbs, and vitamins affect the blood.
  • Avoid Salicylates
    Foods that are high in salicylates affect the blood, and can encourage bruising. It is; therefore, best to avoid these foods, which include green pepper, olive, mushrooms, tomato, radish, apricots, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, dates, guava, and raisins.
  • Bromelain
    Pineapples and pineapple juice, which contain bromelain, are thought to reduce post-surgical bruising and swelling.
Pineapple juice can reduce swelling after facelift - Dr. Michael Kelly
Facelift Surgery - Dr. Michael Kelly

How Do I Prepare For A Facelift?

  • Get lab testing or a medical evaluation.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Take certain medications and/or adjust your current medications.
  • Apply certain products to the facial skin preoperatively.
  • Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding and bruising.

What Is A Lower Face Lift?

Lower facelift surgery rejuvenates the bottom third of the face by tightening the underlying structures that slacken with age, which forms jowls and a fleshy neck. The procedure also trims excess skin, smoothing it down to eliminate facial creases and giving a visual lift to the bottom third of the face.

What Is A Mid Face Lift?

A mid-facelift (cheek lift) elevates the sagging cheek tissue (malar fat pad) by using minimal incisions around the hairline and ear. This approach gives a more youthful appearance to the cheekbones and reduces the nasolabial laugh lines around the mouth.

What Is A Non-Surgical Face Lift?

Non-surgical/minimally invasive facelifts refer to procedures like facial injectables and laser resurfacing treatments that do not require hospitalization or large incisions. They are also associated with little to no downtime, which means you can typically be in and out of the doctor’s office without much discomfort. The 6 common non-surgical facelift treatments are:

  1. Botox
    Botox injections effectively treat fine lines and wrinkles between the eyebrows, forehead creases, crow’s feet around the eyes, and other wrinkles in the upper face region.
  2. Dermal Fillers
    These fillers can restore the volume (without surgery) in just a few minutes and you will look like you had a facelift. These procedures are sometimes called “lunchtime facelifts” or “liquid facelifts.”
  3. Fat Transfer
    Fat can be removed from other areas of your body, and then reinjected into the face to strategically address the volume loss, laugh lines, smile lines, crow’s feet, lips, acne scars, skin depressions, concave cheeks, and any other sunken areas of the face.
  4. Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), Ultrasound, And Laser Treatments
    IPL and lasers can address correction of pigmentation, fine lines, blotchiness, and redness, which gives very subtle, but sometimes permanent results that mimic a facelift.
  5. Kybella
    If you have a heavy sagging neck, but fairly good skin, your jawline may be corrected without surgery by injecting a newer fat blasting medication called Kybella.
  6. Laser Lifts
    Laser lifts require very small incisions under the chin and behind the ears. A fine laser is threaded under the skin to remove fat and tighten the area. They are ideal for the lower face and neck, and offer permanent results that instantly chisel and sculpt.
non-surgical facelift procedures
Facelift Surgery - Dr. Michael Kelly

Who Is A Good Candidate For A Facelift?

People who take care of their skin and are in good overall health typically are the best candidates for facelift surgery.

How Long Does The Surgery Take?

The extent of the procedure will determine the time:

  • Mini-facelifts can be done in less than 2 hours.
  • Standard facelifts usually take 3 to 4 hours, and may take up to 6 when combined with eyelid or brow surgery.

What Are The Risks/Side-Effects?

Although infrequent, the risks and complications of facelift surgery include:

  • Bad reaction to anesthesia
  • Poor wound healing
  • Seroma (fluid collection) formation
  • Bleeding, hematoma, bruising
  • Infection
  • Neurological dysfunction (loss of muscle function or sensation), which is usually temporary
  • Widened or thickened scar
  • Loss of hair (around the incision site)
  • Asymmetry (unevenness between two sides)
  • Skin necrosis (loss of skin from tissue death)

How Long Will The Facelift Result Last Vs Fillers?

  • Facelift
    Depending on the type of facelift, results last for anything from 2 to 15 years.
  • Dermal Fillers
    Results depend on the type of filler used – Hyaluronic acid fillers tend to be the most temporary option, and will typically last from 6 to 18 months. Other dermal fillers can last up to 5 years.
Male Facelift Surgery - Dr. Michael Kelly
Before Facelift Surgery - Dr. Michael Kelly

How Long Should Swelling And Numbness Last After A Facelift?

It is normal to have swelling and numbness after a facelift for 6 to 8 weeks. This will subside gradually, but the significant swelling should subside in 10 to 14 days.

Will I Have Visible Scars From A Facelift?

The modern methods of plastic surgery allow scars to be hidden extremely well. When properly placed (hidden in the ear canal, behind the ear, and in the hairline) the incisions are almost imperceptible in most patients.

What Is Not Included In A Facelift?

A facelift will not include the eyelids or eyebrow as part of the facial rejuvenation process.

What Does A Facelift Cost On Average?

The cost of a facelift varies from patient to patient, from doctor to doctor, and from city to city. According to 2017 statistics from The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of a facelift is $7,444.

Why Choose Dr. Michael Kelly For Your Facelift Procedure?

Dr. Michael Kelly is board certified in general surgery, as well as plastic and reconstructive surgery.

He is a member of the:

  • American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons,
  • the Greater Miami Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons,
  • the Florida Medical Association, and
  • the Dade County Medical Society.

Every year, for the past 15 years, he has been named one of the Top Plastic Surgeons at either the local and national level by organizations such as:

  • the Miami Metro Magazine,
  • the Guide to Top Doctors,
  • Castle-Connolly Publishing, and
  • the Consumer Research Council of America.

All of these awards are generated by asking physicians to whom they would refer a family member – you cannot really hope for a better referral than that!

Contact Dr. Kelly today to book a consultation.

Dr. Michael Kelly – Facial Plastic Surgeon at Miami Plastic Surgery

Miami Plastic Surgery has practices in Baptist, Coral Gables, and South Miami.
Call for additional information or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kelly toll free on (877) 774-7716.

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