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5 Facts To Know About Facelifts Before Entering the OR

woman's face

While there are multiple nonsurgical options available to enhance the appearance of your face and combat certain signs of aging, the visible and long-lasting results that are achievable through a full facelift are unmatched. As with any procedure, we know that undergoing surgery is a big decision. Our team of board-certified plastic surgeons at Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery are here to guide patients in Northern Virginia through the process and answer all of your questions to determine if a facelift is the appropriate choice for you.

To get started, here are five basic facts about facelifts:

1. There are different types of facelift procedures. The term “facelift” is often used to refer to a variety of procedures, but it is important for patients in Northern Virginia to understand the technical differences between each of the surgeries. Many of these procedures can be done on their own or as part of a combined larger procedure.

- Full facelift: The traditional full facelift is used to effectively lift the entire face, addressing the upper, mid, and lower portions of the face including the jowls. During the procedure, your plastic surgeon will employ various techniques such as fat sculpting and redistribution, manipulation of underlying tissue, and removal of excess skin to address your particular needs.

- “Mini” facelift: Unlike a full facelift, a mini facelift addresses only the mid portion of the face. While patients will receive a smaller incision and typically less scarring, the mini facelift will not enhance the jowls, the neck, or the brow line. Isolated upper and lower lift procedures are also available.

- Neck lift: Often used in conjunction with one of the above facelifts, the neck lift is a targeted procedure designed to improve the contour of the jowls, neck, and chin.

- Brow lift: Another targeted procedure is the brow lift, a fairly straightforward surgery in which the appearance of the forehead, brow line, and eyes can be enhanced.

- Additional procedures: In addition to the facelift procedures, which involve manipulating the layers of tissue and muscle under the skin, your plastic surgeon may use other techniques during the procedure to enhance your results. These can include fat harvesting and redistribution, liposuction, and the use of injectable fillers.

2. What a facelift can and can’t do. While a facelift produces arguably the most dramatic results in terms of visibly reducing many signs of aging, there are some things that are only correctable through other methods such as fillers and BOTOX. A surgical facelift will address sagging skin, prominent jowls, excess fat in the neck and chin, deep nasal-cheek folds, and more. When paired with laser treatments and intermittent fillers or BOTOX, patients in Northern Virginia can also address fine lines, wrinkles, and other issues, maximizing their overall results.

3. What the recovery period is like. A facelift procedure is tolerated well by the majority of patients, with minimal discomfort following the procedure. It is recommended that you have someone to help you for at least the first 24 hours after surgery, and sutures will be removed at your post-operative appointment about one week following the procedure. Patients can expect some bruising and swelling of the face, but most are able to return to work after 10-14 days and sometimes sooner.

4. What results you can expect. Immediately after the procedure, patients are able to see an initial result in the form of a raising or tightening of the skin and face. The final results of a facelift can take up to several months to be realized. After your bruising and swelling fully resolve, you can expect a more youthful appearance overall. Depending on what procedure(s) you undergo, you will see drastic improvements including the loss of excess skin or fat on the neck and chin, the reduction of sagging jowls, a firmer brow line, and more.

A common concern for patients considering a facelift is the amount of scarring associated with the procedure. Our board-certified plastic surgeons at Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery take great care to place incisions thoughtfully and discretely, aiming to achieve the best results with the least amount of visible scarring. Typically, incisions are placed along the ear line and hairline with a very purposeful technique designed to disguise them almost completely. After complete healing, you can consult with your plastic surgeon about additional treatments to reduce the appearance of the scar if necessary.

5. The most important thing. As with any surgical procedure, the experience and knowledge of the plastic surgeon is vital to a successful outcome. During your consultation, don’t hesitate to ask about the experience, expertise, training, and certifications of the plastic surgeon who will be performing the facelift. The longevity of results, the appearance of scars, and the overall success of the procedure rely heavily on having a board-certified plastic surgeon who is highly experienced in performing facelifts.

At Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery, our board-certified plastic surgeons and staff are committed to providing the highest level of patient care and treatment, employing their extensive knowledge and experience in facial cosmetic surgeries. Take the first step toward turning back the clock on aging, and call our office today to schedule your consultation.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.