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What Should A Facelift Candidate Know About Surgery?

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You would be hard pressed to think of a cosmetic surgery that is more transformative than the facelift. With the ability to make patients look up to ten years younger practically overnight, it is no surprise that the facelift continues to be one of the most popular procedures performed on men and women across the country each year. The exceptional board-certified plastic surgeons at Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery take great pride in helping Northern Virginia patients turn back the clock and achieve beautiful results through facelift surgery and complementary procedures.

If you are like most people, you may begin to notice the first signs of facial aging in your 20s, 30s, or 40s. Superficial lines and wrinkles are typically the first to appear, with deeper folds, forehead lines, and other hallmarks of age appearing soon after. Many men and women choose to address the earliest signs of aging with noninvasive or minimally invasive treatments such as fillers, BOTOX, or chemical peels. However, there is a point when it may become necessary to pursue a more invasive option, such as a facelift. If you are curious about how a facelift may benefit you, it is important to understand some basics about the procedure itself, including what to expect during the surgery, what the recovery entails, and what kind of results may be possible.

What is a facelift?

A facelift is a surgical procedure designed to help patients appear younger through the lifting and tightening of facial tissue, skin, and muscles. Excision of excess skin is also often part of a facelift. There are several different types of facelift, and the approach your surgeon takes may depend on his or her preference and experience, your specific needs and concerns, and a variety of other factors. The deep plane and SMAS facelifts are two of the most widely performed facelift techniques.

How can a facelift help me?

One of the most beneficial aspects of the facelift is that it can address a wide variety of concerns and complaints during a single surgery. Some of the common problems that can be corrected with a facelift include:

  • Facial lines
  • Wrinkles
  • Crow’s feet
  • Laugh lines
  • Sagging jowls
  • Excess skin/fat under the neck
  • Drooping brow
  • Tired or angry appearance

When combined with complementary procedures and treatments, such as fillers, a brow lift, a neck lift, and a blepharoplasty, the results of your facelift can be even more dramatic. During your initial one-on-one consultation with one of the talented and experienced surgeons at Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery, you will have the opportunity to discuss all of your concerns and goals at length. The surgeon will carefully evaluate your face and put together a custom treatment plan to best meet your needs.

What can I expect during a facelift?

The details of your facelift, including how long the surgery may take, will depend on what technique is used, what procedures are being performed, the experience of your surgeon, and other factors. In general, a full facelift usually takes about 3-4 hours, while a mini facelift may be able to be completed in 2-3 hours. When a blepharoplasty or eyelid surgery is combined with your facelift, the procedure can last up to six hours. The surgeon will carefully place the incisions so that any resulting scars are easily concealed within the hairline or the natural creases of the face and neck. At the conclusion of the case, your surgeon will close all of the incisions with sutures, and you will be taken to the recovery room. Depending on the extent of your surgery, it may be recommended that you spend at least one night in our facility to be monitored closely.

What is the recovery after a facelift like and when will I see my facelift results?

Following a facelift surgery, patients should expect some level of discomfort, bruising, and swelling. Your doctor will prescribe pain medication and give you a full list of postoperative guidelines to help relieve your symptoms. The majority of the swelling and bruising should resolve after about 10-14 days, and most patients are able to return to work in two weeks. However, your face will continue to undergo subtle changes, and the final results of your facelift may not be visible for 4-6 months.

How long will my facelift results last?

A surgical facelift is far superior to less invasive treatments in terms of the longevity of results that is possible. Most fillers and other injectable agents last between 6-18 months, while the results of a surgical facelift can be enjoyed for many years to come. It is important to remember that the aging process will still take place, so a facelift can’t be considered a permanent solution, but regular maintenance with injectable agents can prolong your results. Avoiding sun exposure, smoking, and excessive alcohol intake are also useful in maintaining the results of a facelift for as long as possible.

I am interested in a facelift in Northern Virginia!

If you are interested in learning more about how a facelift can enhance your look, the first step is to consult with a qualified, certified, and experienced plastic surgeon. Call the convenient Reston, VA office of Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery to schedule your consultation today, and let us help you put your best face forward!

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