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Face Lift

The indications

Less than a generation ago, men and women did not consider a “facelift” until they were well into their Golden Years. Today, a “facelift” is just one of a myriad of options available to you under the general term: “facial rejuvenation.” Patients from their thirties well into to their seventies can benefit from various facial rejuvenation techniques. Faces age in many different ways and at different rates, thus there are a variety of paths available to you – both surgical and nonsurgical. Sometimes a combination of procedures is necessary to achieve the aesthetic results you desire. The time you spend in consultation with Dr. Watanabe will be very important in determining which procedures you must consider to meet your post surgical expectations. A facelift usually involves lifting and sculpturing of the face, cheeks, jowls, and neck. It usually does not involve the lines around the eyes (“crow’s feet”) or the lines around the lips. This lift affects everything below the lower eyelids down to and including the neck. It helps to correct sagging skin, folds, hollows and puffiness due to aging and gravity. The wind blown, wind tunnel, tight look of years past has been supplanted by a more beautiful, natural looking result.

The procedure

A facelift can be done under either IV sedation or general anesthesia. It is a very detailed procedure and specifically tailored to the individual patient. The most successful facelift involves much more than just pulling and tightening. The techniques that are commonly employed included suspension and repositioning of the underlying soft tissues (muscle and/or fat), sculpting and reshaping these same soft tissues, and finally artfully redraping the skin envelope. In order to achieve the best overall results, a combination of procedures including a facelift, may sometimes be required. See Other Options below.

The incisions are carefully and meticulously made in the hairline and around the curves of the ear to try make the scar as inconspicuous as possible. These incisions are precisely placed to allow the surgeon to visualize the underlying facial structures. Repositioning, redistributing, and reshaping are the three key elements of returning you to a more rested, youthful, natural appearance. The final step is to drape the skin over the newly sculpted foundation and accurately excising the excess skin so as not to get that “tight” look. Finally, the incisions are closed with sutures.

You can expect

Immediately following surgery you will experience swelling, bruising and numbness. When you leave the surgical suite, the only covering over the incisions is antibiotic ointment. Dr. Watanabe does not routinely use bandages and compression garments because of their tendency to exacerbate the swelling of the midface, compromise the circulation to the skin flaps and increase anxiety due to claustrophobia. You will have drainage tubes. These tubes drain off any excess fluid that may accumulate under the skin and thus help speed up the post operative healing process by decreasing bruising and swelling. These tubes usually are removed by the 5th or 7th day after surgery. While you maybe uncomfortable, there is usually no severe pain associated with a facelift. This is an outpatient procedure and normally you can go home right from the recovery room. However, you will need assistance for a few days because the more you rest and sleep with your head elevated the smoother and faster the recovery. Medication, such as antibiotics, analgesics, and anti-inflammatory medication will be prescribed. Dr. Watanabe will see you on the first, fifth and tenth days after your facelift.

Your stitches will be removed on the 5th and 10th days. You may not want to step outside the house for the first two weeks. The swelling and bruising can last from 3-4 weeks up to 2 months. You must protect your skin from the sun during this convalescent period. You will be able to resume mild activities within 2 weeks or go back to a sedentary job.

Other Options

Surgical: Necklift, Browlift (endoscopic coronoplasty), eyelid surgery, rhinoplasty, facial implants, facial liposculpture.

Nonsurgical: lip augmentation, botox, laser resurfacing, Chemical peel.

A word about financing

Facelifts can be made very affordable through our partners at CareCredit. Visit them at www.carecredit.com. Patty would be happy to answer any of your questions or assist you with the necessary paperwork.

Insurance Notes

A facelift is considered a purely aesthetic procedure and as such is not covered by insurance.


 

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