Frequently Asked Questions About Face Lift Surgery
1. Am I candidate for a Face Lift?
2. What is a Face Lift?
3. When is a Face Lift usually performed?
4. What does a typical Face Lift consultation entail?
5. How is a Face Lift performed?
6. What are the different techniques in performing a Face Lift?
7.What should I expect post-operatively?
8. When will the sutures be taken out and does this hurt?
9. Will there be scarring? If so where will the scars be located?
10. Is there a lot of swelling involved with a Face Lift?
11. How long is the "down time" for this procedure; how
long should I expect to be out of work?
12. When will I be able to see the results?
13. What are the risks of Face Lift?
14. What is Arnica montana or Bromelain, I have heard
that these homeopathics reduce swelling and bruising? Which is the best
kind to take?
15. How long does a Face Lift last?
If you feel as if
your skin is starting to sag around the jowls, the forehead and generally
all over, if you look tired and physically exhausted and you, in
fact, are NOT. Perhaps you are feeling as if your skin is starting to
become aged looking and are searching for a way to restore your appearance to
its younger looking state. Then, a Face Lift is one of the options that you can take. If it is just the
sagging on the forehead or eyebrows, then an endoscopic brow lift might be best
for you. Full face lifts are generally saved for those of us who are more
"mature." However, younger patients are seeking mid and lower
face lifts today.
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The Face Lift is a cosmetic surgery
procedure designed to improve the signs of the aging tightening the muscles
beneath the skin of the neck, tightening the sagging skin itself, removing
excess fat and overall improving the appearance; rejuvenating the face to its
former youthful appearance. Post-operative patients agree that a face lift
seems to take 10 years off of their appearance, easy.
There is no usual age that a patient requests a face lift.
It can be from
30's to 80's. Although, a brow lift can work wonders for younger patients
whose only complaint is horizontal lines on the forehead and sagging brows or slightly
hooded eyes. Brow lifts are often requested in the late
20's-early 30's category and up. It is quite possible that a brow lift is
all that is needed.
However, A face lift
can produce better results in those who are more mature or need extensive
lifting and tightening or rejuvenation. Seeking an entire lifting of the
facial skin and/or structure to produce a more youthful and alert appearance.
You can discuss your available options with your surgeon to determine what is
best for your individual case.
First off, your
doctor will discuss your goals with you and he will explain what can be achieved
realistically. Some patients may require a deep plane face lift involving
the tightening of the inner muscular structure of the face. You should
bring photos of yourself at an earlier age to determine your original
facial look so the effect can be a natural one. Most patients don't want
to wake up and not look like yourself once you heal. You just want
to try and achieve a more 'pulled together' look; an attractive you at a younger
age. Although, some of you may want to change the structure of your face
altogether. Discuss with your surgeon the goals and general result you
would like to achieve. It is all individual. Just like you!
The Face Lift
operation is most frequently performed using General or Light Sleep Anesthesia.
After your arrival additional medications are given intravenously which induce a
profound state of relaxation. Patients usually sleep during the operation.
Much of the time patients have very little memory of the operation itself.
After this state is achieved then medicines are given to produce numbness of the
surgical area. This type of anesthesia is most frequently preferred by
patients. It causes almost no recovery necessary from the anesthetics
themselves unlike general anesthesia which may produce nausea after the surgery.
It also carries less risk of complications. If general anesthesia is
preferred, this may also be used.
This procedure takes
about 2 to 6 hours to perform. It may take longer if you choose to have a
neck lift as well. For procedures 3 hours or longer, many surgeons advise General
anesthesia. Depending upon your facial structure the incisions will
be placed as inconspicuously as possible above the hairline. Some doctors
still cut at the hairline so ask your doctor which incisions he prefers.
The incisions usually begin above the hairline, at the temples, continuing in a
natural line in front of the ear. Some doctors can make the incisions with
the cartilage just in the front-inside part of the ear, ending behind the
earlobe and lower region of the scalp.
The skin is
separated from the fat and muscle below it. If the neck lift is being
performed with the face lift, a small incision is placed inconspicuously
underneath the chin and excess fat may removed by either trimming it by hand or
by facial liposuction. More than likely, your surgeon will use the facial
liposuction technique. The underlying muscle and fascia are tightened and
the skin itself is pulled back, trimmed and sutured into place. Sometimes
surgical staples are used within the scalp. The surgeon may place a small
drain tube behind your ears for excess fluid and blood drainage.
Please see the Face
Lift Page for a full account of how this procedure is performed.
older-style or standard skin-only face lifts that don't seem to last
as long nor improve the appearance as much as a deep plane or 2 layer lift will.
The deeper lifts involve lifting the SMAS (sub-muscular aponeurotic system, the facial muscles) which tightens the jowls, cheeks and the face in
Although, there is
normally no extensive pain related to the facelift operation, pain medication is
prescribed before hand. You may feel a degree of numbness that will
normally disappear within a 1-3 months.
Don't be alarmed at
the presence of bruising and swelling. This is very normal and you must
realize that your skin and underlying tissues have been stretched, pulled and
cut. The swelling will begin to disappear within the first couple of
weeks. Many patients return to work with the help of camouflaging
cosmetics at about 10 days post-op.
Things to be alarmed
about that are not normal:
elevation greater than 101 degrees
or sudden discoloration
redness and tenderness of the wound edges indicating infection
reaction to drugs
The drain tube, if
used, will be removed in approximately 2 to 3 days. Although your bandages
may not be removed until about day 5. Your face will swell, and it appears at
it's worse at day three. Your stitches may be removed the same day as your
bandages; if surgical staples were used within the scalp area, they may be
removed in 7 to 10 days.
Some scarring is
necessary, usually hidden in the hairline, behind the ears or under the jaw
line. The surgery is individual to your needs and your doctor can discuss
with you the techniques that he uses. Endoscopic procedures involve tiny
scars hidden in inconspicuous areas.
You can expect
considerable swelling at day three. Your face
may look quite normal when you get home but the next day and the day after it
will begin to swell. You may not recognize yourself, do not be alarmed,
this will subside. In two weeks you will be delighted in the
You can expect to
resume regular activities in about 3 weeks. It really is individual but
the swelling is quite pronounced involving a facelift. There is bruising
and of course a support will be worn at night to alleviate tissue stress and to
support the healing tissues correctly. I wouldn't make any plans to attend
any weddings or other functions where you will be high profile for at least 6
Having a facelift
does not halt the effects of aging. You may choose to undergo a facelift
again within 10 to 12 years. You will notice the tightening in your facial
skin and muscle structure as soon as your swelling subsides. You do not
want a severe "pulled back" look that is often seen in bad
facelifts. This result is not normal and looks very done.
Your face lift should lend alertness and vitality as in your youth. You
will not look twenty or even thirty if you have a face lift at age 50.
That is not the intention. However, you will agree that your appearance
resembles a younger more relaxed version of you.
There is a chance of
hematoma (blood clots), numbness from nerve damage and hyperpigmentation
(permanent discolorations) caused by the bruising. There may be asymmetry
and/or undesired results resulting from a face lift. Possible infections
may arise and scarring can be apparent depending on the incision placement.
There can be necrosis of the facial fat and tissues resulting in tissue removal.
If performed by an unskilled surgeon, it is very possible to have your skin
pulled too tight and result in a very windswept look.
also known as:
Tobacco, Mountain Arnica, Common Arnica, Leopard's Bane and Sneezewort
plant family: Asteraceae
type: Herbaceous perennial
parts used: Roots and flowers
description: Arnica montana or Leopard's Bane is a perennial herb,
growing close to the ground. The leaves form a flat rosette, from the center of
which rises a flower stalk, 1 to 2 feet high, bearing orange-yellow flowers. The
rhizome is dark brown, cylindrical, usually curved, and bears brittle wiry
rootlets on the under surface.
habitat: Indigenous to Central Europe, in woods and mountain pastures,
although it has been found in England and Southern Scotland.
warning: This herb should NEVER be taken in raw form. This plant, like
many medicinal plants if ingested, can cause intestinal bleeding, abdominal
cramping and sickness. Homeopathy is the medicinal use of tinctures and
suspensions using herbs and other plants and should never be consumed without
proper preparation. Only respectable homeopathic remedies and tinctures should
from the plant of the: Pineapple
also known as: Ananas, Nanas, Pina
plant family: Bromeliaceae
parts used: mostly in the stems of pineapples, but some fruit is used as
description: 2 1/2 to 5 ft. high with a spread of 3 to 4 ft. The plant is
like a thick stem with a rosette of wide, waxy leaves. These pointed
green, red, and white/off white striped leaves are approximately 18 - 70 inches
long and graced with a spiny needle-like tip.
plant produces a sweet to tangy and sometimes sour fruit that is yellow to white
in color. The unpeeled fruit is brownish with a hard, spiky covering and a large
green sprout from it crown. The fruit is shaped like a coffee can with rounded
ends and is about 10-12 inches long usually when considered prime and may even
weigh up to 10 lbs.
to southern Brazil and Paraguay, The fruit
is now grown all over in green houses and in the fields of Spain, Guatemala,
Hawaii and more. The pineapple is a tropical plant and thrives in hot, humid
places. Although it can survive cold snaps, it is not recommended for the more
northern areas if intended to be grown outdoors.
Bromelain is an anti-inflammatory formula
containing the proteolytic enzyme from the stems of pineapples.
Proteolytic enzymes are capable of dissolving proteins. It is most often used
after sports injuries, to relive edema and after surgical procedures to help
ALWAYS ASK YOUR SURGEON FIRST
BEFORE TAKING ANY MEDICATION.
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It is hard to say,
but normally a face lift can last about 10 years. Of course, every case is
individual and you will look younger regardless. This procedure can not
stop you from aging but can lessen the appearance of your general sagginess
and/or lines. Patients have shown up to a 7 to 12 year waiting period before
choosing to undergo additional rejuvenation procedures.
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