Facelifts remain one of the most popular cosmetic surgical procedures in the United States. Each year, surgeons perform more than 200,000 facelift procedures to help people regain a more youthful appearance. [1]

If you would like to improve sagging skin, deep creases, and other signs of aging in your face or neck, a facelift might be a good choice for you. Keep reading to learn more about what facelifts are, the types available, and how to prepare for the procedure. 

What Is a Facelift?

A facelift is a surgical procedure that can improve the way your face and neck look by repositioning or removing skin, muscle, or fat. 

With age, your skin can start to lose its elasticity. After your 20s, the production of important proteins called elastin and collagen begins to decrease. These proteins contribute to your skin’s youthful firmness. Collagen can decrease by as much as 1.5% each year, and this causes your skin to develop creases and begin to sag. [2]

A facelift can be a good choice for treating:

  • Deep creases or folds around the mouth
  • Jowls
  • Sagging facial skin
  • Diminished facial volume
  • Sagging neck skin

A facelift does not generally involve an eye or brow lift, but many people choose to have them at the same time. 

Facelift surgery is highly individualized to tackle your unique concerns. It is a procedure best suited for people who are in good health, have realistic expectations about the results, and still have some skin elasticity. 

It may not be a good procedure if you have bleeding disorders, smoke, or have a serious medical condition. 

Types of Facelifts

There are a few types of facelifts that you may want to consider. The one best suited for you will depend on the results you want to achieve and how invasive you want the surgery to be. Read more about some of the most popular types of facelifts. 

Mini-Facelift

A mini-facelift focuses on the lower part of your face and on your neck. It can be a good choice for people who are younger and just starting to develop visible signs of aging. It can be especially helpful in the treatment of jowls, or the loose skin that hangs down from your cheek area. 

Traditional Facelift

This type of facelift usually involves the surgeon making incisions around your ears, below your chin, and around your hairline. The surgeon can then tighten muscles and tissue, as well as reposition fat, to give you a more youthful appearance. It is an option that works well for people with moderate to severe signs of aging. 

Mid-Facelift

A mid-facelift treats the middle area of your face, especially the cheeks. It can help lift and firm up sagging skin from the eyes to the upper mouth. 

What to Expect from the Consultation

Before any facelift procedure, you must schedule a consultation with your surgeon. The consultation is one of the most crucial steps in the whole process. It takes up to half an hour and involves an assessment of the treatment area in addition to a discussion of your full medical history. 

During your consultation, you should tell the surgeon about:

  • Medications and supplements you take
  • Any history of smoking or excessive drinking 
  • Your surgical goals

This is the time to ask questions about the procedure and what you can expect from the results and recovery process. 

During the consultation, the surgeon might also take pictures of the treatment area.

Facelift Preparations

There are some things you have to do to prepare for a facelift, just as you would for any other type of surgery. Your doctor will likely have you get some bloodwork done or require your GP to provide a general evaluation. 

You may have to adjust the dosage of some medications or stop taking them altogether as you prepare. If you smoke, you will have to stop before getting the procedure. You will also have to stop taking anti-inflammatory and blood-thinning medications and supplements like aspirin, ibuprofen, vitamin E, and fish oil. 

You will receive general anesthesia for the procedure, so you have to make sure you have someone who can drive you home afterward. 

Your surgeon may also give you certain products to apply to your face to help prepare the skin for surgery. 

The Facelift Procedure

It is crucial that you do not eat or drink anything eight hours before surgery. Do not wear makeup, jewelry, or contact lenses for the procedure. 

You will receive general anesthesia and then the surgery can begin. Where the surgeon makes the incisions will depend on the kind of facelift you choose, but the procedure itself involves repositioning or removing skin and fat, as well as tightening muscles. 

If you want to know the exact steps the surgeon will take, they can walk you through them during your consultation. 

Recovery After a Facelift

Your doctor will take you to a recovery room after surgery to monitor you as you wake up. After a couple of hours, you will likely be able to go home. 

To help you achieve the best results, your surgeon will give you instructions on how to take care of the incision sites. You will also schedule your follow-up appointment. 

The recovery process can take two or three weeks, though it can take up to three months for your face to fully heal. During the recovery period, you do not want to engage in any strenuous activities. If you choose a mini-facelift, the recovery process can be shorter. 

Turn to Experts for a Facelift

If your face and neck are starting to show signs of aging like sagging skin and creasing, you should consider reaching out to experts for a facelift. A facelift can offer the lasting results you want, although it does require some downtime. 

Take the time to talk to leading professionals in your area about whether this option is the right one for you and your aesthetic concerns. 

References:

[1] 2020 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report

[2] https://parjournal.net/article/view/3863

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