The facelift procedure can be done in a number of different ways depending on the target area. General anesthesia is often used. Once the anesthesia has been administered, the next step is to make an incision around the temple and ears to separate the layers of skin from the face. At that time, the physician may redistribute fat from different parts of the face, tighten facial muscles, and remove excess skin from the face if necessary. Once that has been done, the skin will be re-draped over the face. Finally, the incisions will be closed with a special skin adhesive solution or sutures. It typically takes two weeks to recover from a facelift and patients are advised not to smoke during that period. The patient will likely have some bandages around the face during recovery and the physician may also place a drain there to reduce swelling and bleeding around the area. It can take several months for all of the face to heal in order to see the full effects of the facelift procedure.
While the facelift will provide you with a more youthful appearance, it is important to have realistic expectations regarding the results of the procedure. It will have a positive effect on your appearance, but it is not possible to use it as a tool to entirely reverse the effects of aging. As for wrinkle reduction, re-draping the skin will improve wrinkles and lines to some degree. However, the facelift does not pull or stretch the skin tightly enough to improve deep wrinkles as this would create an unnatural, "windswept" appearance. The facelift is really designed to address excess, sagging skin and jowling.
The benefit of the facelift is that the results of the procedure are long lasting and often dramatic. For true wrinkle reduction, however, other treatments such as chemical peels, laser resurfacing, Botox and injectable fillers may be a better option. These treatments are often performed in conjunction with facelift surgery to achieve optimal results.
Dr. Ronald A. Lohner is a board certified plastic surgeon offering facial surgery, body contouring and breast enhancement in the Main Line area of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Call him today at (610) 519-0600 for a personalized consultation to discuss your goals and options for enhancing your appearance.
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