The best candidates for a rhytidectomy have some elasticity remaining in their skin. Generally, men and women between the ages of 40 and 60 are ideal, but many older and younger patients also prove to be great candidates for facelifts. It's also helpful to have a well-defined facial bone structure.
Being in good health is ideal. Plastic surgeons need to know about a patient's overall health. Do patients use blood thinners, aspirin or ibuprofen, herbal supplements, cigarettes/cigars/pipes, or alcohol on a daily basis? Those who do may not be suitable candidates for a facelift.
Smoking restricts the flow of oxygen to blood vessels. This impedes the healing process. We ask for facelift patients to stop smoking at least two weeks prior to the surgery and for at least two weeks following the surgery.
It's important for patients to be realistic about the results following a plastic surgery. There will be swelling and bruising. A facelift tightens and smooths the skin of the lower face and neck. For some patients results are dramatic, for others results are more subtle. The best results are those which allow a patient to look more youthful but still natural, like a better version of themself.
Healing times vary from person to person. Patients are advised to sleep with their head elevated for a couple of weeks following the surgery. Sleeping on the back in a recliner or propped up with at least two pillows under the head is ideal. This reduces swelling.
Finally, ideal facelift candidates are willing to abide by certain rules following the surgery. These rules include avoiding strenuous activity for two weeks and no lifting of heavy objects for three weeks. Patients should not wear clothing that pulls over the head for two weeks or drive for at least one week. Hair dyes cannot be used for four weeks. Patients also need to avoid hard, chewy foods or yawning for two weeks.
Dr. Mark Hamilton is an Indiana facelift surgeon double board certified in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery and otolaryngology. Hamilton Facial Plastic Surgery is located in Indianapolis and can be reached at (800) 597-3223 or online at http://www.hamiltonfps.com/.
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