Knowing what to expect is important if you are looking to schedule a facelift. This will help you determine if this is the right procedure for you.
Researching your surgeon before scheduling your surgery is also a good idea. Look for before and after photos that show a natural-appearing result.
Know Your Surgeon
The best way to proceed with a surgical facelift is to ensure your surgeon has extensive experience and a solid track record. You can ask your doctor for recommendations or speak to family members and friends who have had similar procedures. Once you have compiled a list of surgeons, visit their websites and read through their educational background and patient testimonials. Pay particular attention to the before-and-after photos, focusing on the results of patients with faces that look similar to yours, to get an idea of each surgeon’s aesthetic sensibility.
Once you’ve narrowed your list, consider scheduling a consultation with each surgeon. During your consultation, a good plastic surgeon will take the time to listen and answer all of your questions. They’ll also take note of your concerns and explain what the surgery entails, including any potential complications or recovery periods.
It would help to ask about your surgeon’s training and board certification. And if you’re concerned about financial conflicts of interest, Brownlee suggests asking each surgeon whether they receive payments from pharmaceutical companies or surgical device manufacturers. Such charges may influence doctors to use certain devices, leading to suboptimal outcomes. You can also check this information on ProPublica’s Dollars for Docs website, which tracks payments made to physicians by pharmaceutical and medical device companies.
Know Your Procedure
A surgical facelift is great for people with excess neck and jawline skin. It can tighten loose skin, remove excess fat, and look youthful. Facelifts can be combined with other procedures in facial plastic surgery, such as eyelid and brow lifts. It is best to consult a surgeon to create a plan tailored to your needs.
Learn more about your surgeon’s training and experience before you undergo a facelift. Choose a facial plastic surgeon who is dual-board-certified and has extensive knowledge of facial anatomy.
Ask your surgeon about his recovery process and what you can expect after a facelift. Normal bruising, swelling and pain usually peak two days following the procedure. During this time, you may rest at home. The swelling and bruising should slowly improve over the next 14-20 days. It is best to keep your hands off your neck and head during this period to avoid accidentally rubbing or scratching the area. Avoid taking blood-thinning supplements or medications, as these can increase the risk of bleeding during and after your procedure.
Know Your Recovery
It’s important to remember that the recovery time from a surgical facelift can vary from one person to another, and every individual heals at their speed. For this reason, the best way to proceed with a facelift is to listen to your body and follow the guidelines of your facial plastic surgeon.
You can expect to experience some soreness for the first week, which is typically manageable with prescription pain medications. Ibuprofen or aspirin are also effective pain relievers. After two weeks, you may be able to resume light exercises but avoid bending or lifting heavy items to prevent aggravating the incisions.
Facelifts can cause swelling and bruises, but these will fade as the healing continues. Use cold compresses daily on the neck and forehead to relieve these symptoms. The cold of the ice can cause blood vessels to constrict and reduce swelling.
Following your surgeon’s preoperative and postoperative care instructions, including avoiding certain medications, like aspirin, is important. This can slow down the healing process and cause complications. In addition, it’s a good idea to quit smoking before surgery, as this can restrict the ability of your skin to heal.
Know Your Results
During a surgical facelift, muscles and tissues are tightened; fat is sculpted or removed, and skin is re-draped over the newly sculpted contours. The results can be dramatic. In many cases, a person’s peers won’t be able to tell that they had surgery. But, it takes a couple of weeks for most patients to feel comfortable enough to go out in public without worrying about bruising or swelling.
A patient’s best chance of getting optimal results is to follow the surgeon’s pre- and post-op instructions. This can improve healing and reduce the chances of complications such as infection. It’s also important for patients to realize that it can take a year or more before the results of their facelift are fully evident.
The most common complications of a facelift are excessive bleeding and wound problems. This can happen even when a qualified and experienced facial plastic surgeon does the surgery.
Some people may also experience uneven scarring. This happens when the scar tissue is thicker or more visible than the surrounding skin. In such cases, the surgeon can sometimes correct the issue by performing a scar revision. The ideal candidate for a facelift is a man or woman who has begun to notice that their facial and neck skin is starting to sag but still has some elasticity.