A Facelift (Rhytidectomy) smoothes loose skin on your face and neck and decreases visible signs of aging such as deep cheek folds and jowls. Different variations of a facelift may reposition deeper tissues and underlying fat to restore a more youthful contour to your face. Incisions are placed within the hairline and in the natural contours in front of, and behind, the ears. Modified (limited incisions) can also be done to correct only the lower face and neck at our practice in Chicago, IL.
After facelift surgery, some degree of bruising and swelling will occur, as well as temporary numbness in the face and neck. Make-up can be worn 5 to 7 days after the procedure, and patients are often back to work within two weeks.
As we age, gravity takes its most obvious toll on our faces. Over time, we all experience a loss of skin elasticity and muscle tone of the face and neck. If you have developed facial and neck wrinkles, deep creases between the base of your nose and the corner of your mouth (frequently referred to as parentheses) or the appearance of jowls, a facelift can help to turn back the clock.
Dr. Wiener of Chicago IL prides himself on exceptional facelift results! He carefully and skillfully creates a more rested and youthful contour to the face and neck. Each facelift is different, based on your particular needs and goals.
Types of Facelift Surgery
A facelift can vary in size from mini, or a limited facelift, to the more standard face and neck lift, depending on the location and extent of skin laxity.
A Mini-Face Lift is done to improve the face, cheeks, and jowls through a limited incision in the front of, and partially within the ear only. This is done when neck skin laxity is not a major concern. Cheek and Jowl skin is smoothed and deeper tissues, including facial fat, are elevated.
Recovery is about 1 to 2 weeks for a Mini-Face Lift. Additionally, a limited incision can be done just in front of the earlobes, stretching behind the ears to rejuvenate only the neck. Once again, recovery is about 1 to 2 weeks.
More extensive correction of the face and neck can be done with a Face and Neck Lift (SMAS LIFT). Here, the fibrous, deeper tissue which carries the facial fat, is lifted and the neck muscles are tightened. The facial skin is then repositioned, and excess skin is removed, resulting in a rested, rejuvenated appearance that looks years younger. Recovery from these more extensive rejuvenating procedures is approximately two weeks. Additional procedures, such as Eyelid Lifts, Brow Lifts and Laser Skin Resurfacing are often combined with a facelift or neck lifts to enhance the result of surgery.
The facelift operation (mini, or neck lift alone, or face and neck lift combined) is done on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia with sedation or under general anesthesia. However, arrangements can be made for overnight stay recoveries in Chicago IL.
Facelift Surgery Recovery
After your facelift surgery, you return home with dressings that are usually removed the next day. Small, soft silicone drains may also be used, and are usually removed on the first or second postoperative day. Initial discomfort is easily controlled with oral medication. Sutures are removed within 5 to 7 days. Bruising and swelling decreases to socially acceptable levels in 10 to 14 days, and sooner for the Mini-Face Lift or Neck Lift. The result of a facelift procedure is evident in 4 to 6 weeks, or sooner, with continued improvement for several months.
Our group of nurses and aestheticians in Chicago will also formulate a skin care plan, both before and after your facelift procedure, to enhance the appearance of your skin and help maintain your results.
The specific risks and suitability of a facelift procedure will be determined during your consultation with Dr. Wiener. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk, although major complications are unusual.
Facelift Surgery FAQs
Am I a Good Candidate for Facelift Surgery?
If you have sagging skin on the cheek, jowl, or neck area, chances are you are a candidate for facelift surgery. However, you will need to consult with Dr. Wiener regarding your suitability for these types of procedures. It is possible that during your consultation with Dr. Wiener, other options may be better suited for your needs.
How Many Years Younger Will I Look After Facelift Surgery?
Depending on the extent of your facelift procedure and the extent of your skin and tissue laxity, results can allow typical patients to appear 5 to 10 years younger, but this is extremely subjective and really depends on the extent of the procedure and any additional procedures.
How Long is Facelift Surgery Recovery?
Typical recoveries from a more limited Neck lift or Mini-Face Lift can be as short as 1 to 2 weeks, while the more extensive face and neck lifts, combined, can be in the 2-week range (but make-up can be applied within a few days.) It is important to remember that some degree of swelling can persist in the face for weeks or even months after any of these types of procedures, but it is usually subtle. Typically, within 2 to 3 weeks, most patients are able to return to regular social interactions.
Will I Have Visible Scars After a Facelift?
All of these procedures use some type of incision. These incisions are typically done within the hairline or following the natural contours of the front or back of the ear, or beneath the chin. All of these incisions will leave a permanent scar. The closure of each of these incisions is done with great care. Incisions typically fade and soften over time. Though they are permanent marks, the incisions are usually undetectable at conversational distances.
Will Facelift Surgery Hurt?
Typically the Face or Neck Lift surgery does not involve significant discomfort. There is, however, mild discomfort and swelling, which improves rapidly over the one to two week recovery period. Most discomfort after facelift surgery is easily controlled with oral pain medication.
Will I Still Look Like Me After a Facelift?
Yes, Dr. Wiener is skilled in rejuvenating your natural features. He will not change the personality of your face during facelift surgery, he will merely improve and rejuvenate what you have, restoring much the fullness and youthfulness that you have lost over the years. Most patients will say that after their recovery from their facelift or neck lift surgery, friends ask them if they have been on vacation or lost weight.
What Risks are Included with Facelift Surgery?
During your extensive consultation with Dr. Wiener in Chicago IL, all of the risks and limitations of these procedures will be discussed in detail. Some of the risks of facelift surgery include:
- Bleeding (hematoma)
- Nerve damage
- Asymmetry of the face
- Prolonged swelling
- Poor scarring to certain areas
It is unusual for these complications to occur. Patients who are smokers have a higher risk for some types of complications.
How Soon Can I Work Out After Facelift Surgery?
Again, this depends on the extent of the procedure. Typically, light low impact procedures can be started as early as 3 weeks after the procedure. This can include a stationary bike or elliptical machine, or brisk walking. More extensive activities, such as weightlifting, jogging or swimming should be restarted 6 weeks after the procedure.
How Long Will My Facelift Results Last?
Results depend on the extent of the procedure and the quality and elasticity of your skin, to begin with. It is important to remember that with any of these procedures, we are simply turning back the clock a few years. The aging process will continue. Most patients, however, will not need any further significant procedures for 5 to 10 years. There may, however, be a need for additional procedures such as Eyelid Lifts, Brow Lifts, Laser Resurfacing, Light Laser Peels or Fat Transfer in order to maintain results depending upon the overall skin quality. Maintaining your skin through a regimen of good skin care products and periodic light laser or chemical peels is also key in maintaining your facelift results. Our registered aesthetician and nurses will formulate a plan that will work best for you!
Can I Smoke After Facelift Surgery?
Absolutely not. Smoking is significantly detrimental to the healing process, especially in procedures such as a facelift or neck lift where the skin’s natural blood supply is altered during the procedure. Patients who are smokers must abstain from smoking for a minimum of 3 weeks prior to and 3 weeks after surgery. Smokers are also at increased risk for complications, even if they do stop prior to surgery. Smoking up to the surgical date can result in severe complications. Be sure to discuss these details with Dr. Wiener during your consultation.
Want to turn back the clock and get your youthful look back? Visit The Art of Plastic Surgery in Chicago, IL today to discuss your aesthetic goals with Dr. Wiener. You can also learn more about facelift surgery and our other offered services on our blog!