Facelift surgery, medically referred to as a rhytidectomy, is a dynamic cosmetic procedure designed to reverse signs of facial aging and restore a youthful aesthetic to the face and neck. This rejuvenative treatment is known as the most effective and long-lasting way to comprehensively improve an aging facial appearance. Over time, internal and external forces like gravity, sun exposure, use of tobacco, and the natural aging process can create a range of cosmetic facial concerns that make individuals look older than they actually are. Increased skin laxity, the thinning of tissue, lost facial volume, and the formation of fine lines and wrinkles are among many factors that can mask an individual’s youthful facial contours.
For patients with the requisite cosmetic concerns, a facelift can be a powerful solution to restore a younger-looking appearance by strategically repositioning and reshaping underlying tissues and giving the face a smoother look. Aesthetic plastic surgeon Geoffrey Leber, MD, FACS performs the facelift procedure to enhance an individual’s natural beauty, rather than alter the character of their face. Using meticulous surgical technique, Dr. Leber can achieve a refreshed aesthetic by tightening sagging facial and neck skin and smoothing facial lines for a natural-looking outcome.
Who is a Good Candidate for a Facelift?
Ideal candidates for a facelift seek to address prominent signs of facial aging. Despite many preconceptions, there is no “appropriate” age to undergo a facelift. The procedure is typically suitable for individuals who are in adequate health to undergo surgery and have the following cosmetic concerns:
- Loose or sagging skin in the mid-face and/or along the jawline
- Loose skin and deep creases in the neck and/or under the chin
- Creases that extend from the nose to the corner of the mouth (“marionette lines”)
- Deep creases under the eyes that create an appearance of constant fatigue
Dr. Leber personalizes facelift surgery to accommodate each patient’s respective needs. Those who exhibit milder signs of facial aging may be able to achieve their cosmetic ideal with less invasive options from our medical spa, such as BOTOX® Cosmetic and JUVÉDERM® dermal fillers. These more conservative treatments can temporarily smooth wrinkles and restore lost facial volume for exceptional and natural-looking results. After diligently assessing your aesthetic concerns and unique anatomy, Dr. Leber can develop a treatment plan to comprehensively fulfill your goals in the most effective way possible.
What Can a Facelift Do for Me?
A youthful facial appearance is often comprised of fuller cheeks with less volume in the lower face, creating the shape of an inverted triangle. However, as time passes, volume in the cheeks diminish and appear more in the lower jowl region. While there are many treatments to combat signs of aging, facelift surgery generally produces the most effective and long-term results. Depending on your unique needs, a facelift can achieve the following:
- Tighten lax skin in the face, neck, and jawline
- Smooth wrinkles, creases, folds, and fine lines
- Reduce excess or displaced fat accumulation in the cheeks, jowls, and neck
In general, a facelift can make you look as much as ten years younger, restoring a more rejuvenated version of yourself. Widely regarded as the most enduring way to smooth jowls and sagging skin, a facelift can minimize or erase signs of age to help you look as young as you feel.
How is Facelift Surgery Performed?
While Dr. Leber usually performs a facelift under general anesthesia, some cases may allow for local anesthesia or sedation techniques. Depending on which area of the face is being addressed, Dr. Leber will carefully place incisions in the hairline of the temple or the earlobe to minimize visible scarring after the procedure. Lost volume in the upper face is replaced with facial fat grafting techniques. He will then reposition the layer of soft tissue covering the facial muscles in order to restore the youthful characteristics of your facial skin. Lax facial tissue is elevated in an upward vertical direction to reduce a jowl appearance and help restore the youthful shape of an inverted triangle. Excess skin and pockets of fat are removed, and the skin is carefully tightened over the area to avoid an “over-pulled” look and diminish a sagging facial appearance. Facelift surgery generally takes approximately three to four hours, but the estimated procedure time depends on the exact nature of your treatment plan.
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What is Recovery Like for a Facelift?
Facelift surgery can be an outpatient procedure; however, some individuals may require an overnight stay. Following surgery, bandages are placed over the incisions and a narrow tube may be utilized to drain excess fluid and prevent infection. Post-operative bruising and swelling is normal and typically subside within the first two weeks after the procedure. Any discomfort can be managed with ice packs and oral pain medication.
Results from a facelift can be immediately apparent, but the cosmetic outcome usually improves as healing progresses and swelling dissipates. Patients can expect a full return to normal activity in two to three weeks. Dr. Leber’s extensive experience in cosmetic surgery typically allows a natural-looking and rejuvenated facial aesthetic without looking “tight” or “overdone.” This younger-looking facial appearance can be long-lasting, but individuals can prolong the results of facelift surgery by limiting unprotected sun exposure and maintaining healthy lifestyle habits.
To learn more about how facelift surgery can help you minimize key signs of aging, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Leber, please contact our Boston practice today.
How Long Does a Facelift Last?
A facelift typically provides noticeable rejuvenation for 10 to 15 years, although the longevity of the results will depend on your unique rate of aging as well as your lifestyle. Patients who smoke, artificially tan, or spend long periods of time outdoors without sun protection may experience facial aging at a faster rate than others. The natural effects of age will continue after facelift surgery, but patients who have undergone the procedure usually experience lasting results and feel no need to undergo additional facial rejuvenation surgery. Dr. Leber recommends practicing a healthy lifestyle and using sunscreen, as well as other quality skin products, to maintain your youthful appearance well into the future.
Will I Have Visible Facelift Scars?
One of the many benefits of facelift surgery is the ability to hide incisions in undetectable locations, minimizing the amount of visible scarring after incisions are fully healed. Depending on the extent of facial aging addressed, incisions are typically camouflaged with short scars placed in the natural contours around the ears while avoiding longer scars in the hairline of the temple and behind the ears. Dr. Leber’s goal is to produce an outcome that looks as natural as possible, and he is very diligent with regard to minimizing the amount of noticeable scarring.
Until your facelift scars mature, keeping your incisions clean, covered, and hydrated are key to speeding up the healing process. Dr. Leber will give you more information on post-operative wound care after your procedure. Most scars fade over time and are barely detectable, even up close.
How Much Does a Facelift Cost?
The price of a facelift can range from $8,000 to $12,000 depending on your needs and the facelift technique used during your procedure. Dr. Leber can discuss the best technique for your cosmetic goals during your consultation, after which a member of our office team can provide you with an accurate estimate of your surgery. While insurance companies don’t offer coverage for cosmetic procedures, our practice accepts plastic surgery financing from CareCredit® and Prosper® Healthcare Lending. These healthcare lending companies allow qualified patients to choose from a selection of short- and long-term payment plans for the arrangement that works best with their budgetary concerns. Please call our team if you have any questions about the facelift procedure or consultation process at our practice locations in Boston or Scottsdale.
Is a Facelift Without Surgery Possible?
Although cosmetic injectables are often used to refresh the face, there is currently no non-surgical facelift that can match the results of a surgical procedure. Minimally invasive alternatives can be effective temporarily, but a facelift is currently the gold standard in achieving years-long rejuvenation. That said, dermal fillers like JUVÉDERM® and Restylane® can be utilized to achieve mild enhancement for patients who wish to increase facial volume or fill wrinkles. These products are often used in complement with each other during a cosmetic treatment referred to as a “liquid facelift.” Touch-up sessions will be necessary to maintain the facial rejuvenation achieved, but injectables can be ideal for individuals who would rather avoid surgery and/or downtime.
To learn more about how facelift surgery can help you minimize key signs of aging, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Leber, please contact our Boston or Scottsdale practices today.