Who is an ideal candidate for this type of procedure?
Patients should be in good health and have realistic expectations. Understanding the limitations of rhytidectomy is crucial and psychological stability is vital. The goal is to improve the overall facial appearance. Important factors to the success of facelift surgery include: skin type, degree of skin elasticity, individual healing, basic bone structure, and a realistic attitude. Facelift can be performed on patients as young as their thirties, and as old as their eighties. A facelift cannot stop future aging or turn back the clock. It can, however, help your face look its best and give you a more healthy, youthful appearance, and possibly increase your self-confidence.
During the preliminary consultation, Dr. Horn will examine the structure of your face, skin texture, color, and elasticity. Photographs will be taken so she can study your face. Individual risks will also be examined, especially those related to medical situations such as high blood pressure, a tendency to scar, smoking, and any deficiency in blood clotting. Dr. Horn will take a thorough medical history, as well as assess your mental and emotional attitudes toward the surgery. Because a realistic attitude is crucial to the success of the surgery, the surgical procedure and realistic expectations will be discussed.
Sometimes the overall effect of a facelift will be more successful if additional changes are made in the chin and neck areas through other facial surgery. Many patients decide to have facial liposuction to remove excess fatty deposits at the time of facelift, or a chin implant to further refine the jawline. Dr. Horn can help guide you as to whether these adjunct procedures are appropriate for you.
How will I know if I am ready for a facelift?
If skin laxity has reached a level where minimally invasive fillers and superficial skin treatments no longer provide rejuvenation, then it may be time to consider a facelift.
How long will the results last?
No facelift surgery can prevent future aging, but a well-done facelift can certainly maintain a much younger appearance for many years. Skin laxity will typically redevelop gradually over the course of 7-10 years, at which time some patients consider revision surgery.
Is a facelift done at a hospital/surgical center or in the office?
Surgery can be performed safely in several different settings, including the hospital, surgery center, or some office environments.
How is the recovery from facelift surgery?
You will be prescribed pain medication, but most patients experience very little pain after surgery. Some degree of swelling and bruising is unavoidable, and Dr. Horn may instruct you to use cold compresses to minimize the swelling. Dressings are removed within one to two days. Dr. Horn will also instruct you to keep your head elevated when lying down, to avoid as much activity as possible, and to report any severe discomfort.
A drainage tube is sometimes inserted during surgery; it is typically removed on the first or second day after surgery. Sutures and staples are usually removed within five to 10 days following surgery. Dr. Horn recommends that patients avoid vigorous activity, including exercising and heavy lifting, for two weeks. Patients should arrange for post-surgery support from family and friends; we can also arrange home nursing for you.
Recovery usually takes two to three weeks, though many patients go back to work in two weeks. Scars are usually not noticeable after they have matured, and are easily disguised in natural skin creases, by the hair, or, in some cases, by makeup until healing is complete. The aging process continues after surgery, and some relaxation of tissues will occur over the first few weeks.
What are some of the common complications?
Facelift surgery is generally very safe; however, any surgery can have complications. Dr. Horn will discuss these complications in depth with you, including bleeding, infection, facial nerve paralysis, anesthesia complications, scarring, asymmetries, and need for further surgery.