A facelift, or rhytidectomy, is a type of facial plastic surgery performed to restore one’s natural, youthful beauty after experiencing the effects of aging. As the aging process continues, our face may appear tired, sunken, and droopy. These concerns can make you look older than you feel, but facial aging doesn’t have to be permanent. Dr. Eric Payne, our board-certified plastic surgeon based in Houston, can bring back a full, rejuvenated, and refreshed appearance by utilizing innovative and natural-looking facelift techniques designed to reduce signs of age. Dr. Payne’s attention to detail, drive for perfection, and extensive experience in plastic surgery make him uniquely qualified to perform your facelift surgery.
What is a Facelift?
The facelift procedure is designed to address the skin, fat, and underlying musculature of the face in order to minimize jowls (lower jaw hanging skin), lower facial creases, and other indicators of aging. During a facelift, Dr. Payne aims to help patients achieve a sleeker jawline and neck contour without producing obvious signs of surgery. Rather than simply redrape the overlying skin to reduce sagging, Dr. Payne additionally repositions lax facial musculature to avoid an artificial or “frozen” look. He also meticulously places incisions to conceal post-surgical scarring for very natural-looking results. The neck is enhanced as well to smooth wrinkling skin and to eliminate excess hanging tissue.
What Concerns Can Facelift Address?
A facelift is considered the most effective procedure to reverse facial aging by several years. When performed by an experienced plastic surgeon, a facelift can make a patient look as many as ten years younger. In addition, those who receive a facelift often look brighter and more refreshed overall. Signs of aging that can be corrected with facelift surgery include:
- Sagging skin along the lower face and jawline
- Nasolabial folds and deep creases
- Facial skin inelasticity
A facelift can provide the longest-lasting results possible and is often considered the “gold standard” of facial rejuvenation. If loose, sagging skin extends below the jawline to the region under the chin, you may benefit from combining your facelift with a neck lift. The upper face can also be rejuvenated with blepharoplastyand brow lift surgery if signs of aging affect the upper-third of the face.
Your Facelift Consultation
The first step in the facelift process is your consultation. During a consultation, you and Dr. Payne will discuss your realistic expectations, aesthetic needs, and goals. He will explain the details of the procedure and subsequent recovery process, and you will be able to ask any questions you may have. During this appointment, Dr. Payne will also perform an examination. He will need to know your complete medical history, including any allergies, medical conditions, previous facial procedures, and medications you are currently taking.
Types of Facelifts
Depending on the areas targeted for facial rejuvenation, there are a variety of different types of facelift surgeries that can be performed such as:
- SMAS Facelift: Known as the Superficial Musculo-Aponeurotic System. This surgery can target the lower part of your face and is considered a more lasting, natural-looking variation of a traditional facelift.
- Mid-Facelift: Targets the areas of the cheeks. The excess fat is repositioned and the skin is tightened.
- Mini Facelift: This surgery is designed to lift your lower face and neck. This surgery is less invasive compared to other types of facelift surgery and is recommended for patients who are younger and have minimal signs of facial aging.
- Injectables: Utilizes non-surgical techniques such as BOTOX® Cosmetic and dermal fillers, which may help with facial rejuvenation; however, injectables are recommended before the facial skin loses too much elasticity.
How is the Facelift Procedure Performed?
A facelift is performed under sedation, general anesthesia, or local anesthesia at a state-credentialed outpatient facility alongside a board-certified anesthesiologist and surgical staff. Patients typically return home on the same day with the help of a friend or loved one. In certain cases, facelift patients may have to stay in the hospital overnight.
During the procedure, your surgeon makes delicate and precise incisions in the natural creases and contours of the face. After removing excess fat and facial tissue, he will bridge and reposition the skin and muscle to create a naturally rejuvenated appearance that should stand the test of time. The excess skin in front of the ear and around the earlobe will be removed for a smoother appearance. Some temporary drainage tubes will be placed under the skin to help prevent a hematoma or seroma. These drainage tubes will be removed within 24 hours. The key is to eliminate facial aging, as well as to prevent the unnatural tell-tale signs of facelift surgery such as an uneven or elevated hairline, distorted earlobes, or visible scars. The vector of a facelift should be vertical and not just horizontal, which causes a windblown appearance.
A facelift can also be paired with a number of other procedures, including an upper and lower eyelid surgery, brow lift, liposuction, rhinoplasty, fat grafting, or a neck lift. Additionally, a facial resurfacing procedure can be performed with a facelift to help with aging skin. This can allow for more comprehensive facial revitalization.