Considering a Facelift? Here’s What to Expect

Facelift Plastic Surgery in San Diego

You can’t hide your face. It’s there for all the world to see. Make-up and hair styles can do much to improve the overall look of our appearance, but our skin tells the real story. Our skin tone and texture are ultimately what is most noticeable when we look at ourselves or others look at us. As we age, our skin develops laxity or looseness. We tend to develop facial jowls, “turkey waddle” necks, excess skin, pockets of fat around our eyes, a sagging brow, and/or deep lines and wrinkles.

Why Do People Choose a Facelift?

The southern California lifestyle in La Jolla and the greater San Diego area reflects the youth orientation of this warm climate and integration of the Hollywood culture. While most of us don’t expect—and shouldn’t expect—to look like a “star,” we certainly can make the best of what we have and who we are. Indeed, the cosmetic choices available to us in the twenty-first century make it possible to look “rejuvenated.” We can look and feel better about ourselves and shave a few years off in our appearance at the same time.

What’s Involved in a Facelift?

The medical term for a facelift is Rhytidectomy. Usually, a facelift includes tightening the underlying facial muscles as well as removing excess skin. Sometimes, and this is usually only in a younger patient, only the excess skin is removed and no muscle tightening is involved. There are different approaches and procedures a surgeon can choose when doing a facelift. The ultimate recommendation by a skilled and experienced board certified plastic surgeon will be different for different people.

A facelift all by itself is a rare operation. Once patients begin to experience facial skin laxity and unhappiness about their facial looks, they are usually experiencing multiple issues. So other cosmetic procedures that are adjuncts to a facelift are often performed. The most common accompanying procedure is a neck lift. Skin sagging in the facial area is often in tandem with skin sagging in the neck area. To correct only the facial skin issues could produce an odd-looking result. In reality, the term “facelift” is usually an encompassing term meaning both facelift and neck lift!

Why Facelift & Brow Lift May Be the Perfect Match

The upper part of the face also has areas that having a facelift alone cannot solve. The upper and lower eyelids and brow area often need surgical solutions as well. Eyelid surgery is well-understood by most patients but many patients fear or don’t understand the benefits of lifting the brow.

A brow lift lifts the forehead skin upwards to a “normal” position, while the facelift lifts and tightens the skin of the face and neck more backwards than upwards. Both operations have the same goal of making your face look normal and refreshed.

Your Recovery from Facelift Surgery

Although multiple facial procedures might sound intimidating, the recovery process is quite amazingly easy. The healing process on the various areas of the face where you have surgical procedures is going to happen simultaneously. Normally, by the beginning of the third week, you will look and feel quite well. The slowest part of the healing process of the various facial surgery procedures we’ve mentioned is the “mid-face lift.” So, if that procedure is the best option for you, you can expect your healing process to take slightly longer.

Within a few weeks, most facelift patients are back to their normal activities. Any bruising that occurs will be the slowest thing to resolve but make-up (even for men) can help camouflage that side effect. Normally, facelifts are done under general anesthesia. You are wrapped in a “headdress” (gauze and bandages) after the surgery and drains are inserted. These are usually removed within a day or two after surgery.

What You Need to Consider Before Your Surgery

As with any surgery, there are possible risks and even complications. General surgical risks are swelling and bruising, infection, itching, and numbness. Surgical complications, although extremely rare, can include cardiac problems, allergic reactions, pulmonary embolism, and hyperthermia. Some of the risks specific to facial surgery are dependent on the procedures you are having done, but in general, for facelifts, the specific risks are infection, bleeding, poor healing, injury to facial nerves (usually temporary but can be permanent), and excessive scarring.

Most Important: Take the Time to Find the Right Surgeon

Now the combination of any of the following procedures: facelift, neck lift, brow lift, eyelid lift(s), and mid-face lift sound daunting and probably even scary. It’s prudent to thoroughly understand these distinctive procedures and the possible benefits for you. And most importantly, it’s essential that you find the right surgeon! Make sure you exercise “due diligence” in your efforts to find the right surgeon and facility for you. Here are some tips on how to find the right surgeon:

  • Be sure your surgeon is a board certified plastic surgeon. Sometimes, ads are misleading because the words “cosmetic” and “plastic” are commonly used. Just because you see those words associated with a physician does not mean they are a board certified plastic surgeon. Look for the ASPS and ASAPS logos—a doctor can only belong to these societies if he or she is a “board certified plastic surgeon.” If a physician is not a member of either of these societies, you need to question what medical specialty their boarding really is in.
  • Be sure that your board certified plastic surgeon has before-and-after pictures to show you. “The proof is in the pudding,” as they say. You want to be able to sit down and go through a book of before-and-after photos of that doctor’s actual patients. The more pictures you can see of that doctor’s results, the better.
  • You will find, on the whole, that the best plastic surgeons to do your facelift are doctors who have been in practice for a while. Experience usually brings about honed technical skills. Also, part of the success of a facial surgery result is the “aesthetic” sense and eye of the surgeon. During surgery, each surgeon makes finite decisions on how much skin to remove, how to drape the skin, how to best camouflage the incisions, etc. The surgeon’s instincts and skill levels are of paramount importance.

We have talked about the importance of finding a qualified board certified plastic surgeon and the importance of viewing before-and-after photos. At La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Centre & Medical Spa, we have three board certified plastic surgeons who are experienced in facial procedures. Look at their biographies and CVs on this website. We think you will be impressed with their backgrounds.

Your Facelift Consultation at LJC

If you are interested in finding out if you are a candidate for a facelift, we suggest you call or use our online contact form to make an appointment with one of our board certified plastic surgeons. You will be able to meet with the physician in consultation and discuss your desires and the benefits of facial procedures. You will be able to view before-and-after pictures of actual patients the doctor has treated. Once you are ready to schedule your facelift, you will be supported by our staff and the medical protocols we have established in our years of excellence in patient care.

In summary, here’s what to look for and what you’ll find at La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Centre & Medical Spa:

  • Meet personally for a free consultation with an experienced board certified plastic surgeon.
  • At the consultation, have an examination and discuss your desires and expectations while learning the specifics of the recommended procedure(s).
  • Receive information and materials that will help you in the decision-making process.
  • See before-and-after pictures of real patients treated by the surgeon.
  • Get a specific, written quote detailing all the costs.
  • After scheduling surgery, attend an individual “pre-op” appointment to discuss the surgical risks and the steps of the entire operative process.
  • Receive quality surgical and post-surgical care with lots of personal attention.
  • Make certain you are being operated upon in a certified operating suite.

To make an appointment or to find out more information please call or text our number at (858) 452-1981. You can also continue to browse our website for information on more cosmetic surgery procedures. We have highly qualified board certified doctors who are here to help you achieve your cosmetic goals.