Facelift Jackson MS
Our double board certified facial plastic surgeons, Dr. J. Randall Jordan and Dr. J. George Smith, perform facelift procedures for the residents of Jackson and surrounding communities in Mississippi.
The facelift operation, or Rhytidectomy, has become the second most popular plastic surgical procedure. Once reserved for the Hollywood starlet, it is now commonly requested by men and women in all walks of life.
The relentless effects of gravity cause the facial and neck skin to sag with time leading to a jowling and squaring of the jawline and to the "turkey gobbler" look of the neck. The first sign of aging begins in the early 30's when the eyebrows begin to become heavy and the folds along the nose and outside of the mouth become noticeable. With increasing longevity and emphasis on a healthy, youthful lifestyle, it will continue to become more common.
The best reason for contemplating surgery for the aging face is when "the face in the mirror doesn't match the person inside."
A facelift can improve ones self confidence and self image, but it will not cure depression and it does not stop the aging process. In general, most patients will look about 10 years younger, but this is dependent on the individual.
Am I a good fit for facelift surgery?
There are primarily two groups of patients who seek face lift surgery: Those in their 40's with early signs of aging who wish to slow the aging process, and those with more advanced signs of aging. The facelift primarily deals with the sagging of the neck and lower 1/3 of the face. For full rejuvenation of the eyes and lips, other procedures may be needed. Those with more signs of aging will generally achieve a more dramatic change than those with less. All of these points will be discussed during the consultation once the surgeon has performed a total facial analysis.
Either a general anesthetic or twilight sleep anesthesia can be used, and in most cases patients can go home after the procedure and recovery period. The surgery itself takes about two hours to perform. The incisions are made along the creases just in front of the ear and then up into the hair in the temporal region. The hair is not shaved, merely washed and braided.
The incision continues behind the ear up to the hairline and then back. The skin is raised and the muscle layer below is tightened with sutures. The skin is then repositioned and the excess removed. The incisions are modified from patient to patient depending on the procedures to be carried out. A turban type head dressing is applied and will be removed the next morning.
What results can be expected from a facelift?
This varies from person to person depending on the condition of the skin and the amount of fat beneath the skin. In general most people will look from 5 to 10 years younger, and some even more. In addition, the overall effect is that of a well rested look with renewed vitality to the facial features. Other procedures may be needed to achieve the best result. Another commonly asked question is about the durability of the procedure and the need to repeat the procedure in the future.
The process of aging does not stop with this surgery, the hands of time are merely set back. In general, those with more excess of skin to begin with will note laxity of the skin earlier. We also age at different rates, and this is not changed with surgery. But in general, the results will last for five to ten years in the good candidate. One will generally never look as old as one would if surgery had not been performed. In those with a large amount of excess skin prior to surgery, mention will be made of the tuck-up operation, which is a planned second mini-lift one to two years after the first.
The tuck-up is a limited lift which takes up the slack in the newly stretched skin. A better, more long lasting result is achieved with the tuck-up procedure because the skin has already been stretched with the previous surgery, and a foundation laid to work with. Because the extent of the surgery is less, the cost is also less.
During the first 24 hours, resting in bed or in a recliner is required. A bulky dressing that covers much of the head will be applied after surgery. This will be removed the next day in the office. The head of the bed should be elevated 30 degrees for the first two weeks, and the patient should sleep flat on the back and not on the side. This is to assist in reduction of the swelling.
Ice cold compresses are continuously used for the first day, and as much as possible for the next three days. Light activity only, such as walking, is necessary for the first two weeks. Most of the bruising and swelling will subside over the first week, and make-up can be applied at eight days to cover any remaining bruising. It is not at all unusual for one to feel "down" or depressed for a short period of time after the surgery. Some of this is due to the after effects of the anesthesia.
The clips and sutures are removed at the one week follow-up appointment. Some hair loss will be noted along the incision lines in the scalp, but most of this will return over a period of months. Most people can return to work after ten to fourteen days. The incision lines along the ear will be pink and slightly raised for a period of four to six weeks, but can be covered with make-up after eight days.
Is the Facelift operation painful?
While any incision will cause some pain, very few patients complain of pain after this surgery. Most will experience a sensation of tightness in the lifted areas, because of course, the skin is actually tighter. This subsides over a two to three week period.
All people will have some degree of bruising and swelling for a week or two, and the ears and scalp will be numb for a period of two to three months while the sensory nerves regenerate.
Possible complications involved with Facelift Surgery
When the pre and postoperative instructions are carefully followed, the risk of complication is relatively low. Some expected lumpiness and bumpiness is normal in all the areas that were operated on. This will persist for one to two months and longer under the chin and in front of the ears. This is usually more detectable to the touch than to the eye.
The incision lines will be pink initially, but fade to an almost imperceptible line with time. Careful attention to post-operative cleaning is important for the best results. Some people form more noticeable scars than others, and some do not heal as well.
Tobacco use is a particularly dangerous impediment to proper healing. Nicotine causes constriction of the blood vessels in the skin and can lead to necrosis and loss of skin in the areas around the ears. All patients should refrain from tobacco use for at least two weeks before and two weeks after the facelift surgery.
Bleeding beneath the skin is also a potentially serious problem after surgery. For this reason, all patients must not use any medications containing aspirin or Vitamin E. Both of these medications tend to thin the blood and can lead to bleeding. You should inform the physician of any and all medication that you are taking at the consultation. Other less common problems include infection, scarring, and temporary or permanent injury to the nerve to the face.