Our face is our most visible feature, one that through expression and appearance conveys what and how we feel. Facial aging includes a loss of skin elasticity and firmness, sagging tissue and wrinkles. These visible signs of aging can greatly impact how we feel about ourselves and how others see us. Even a person who is energetic and excited about life can appear tired or sad due to aging in the midface, jawline, and neck. The loss of youthful contours in these areas is due to a variety of factors including heredity, gravity, environmental conditions and stress.
If you are bothered by the signs of aging in your face, a facelift may be right for you. In general, a facelift corrects sagging facial skin and muscles, removes excess fat and restores firmness to create a more youthful, rested and vibrant appearance.
What is a Face Lift?
Rhytidectomy, also referred to as a facelift, is a procedure that is used to dramatically reduce the effects of gravity and time on the face as a whole as well as the various signs of aging that appear in the neck. A facelift is used to correct jowling along the cheek line, wrinkles, and fine lines as well as sagging lips and eyes. Performed in a wide variety of ways, the most artful of these procedures will produce dramatic, yet natural-looking results. Prior to the actual procedure, a comprehensive assessment of the patient will be performed in order to analyze the patient’s medical history, current health levels, skin texture and thickness, facial bone structure and the development of facial folds and wrinkles. This information will be used to determine the course of action that will produce the most desirable and natural-looking results. The patient will receive help in determining the short and long-term goals for the procedure and will have some input in determining the most optimal surgical plan.
A facelift, technically known as rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure to improve visible signs of aging in the face and neck. Sagging in the midface can create a deep crease below the lower eyelid (called a tear trough) and between the nose and mouth (nasolabial fold) that may make you appear tired and sad. The fat that has fallen or is displaced and loss of muscle tone in the lower face may create jowls (a jaw line that sags into the neck). Loose skin and excess fatty deposits under the chin and jaw can make even a person of normal weight appear to have a “double chin”.
A facelift is designed to correct all of these aging features, restoring a more youthful, rested appearance with uplifted contours and improved tone in facial skin and underlying muscle. Where the desired improvement can be isolated to the midfacial region and where excess skin is less a factor, a limited incision lift may be an alternative to a traditional facelift.
As a restorative surgery, a facelift does not change your fundamental appearance and cannot stop the aging process. Although you will continue to age naturally, aging will progress from the more youthful version of yourself that has been restored by a facelift. Rejuvenation procedures typically performed in conjunction with a facelift are brow lift, to correct a sagging or deeply furrowed brow, and eyelid surgery to rejuvenate aging eyes.
A facelift is best performed on adult men and women who feel that their outward facial aging no longer reflects the youth and vigor they feel physically and emotionally. Good candidates are:
- Healthy individuals who do not have a life-threatening illness or medical conditions that can impair healing
- Individuals with a positive outlook and specific, but realistic goals in mind for improvement of their appearance
A facelift is a highly individualized procedure. Your plastic surgeon will evaluate your skin, muscle and bone structure and the specific conditions that contribute to your aging appearance. These factors are the most significant considerations in determining the appropriate technique or combination of procedures to best achieve your realistic goals. A facelift can only be performed surgically; non-surgical rejuvenation treatments cannot achieve the same results but may help delay the time at which a facelift becomes appropriate. Most patients are reassured to know that a facelift will not change their basic appearance, but will restore it to a younger version of itself that will then continue to age naturally over time.
A traditional facelift restores the midface, jowls, and neck, allowing the excess skin to be removed. Where improvement is desired in the midface region alone and where excess skin is less a factor, limited incision techniques may he an alternative to a traditional facelift. Your goals, anatomy, and your plastic surgeon’s surgical judgment are all factors in determining the best approach to your individual case.
Procedures that may further enhance the outcome of a facelift may include: facial implants or soft tissue augmentation to recontour the facial structure, and resurfacing techniques to improve the tone and texture of facial skin. Wrinkle reduction by injection (Botox`) may be recommended prior to your procedure (to help underlying muscles fully relax before repositioning and tightening) or after (to help maintain results).
Face Lift Procedures for the Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, and Savannah Area
A Consultation is a Great Place to Start
A consultation with your plastic surgeon is the first step to learn how a facelift can improve an aging face and neck. A consultation is designed to fully educate you about a facelift in a non-pressured environment, and will include:
- A discussion of your goals and an evaluation of your current signs of aging
- The options available to you for facelift and facial rejuvenation
- The likely outcomes of a facelift and the potential risks and complications associated with the procedure
- The course of treatment recommended by your plastic surgeon
If you are interested in receiving additional information or setting up an initial consultation for a facelift procedure, please contact Weniger Plastic Surgery’s main office in Hilton Head/Bluffton, SC and Savannah at (843) 757-0123.