Over the course of our lives, a combination of factors begin to take a toll on our faces. Gravity, sun and even stress cause us to develop wrinkles and deep creases in our necks, jaws and faces. These signs of aging can be counteracted through a facelift, one of the most powerful procedures for facial rejuvenation. The facelift tightens the muscles under the skin, removes excess fat and skin, and gives the face a younger, fresher look. It is not uncommon for patients to look 10 or 15 years younger following a facelift procedure.
Facelifts, technically known as rhytidectomies (which means “removal of wrinkles”), are designed to rejuvenate the skin from the mid-to-lower face and neck. Facelifts are very effective for patients who want to reduce:
- Midface sagging
- Deep creases under the eyes
- Deep creases between the nose and mouth (nasolabial folds)
- Jowls due to loss of muscle tone
- Sagging areas of fat
- Loose skin and fat under the chin and jaw
Great candidates for a facelift include individuals who:
- Would like to improve one or more of the signs of aging
- Are men or women whose faces have started to droop, but whose skin still has some stretch elasticity
- Are healthy overall
- Are non-smokers
- Have realistic expectations
- Are considering a facelift to feel better about themselves, not because someone else is pushing them to have a facelift.
It’s important to add that facelifts will not rejuvenate the brow, eyelids, nose, and some areas on the midface. Patients who want to improve these areas may consider combining a facelift with a brow lift or eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty). Facial implants, injectable soft-tissue fillers, facial implants, and skin resurfacing can also increase the outcome of a facelift.
We welcome you to contact us and make an appointment in our Chicago office for a consultation with our board-certified plastic surgeon. Your consultation is the best time to discuss any questions or concerns you might have on the facelift. During your consultation, your board-certified surgeon will also help educate you on what to expect for the facelift procedure, like how the procedure is completed, what the risks and complications are, and what the recovery will be like. You can expect to discuss a quote for the price of the procedure, and you should be ready to provide a comprehensive medical history for the physician.
It’s important to communicate what your aesthetic goals are, so that your surgeon can get a better idea as to how the facelift can help you. Your surgeon will also discuss alternative options to the facelift, if needed.
Your facelift will be an outpatient procedure that’s performed in our Chicago based surgery center. You will be put under general anesthesia, and your surgeon will make small incisions that go from the temples, to the ears, to the lower part of your scalp. The incision should be well hidden along the hairline and the lines of the face. Your surgeon will then create a skin flap and move or reduce tissue and fat under the skin. The muscle layer under the skin will be lifted, excess skin will be trimmed, and the incisions will be closed.
It’s quite common to experience some bleeding and swelling immediately after your facelift. A typical facelift recovery spans from 10 days to 2 weeks. After your facelift, your head and face will be wrapped with a bandage that goes around the chin to reduce bleeding and swelling. Bandages or dressings have to be worn for up to a week after the procedure, only to be taken off during activities like showering or eating. After that the dressings can be worn only during sleep. You and your surgeon will make a recovery schedule for your facelift, and discuss a recovery regimen and how to take care of your incisions.
Do you still have concerns about the ins and outs of facelift surgery? Read the section below to become an informed facelift patient.
What’s the best age for a facelift?
There’s truly no such thing as the “ideal age” for a facelift patient. If you are in overall good health and have enough sagging skin on your lower face and neck, this procedure can benefit you. Our average facelift patients are in their 40s to 60s, but our experienced surgeons have successfully performed facelifts on patients in their 70s and even 80s as well.
Will a facelift prevent me from aging further?
No procedure can halt the natural aging process. However, a facelift will improve your appearance by reversing some of the most common signs of aging. Factors such as anatomy, genetics, and lifestyle choices will all play a role in the extent of the improvement you can expect to see, as well as how long you will be able to maintain your results.
Will my face look pulled back after surgery?
During a facelift, our surgeons will remove excess fat and skin and tighten underlying muscles in the lower two-thirds of the face and neck, providing a youthful and refreshed appearance. Our goal with every facelift is to make you look natural, not for you to appear as if you are permanently caught in a wind tunnel.
Will a facelift improve the appearance of my eye and eyebrow area?
Facelifts do not address the upper third of the face. If you’re concerned about the look of your eye and eyebrow region, combining your facelift with a brow lift or eyelid enhancement may be right for you. Your surgeon will review your aesthetic goals with you and recommend the best approach for a full facial rejuvenation.
Will I have noticeable scarring?
Though some amount of scarring is inevitable with any surgery, experienced cosmetic surgeons know how to make incisions as small as possible and place them in areas where they will heal discreetly, such as in the hairline or the natural creases in your face. Once the scars have had several months to mature, they are usually unobtrusive.
How long does facelift surgery take?
A facelift usually takes two to three hours, depending on the extent of the work. If you choose to combine your facelift with other procedures such as a forehead or eyelid lift, you can expect the procedure to take longer.
Will my health insurance cover the cost of my surgery?
Because cosmetic surgery is an elective procedure, medical insurance typically doesn’t offset the costs of a facelift, such as anesthesiologist’s and surgeon’s fees.
When can I resume normal activities after my surgery?
For the first few days after a facelift, you will need to take it easy at home and rest with your head elevated. Most people take at least a week off work to recover from their surgery, though you may prefer to allow yourself more time for the bruising and swelling to resolve. We generally recommend avoiding strenuous activity for the first two to three weeks after surgery.
Before and After Pictures
To see just how natural and balanced our facelift procedures are, visit our Before and After Gallery to see real patients with real results.
If you would like to learn more about getting a facelift, or to learn more about our other cosmetic surgery options, call now to schedule a free cosmetic consultation with our esteemed surgeon Dr. Leonard Lu at (847) 367-8815. Our surgeons deliver remarkable results and specialize in patient care. We are conveniently located at 230 Center Drive, Vernon Hills, Illinois 60061.