Thank you for this important question.
The realistic goal is for no one to notice resultant scars after a face lift. Scaring is mostly genetic in nature. However the resultant scar depends on where the incision is placed and the technique used for suturing the edges of the skin together.
There are several types of face lift (rhytidectomy). However what they all have in common is a incision and a resultant scar. The primary goal after obtaining the structural improvements of the face is the hiding of the scars so they are not noticeable or can be easily found. Placing a incision along a natural creases, at junction of different structures (base of ear and face), behind structures (ear tragus/behind ear and within or along behind hair line).
The resultant scars after a traditional face lift start just under and adjacent to the sideburn area and then along the natural crease of the upper ear and junction of the face then behind the tragus (the bump in front of the ear canal) continuing in the natural crease of the lower ear junction of the face ) of the lower ear and facial skin to the ear lobe. At the base of the earlobe the incision continues behind the back side of the ear and then up into the scalp hair or along the hair line.
My personal goal is for face lift patients scars to blend with the surrounding skin, not to have use makeup to cover scars and wear their hair in a pony tail or bun style without anyone noticing the their scars.
Again, thank you for your question.
First, I believe everybody has pain with surgery. The degree of pain is dependent on the person’s sensitivity and personality.
Having said this we go to great lengths intraoperatively to inject the areas with long acting pain medicine so that the postoperative pain is minimized.
The modern facelift entails tighenting the muscles and then the skin is gently re draped without tension.
Thus allowing a defined and crisp neck line without appearing “over done”, stretched and fake look.
Recovery varies upon which type of face lift procedure is performed. In general The first dressing change his in 24 hours, drains were removed in 1 to 2 days sutures begin to be removed and four days with all sutures usually removed at the 10 day. At which time the patient with make up can return to work. For important events I’d recommend at least 4 to 6 weeks to allow all the swelling and bruising to resolve.
There’s nothing like a in person consultation we are much greater detail can be given into the best surgical procedure and your recovery.
3. What steps can I do now to avoid a facelift without surgery?
Thank you for this question. So much of the aging process is related to genetics. Its all about collagen production. We are constantly building up and breaking down collagen in our body as we age the collagen break down ratio changes to more break down and then build up.
However there are things that you can do stimulate collagen production.
- avoidance of sun on your face
- No smoking
- Chemical peels on a regular basis.
- Daily use of retinae and hydroquinones
- Working with a Medical supervised aesthetician (can use medical grade products)
- Monthly facials and Dermabrasion’s
- Skin tighenting using ELOS radio frequency treatments
- Skin tighenting using CO2RE carbon dioxide laser.
- To prevent wrinkles neuromodulators like Dysport or Botox can prevent the wrinkles
- Fillers or your own fat can add contour and disguise irregularities in the aging face. Sculptra is actually a collagen stimulant
The bottom line is a good maintenance program for your skin with a healthy lifestyle will optimize your facial appearance. Howeverover time and the older we become surgery may be required to obtain the aesthetic result desired.