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What To Expect From A Facelift

Jun 2, 2008
Some patients considering facial rejuvenation relate that they want the least expensive and least invasive procedure that provides the least downtime. They also want the best possible result with the greatest longevity. That is a difficult request to accommodate. Plastic surgeons evaluate each one of patient's goals for their facial rejuvenation, and then suggest a number of options, including the benefits and disadvantages of all approaches. Most importantly, a natural appearing result should be a part of the goal.

Skin care alone will not create the result of a facelift, nor will fillers, however for a variety of reasons, some patients prefer to pursue these non-invasive options first. In general, all patients considering facial rejuvenative surgery should be on a skin care program. The "wrapping paper" or skin must be in good shape to obtain the nicest result from any facial surgery. Fillers such as collagen and Juvederm are also helpful adjuncts. When surgery alone is used to attempt to remove deep folds, a stretched appearance can result. The best results generally occur when combination of skin care, peels, fillers and surgery are employed.

Information and mis-information abounds regarding facelift techniques. One caveat to keep in mind is, "less is less." Short scar lifts, minimally invasive lifts, and mini-lifts all, provide lesser results with shorter longevity. There is a minority of patients who pursue this type of surgery in their late thirties or early forties who might be candidates, but for most of us, these lesser procedures are not a perfect choice. Very carefully evaluate the credentials of the surgeons in your area who are offering these procedures. If they are not board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, strongly consider consulting with a doctor who is and ask why they don't prefer the procedure.

After a facelift, many patients are surprised that there discomfort is fairly mild and very tolerable. While bruising and swelling commonly last up to two weeks, by three weeks, most patient feel they look much better than they did pre-operatively. Exercise and lifting are prohibited for three weeks following surgery. Most patients return to work at two to three weeks. Patients should receive a personalized operative plan depending on their anatomy and desires.

Procedure Description: Rejuvenation of the face removing extra skin of the jawline and neck as well as lifting the brows and removing puffiness around the eyes if necessary.

What To Expect: Facelifting can provide dramatic results. Most importantly plastic surgeons feel the results should appear natural. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and takes from four to six hours. The swelling and bruising lasts from one to two weeks. The procedure results in only minor discomfort for most patients and is well tolerated. Facelifting produces beautiful improvements in many patients.

Preprocedure: The plastic surgeon will meet with you in consultation and discuss the procedure she feels will suit your goals. You will be asked to obtain pre-op blood work and possibly an EKG and chest x-ray. You will need someone to drive you to and from the surgicenter. One overnight stay is required. The surgeon will visit you in the recovery care center the morning after your surgery prior to your discharge.

Postprocedure: The surgeon will see you at approximately one week, two weeks, one month, and three, six and twelve months post-operatively. Most importantly she will see you at anytime if you have a concern.
About the Author
LookingYourBest.com an online resource for plastic surgery. Learn more about facelift surgery and cosmetic surgery procedures.
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