Facing a Facelift
The face is often one of the first areas to show signs of aging, and the signs of aging on the face are often the most obvious. If you are concerned about wrinkles and sagging in the facial area, you have a few options. One option is to receive injections to fill in wrinkles or to reduce wrinkles. Another, more involved option is to undergo a facelift. In the Chicago area, you might consider consulting a doctor at Women’s Institute of Cosmetic and Laser Surgery regarding your options.
What a Facelift Corrects
A facelift is typically performed to correct several signs of aging. Although the procedure improves a patient’s appearance, it does not reverse the aging process or stop time. Facelifts are typically performed to correct:
- Deep creases below the eyelids, in the forehead and along the sides of the nose
- Displaced or fallen fat
- Jowls, which form as a result of a loss of muscle tone
- Fatty deposits and loose skin under the jaw that make it look as though someone has a double chin.
Some patients decide to undergo a facelift in addition to other cosmetic procedures, such as a brow lift or eyelid surgery. Hair removal on the face can also help a person look younger.
The initial consultation is part of the facelift procedure. During the consultation, a patient should explain to the surgeon why she wants the procedure. She should also reveal her medical history, including past procedures, medications, and history of smoking. Facelifts are usually not recommended for people who smoke or for people who have health conditions.
During the consultation, the physician will examine the patient’s face. It’s likely that she will take photos of the face to keep in the patient’s medical record and to use when planning the procedure. The surgeon will also fully explain the surgery to the patient, explain any other options, and make her recommendation.
Concerns and Risks
The surgeon should paint an accurate picture of all the risks involved in a facelift before the surgery begins. Patients should feel completely comfortable with their surgeon and should feel that they can ask the doctor any questions. Habits and behavior of the patient can increase her risk for complications after surgery.
For example, a history of smoking, even if the patient has quit, can lead to damage of the skin. Damaged skin might be slow to heal after the facelift. Some patients might have an allergic reaction to the anesthesia. Other common risks include infection, bleeding, and numbness.
Typically, patients will experience numbness and pain after the surgery. In many cases, a patient should be able to return to her day to day life within a few days or weeks after the surgery. Most patients can completely resume their normal activities shortly thereafter.
After the procedure, the patient’s face is bandaged to control swelling. A tube might be inserted under the skin to help fluid drain. The surgeon will provide medications to help control pain and swelling and will recommend a follow-up appointments to make sure there are no issues.