Facelift Procedure


For those of you who haven’t seen yet, we are starting What You Should Know Series. The first one was “What do you need to know about a facelift?” and “Who’s a good candidate?” We are going to continue that with the next question, “How is a fast lift done?” Well, that can be really scary for someone; incisions, recovery time, and what are they doing, am I going to look natural?, What about complications? All of that can be a part of the “how is it done” question. So we talked about who’s a candidate last time and how is it done? Well this is a surgical procedure.

We’ve all seen advertisements for lunchtime facelift, weekend facelift, botox facelift, liquid facelift, and all of those are marketing ploys. A facelift in my description and in most people’s description of a facelift is a surgical procedure. If you can pinch the problem between two fingers and it’s not botox, filler, or a laser, it’s a surgical procedure. So if you can pinch tissue where there’s laxity, or descend, loss of elasticity, loss of volume that’s is not something that is achieved without a surgical procedure. Even though it might have the term ‘facelift’. From a surgical point of view, what is a facelift? Well, it’s the re-elevation of the lax tissues of the lower third of the face to the top part of the neck.

That can be combined with other things like eyelid surgery, formal neck surgery, or fat grafting or lip enhancement, but the facelift itself is this kind of procedure. That’s done by making an incision typically along the hairline following the natural creases of the ear and up through the back of the ear into the little sulka’s behind the ear. So far all practical purposes these incisions are almost invisible and many times they heal so well that your hair stylist wouldn’t even know they’re there. You can wear ponytails and comb your hair anyway you want to.

These incisions, while they’re often a big part of the discussion before surgery, they’re almost never a part of the discussion after surgery because they just disappear and people just don’t seem them. The ones that are in the hairline are designed so that your hair grows right next to it or even right through the incision, so they disappear also. So what are we doing? We’re elevating the skin off of a deeper layer of tissue, what’s called fascia. It’s a thicker layer of tissue that surrounds the muscular of the face. So we’re not really tightening the muscle, we’re tightening this layer of tissue right before those muscles – elevating the tissue but it’s that tissue, that fascia that connects to the skin.

Facelift Procedure
Facelift Procedure

So as you tighten that tissue, the jowl, the creases here, the neck, are elevated into a more youthful, graceful natural position that accentuates the chin, that accentuates the jawline, smooths out the lines right here. By elevating the deeper tissue and moving the skin with that tissue, you can achieve a much more natural and much more powerful and longer-lasting effect with a facelift. This is not just a skin operation. Yeah, you might remove an inch or inch and a half of skin in front of the ear because everything shifts so much, but the power of the facelift is really what’s done underneath the skin.

That being said, now that the face has been tightened up, yes there’s extra skin to trim off. That’s trimmed off along the sideburn, along the ear, and sometimes come in behind the ear to get that more natural but long-lasting effect with a scar that is almost imperceptible because the tension is not on the skin, the tension is on all the structures below the skin. So that in a nutshell is how we do a facelift. Any questions, come in and talk with us.


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