At The Maryland Institute of Plastic Surgery, we customize every facelift based on your facial structure and how you wish to look. If you have sagging skin along the lower eyelid, nasolabial folds (the lines from the nose to the mouth), and/or the jaw/jowl area, a facelift may be the answer for you.
As we age, the downward shift of underlying facial muscles and soft tissue of the face cause us to look older. A correctly performed facelift will not only lift the skin but also lift the underlying tissue to its optimal youthful position. This restores fullness to the areas below the eyelid, lifts the sagging midface area, and tightens the jawline and upper neckline. Since we tighten and lift the muscles and soft tissues of the face, not just the skin, your facelift will look natural and will be long-lasting.
During your consultation, we will discuss your concerns about your appearance and your goals for your facelift. Please bring a photo of yourself when you were younger, if possible. Based on our examination of your facial structure, we will recommend the type of procedure, as well as any other recommendations, to provide the results you want. We will also answer all of your questions, explain what to expect from surgery, and tell you how to prepare for your surgery.
The Facelift Procedure
Generally speaking, there are two kinds of face lifts: A “full facelift” or a “short scar facelift” (also called “mini-facelift”). Your surgery may be performed using general anesthesia or a local anesthetic with sedation.
A full facelift requires a longer incision from the temple area, extending downward in front of the ear, around the earlobe and behind the ear. The scar is hidden either behind the ear or within the hairline. This type of facelift addresses the areas just below the lower eyelid, the nasolabial folds, and the jaw area.
A short scar facelift incision starts lower, usually closer to the ear, and extends around the back of the earlobe. This type of facelift is for those who do not have sagging in the lower eyelid area. Instead, it addresses the nasolabial folds and the jaw area. This less extensive facelift can sometimes be performed in the office so that you can avoid a visit to the outpatient surgery center.
In both cases, after the incision is made, your surgeon will remove excess skin and tighten and lift the underlying tissues of the face.
Preparing for Your Facelift
Please avoid taking Advil, Aleve, aspirin, ibuprofen, Motrin, and Naprosyn for two weeks prior to your surgery. High dose vitamins and herbal medications should also be avoided. Most other medications that you take regularly can be taken before your procedure. It is especially important to take blood pressure medication so that your blood pressure remains normal during surgery.
Depending on the extent of your facelift, it will be performed either in our office or at the outpatient surgery center. Be sure to have someone available to drive you home and stay with you for the first 24 hours, as you will be drowsy from the anesthesia.
Recovering from Your Facelift
A soft wrap will be placed around your head and chin for a period of time. Drains may also be placed in the incisions behind the ears. These collect fluids as you heal and will be removed within 1-2 days of your surgery. The sutures are removed within a week.
Some bruising, swelling, soreness, tightness, and itching are normal after a facelift. You can take medication, if necessary, to ease discomfort. These symptoms will gradually subside during the first 3 weeks. As a result, most patients take about 2 weeks off from work to recover. Please avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activity for 4 weeks, however.
You will feel more comfortable sleeping on your back for approximately 2 weeks with pillows to elevate your head. After the drains have been removed, you can shower and wash your hair, but you should avoid most hot hair appliances and hair dye for 3 weeks.
Today’s face lift techniques are long-lasting. Most people enjoy their results for a decade or more.