Facelifts have come a long way from the days when the windswept, G-force look of aging celebrities was a tell-tale sign that they'd had “work done.” Advances in the understanding of facial structure and aesthetics as well as numerous breakthroughs by facial plastic surgeons have led to a new era of the facelift. Awareness of aging and a proactive approach to reversing its effects have also led patients to seek facelifts at an earlier age – sometimes while still in their 40s.
At the Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Clinic, Dr. Julio Garcia, a Las Vegas plastic surgeon, believes that any facial plastic surgery – including a facelift – should be rejuvenating and beautifying while still looking natural. After a facelift (also known as rhytidectomy), your friends and family will notice that something about you has dramatically “changed” for the better, but will be hard-pressed to say what it is. Overall, the impression should be one of increased vitality, youthfulness, beauty and health that should last for up to 10 years.
If you're considering a facelift to reverse the signs of aging and rejuvenate your facial features, you probably have many questions about what exactly happens during a facelift, what other procedures – such as laser resurfacing, neck lift with platysmaplasty, chin liposuction, brow lift, and blepharoplasty – may enhance the rejuvenating effects of your surgery, and how to maintain your benefits.
Dr. Garcia encourages patients to ask questions during their consultation, as his objective is to work with you to achieve your aesthetic goals. Dr. Garcia and his staff are happy to talk with you and encourage you to look at before and after photos of his clients, or read more about the facelift procedure on his website.
Why a Facelift?
As we age, our skin loses its elasticity and thickness, and our facial muscles begin to thin out and relax. The midface loses volume as fat and muscle dwindle, leading to a hollow look under the cheeks and at the temples. In addition, we begin to lose bone mass, which means that some of the supporting structure of our faces is no longer there. In fact, as we age, the loss of bone actually makes our faces slightly smaller. Adding in the effects of gravity, the end result is that our faces and necks begin to sag, leading to jowling, turkey neck, drooping brows, sagging eyelids, and other unwanted signs of aging.
A full rhytidectomy will reverse many of these age-related adverse effects. Combining a facelift with other cosmetic procedures, such as laser resurfacing, brow lift, blepharoplasty, neck lift and fat grafting, can create results that are dazzling, yet still look natural and like “you.”
What Happens During a Facelift?
During your facelift -- which can be performed either under local or general anesthesia -- Dr. Garcia will make incisions along your hairline running to behind your ears. He will then separate the skin from the underlying muscle and fat. In a deep plane SMAS facelift, which is Dr. Garcia's favored procedure, the muscle, fat and other tissue are also dissected and repositioned higher on the face, eliminating sagging and jowls.
If you have opted for fat grafting, excess fat that was previously harvested from your abdomen or thighs will be placed in the mid cheek area to make up for age-depleted volume. The skin is then pulled upward and outward, redraped over the fat grafts and tissue, excess skin is trimmed, and the incision is sutured. The scars are hidden in the hairline and behind the ears.
Fixing Your Chin and Neck
In addition to lifting the lower and midface, your facelift will also probably include a neck lift with platysmaplasty to eliminate turkey neck and other sagging to create a clean, sleek jawline. If you have excess submental fat (otherwise known as a double chin) it can be removed with liposuction through an incision underneath the chin. During your platysmaplasty, the platysma muscles in the neck will be tightened and excess neck skin removed, restoring your neck to a tighter and more youthful appearance.
Lift Your Brow
Because a facelift and platysmaplasty only address the neck, lower face and mid face, if you have a droopy brow, wrinkles or frown lines, you may also choose to have a brow lift during your rhytidectomy. Dr. Garcia is widely known for his modified open technique of lifting the brow from an incision further back on the hairline, which is then sutured at 20 to 25 points of fixation for longer lasting results. Dr. Garcia may also opt to perform a brow lift endoscopically in special cases.
Open Your Eyes
The eyes are the focal point of any face and are known as the “windows to our soul.” Hooded or drooping eyes can make you look tired and old. An upper blepharoplasty performed during your surgery will remove some excess fat from your upper lids, tighten the skin and trim away excess. The scar will be hidden in the eyelid crease.
If you have eye bags, a lower blepharoplasty can remove the fat and tighten and trim the excess skin. The scars are usually hidden under the eyelid.
Add More Volume
Giving the face more structure with facial implants can help the benefits of your facelift last longer. A chin implant can correct a small chin or weak jawline, create a stronger, cleaner profile, and create more definition to your neck lift. Cheek implants will help give the face more lift, structure and elegance.
Banish Your Wrinkles
If your skin has suffered excessive sun damage and is wrinkled and/or discolored, a facelift will not address this. One option is to undergo laser resurfacing of the skin one month before your facelift surgery. Lasers not only remove wrinkles and hyperpigmentation, they actually stimulate the production of new collagen and elastin, which will improve the quality of your skin and give a spectacular result to your facelift.
You can also opt for laser resurfacing after your facelift has healed. Or, if your damage is not excessive, chemical peels or microdermabrasion can also improve skin quality.
For deep wrinkles and creases that cannot be removed with lasers, Botox and/or dermal fillers can smooth them out temporarily.
Maintain Your Benefits
A well-performed and beautiful facelift can rewind the clock about 10 years and should keep you looking younger for at least a decade. You can help maintain your benefits with a high-quality skin care regimen, sun avoidance, and yearly laser resurfacing, as well as a healthy diet and exercise routine and regular hydration.
Time for the New You
If you are ready to learn more about how facial plastic surgery can rejuvenate your face, please contact Dr. Julio Garcia at the Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Clinic, (702) 870-0058 or firstname.lastname@example.org, to schedule your consultation. You can also use our email form. We welcome patients from Las Vegas and around the world.