Facelift Surgery – Rhytidectomy in Spring Valley & Las Vegas
What A Facelift Can Do
The word facelift is one of the most confusing terms in use in plastic surgery. Normally, a layperson when asked what a face is, states that it extends from the anterior hairline down to the chin, and the neck is not part of the face. Unfortunately, when plastic or cosmetic surgeons speak of a facelift, it involves a surgical procedure where tissues and skin from the cheeks and neck are tightened. The tissue of the forehead and eyes are not part and parcel of a facelift lift. The actual word, rhytidectomy, which is the formal term for a facelift, comes from the Greek words “to remove wrinkles” in general, and actually relates to all areas, and not just the face. In a facelift, the sagging skin is repositioned, the subcutaneous fat and facial muscles are tightened, and at times excess fat is removed during a facelift. It is important to realize though that a facelift (or rhytidectomy) can’t stop the aging process, but when used by itself or with other procedures (such as a forehead lift, eyelid surgery, or nose reshaping) your face can be made to look more vibrant, healthy and youthful.
Who Might Consider a Facelift?
The best candidates for a facelift in Las Vegas are men and women whose faces and necks have sagged due to age, but who retain some elasticity in their skin and a strong, well-defined bone structure. Although most facelift patients are in their forties to sixties, people up to their eighties have received successful facelifts as well. The degree of bony shape will determine how fast a face ages, therefore, patients with small bones will age earlier and need a facelift at a younger age than someone with strong bones. Variation and swings in weight loss and gain will also affect facial aging. The roller coaster of this fat loss and gain will stretch the skin prematurely and put one in line for a facelift at an earlier age than anticipated. One of the important components of facial aging is subcutaneous fat. At times if a patient has lost a tremendous amount of facial fat, they may look older than expected and can become a candidate for a facelift at an earlier point than others.
Once you decide to have a facelift, Dr. Garcia will discuss with you all aspects of the procedure. Feel free to discuss your expectations and concerns. By the time you’re ready for surgery, you should be as familiar with the procedure as you can. If not, feel free to ask any questions. At times it is helpful to change your hair color or style right before a Las Vegas facelift so that afterwards, people that see you may attribute the change to something other than the facelift.
Remember that a Las Vegas facelift is a surgical procedure and as such carries with it an element of risk. Although Dr. Garcia is a talented, accomplished plastic surgeon, sometimes complications do occur. These include a collection of blood underneath the skin that must be surgically removed, temporary nerve damage and rare instances of infection. If you carefully follow Dr. Garcia’s instructions before and after surgery, your risk of complications is significantly reduced. Remember that everyone’s definition of younger is based on different observations. Many times after a facelift the comments you may hear are that you look thinner, or rested, or more energetic, and at times younger, but not everyone you see after your facelift may say to you that you look younger. We are trying to leave our patients looking natural, not artificially pulled, so an obvious facelift is not always desired. Improvements upon nature are what we strive for.
Dr. Garcia will give you specific guidelines on what to eat and drink and what vitamins or medications you should take or avoid prior to your surgery. Smoking inhibits the healing process. If you smoke, it’s important you stop at least two weeks before and after the surgery.
The exact location of incisions will depend on your facial structure. If you’ve decided to have your neck operated on, a small incision is made under the chin as well. This gives us access to the muscles of the neck which at times are tightened, and also access to the fat present which at times is removed with simultaneous liposuction at the time of the facelift. After the incisions are made, the skin is separated from the layers of muscle and fat below. Fat is trimmed or suctioned away, the muscles are tightened, cheek fat is repositioned into a more youthful location, and the skin is then pulled back into place. Excess skin is trimmed away, and the incisions are stitched closed. In some cases, metal clips are used on the scalp. After surgery, a small, thin tube may be placed behind the ear to drain any excess blood. To minimize bruising and swelling, your head may be loosely wrapped in bandages. Typically, a facelift takes several hours. It can take longer if you’re having additional procedures done. After the first 10-12 days, a little more activity is allowed, and patients have returned to their normal routine in 4-6 weeks. During the three weeks after your facelift you will also be coming to the office 2-3 times per week to have ultrasound massages done on our face and neck to help speed the healing and resolution of your minimal bruising. The skin of your face will remain somewhat numb for a number of weeks after your facelift in Las Vegas, but eventually returns to normal.