Face and Neck Lift
A facelift-neck lift improves the signs of aging through tightening the underlying face and neck muscles and removing sagging skin and by redistributing excess fatty deposits. The standard facelift addresses the lower 1/2 of the face and the upper neck. With age, the skin of the face and neck lose elasticity and the underlying muscles lose their tone. Factors such as sun exposure, weight gain or loss, gravity, and stress may exacerbate the problem. Procedure choice such as mini vs an extended face and neck lift depends on patient’s needs and must be discussed with your cosmetic surgeon. Other facial procedures including nose surgery/rhinoplasty, forehead lift, eyelid surgery/blepharoplasty, neck muscle tightening / platysmaplasty, chin and cheek implants, chemical peel, laser resurfacing and fat transfer, and injection of synthetic fillers may be performed at the same time.
Who is a Candidate?
Patients with sagging skin and poor facial tone who have jowl formation (the lower cheeks and jawline are saggy) or have poorly defined jawline are the routine candidates. Men and women with wrinkled, saggy and fatty neck are candidates for a face and neck or neck lift. Those patients who desire a less tired and more youthful look will benefit from this procedure. Patient with facial trauma might benefit from a partial lift to correct any asymmetry; however, skin surface defect and discoloration, as well as lines around the mouth, is not corrected by this procedure.
Face Lifts are usually performed in an office facility under oral sedation and local anesthesia as well local within a tumescent solution. If necessary, an outpatient surgical facility or in the hospital may be used to administer conscious/IV sedation or general. After administration of the local anesthetic and the tumescent causing what is known as ‘hydro-dissection, an incision is made in front of the ear extending to behind the ear. Once the facial and neck muscle are exposed and tightened, the excess skin is removed. The skin is then closed with a running suture and dressing including a light compression facial garment is placed around the face and neck.
Recovery-Recuperation and Healing
Recovery is generally dependent on the extent of the surgery. In majority of the cases the patient is sent home with a responsible adult. For the first 3 days, stiffness in the neck and some soreness with swallowing and eating may occur. Patients should keep their head elevated for the first 5 days post operatively. It is crucial to maintain a clean wound site. In most cases the patient is asked to clean the incision site on a daily bases. Facial creams, make up or other products may be used on day after surgery but not on or near the incision site. Noticeable swelling and bruising typically lasts 3 to 7 days; however, it is common for some residual bruising and swelling may take several weeks to resolve. The compression garment needs be worn for approximately one week. In most cases, your cosmetic surgeon will use an absorbable suture; however any non absorbable suture will be removed in one week.