Facelift surgery is an accepted treatment that can help both men and women regain a more youthful appearance. The out-of-date attitude of belittling cosmetic surgery has been replaced with the knowledge that there is a way to help us improve some of the signs of aging. At The Langsdon Clinic we strive to reverse the signs of aging while preserving the “natural appearance”.
The Facelift (Rhytidectomy) procedure is designed to reduce sagging caused by loose skin and drooping, fatty tissues of the face and upper neck. The operation is done to treat the relatively early signs of aging or to improve the advanced signs in older patients. If sagging is significant, the results of surgery may be more dramatic. In younger patients, the results may be subtle; they may simply “look less tired”. The facelift treats only the lower face, jowls, and upper neck. Other procedures may be recommended to improve the eyelids, eyebrows, forehead or mid-cheek. Wrinkles cannot be “pulled out” with a facelift, and areas of facial deflation (the groove between the eyes and upper cheek, the folds along the sides of the mouth cheek depressions) cannot be eradicated with a facelift. In patients with thick or fatty cheeks and neck, the tissues may not be as mobile and the contouring obtained may be somewhat less that obtained in a patient with thin tissues.
Preoperatively, medications are given to begin relaxation and help minimize swelling and bruising. The procedure is usually performed at our on-site outpatient surgical center. “Twilight” sedation is used and supplemented by local anesthesia. Most patients have no discomfort during the procedure and have amnesia of the experience. The face is divided into several areas of concern: the neck, the lower cheek-jowl, the upper cheek, eyelids and the forehead. The facelift deals with the lower cheek-jowl and neck. It does not treat the forehead, eyelids or cheekbone areas. The incision for the lower cheek-jowl neck operation begins in the temple hair and extends down just in front of the ear, around the ear lobe, up behind the ear, and then backward along the hairline. Through this incision, the skin is elevated out into the cheeks and neck. The underlying muscle and connective tissue are raised and repositioned with sutures to help support these underlying facial structures of the cheek-jowl and upper neck. Excess skin is then removed. A small incision is usually placed in a crease under the chin. Through this incision fatty accumulation in the upper neck may be improved and the muscles may be tightened. The skin edges are secured with absorbable sutures in front of the ear and under the chin: and small skin clips may be used for the incisions along the hairline.
Immediately after surgery, a turban like dressing is applied. This is usually removed at our office the next day. There is usually minimal postoperatively discomfort. As with any surgical procedure, swelling occurs as fluids from the body are brought to the area to promote healing. The amount of swelling differs from person to person; however, the swelling and discoloration are usually minimal and most subsides in seven to ten days. A tight feeling around the ears may be noted during the first several weeks following surgery. As the healing progresses and maturation of the incisions occurs, these incision lines usually fade, soften and lighten up. Rarely, there may be some thinning of the hair around the hair bearing incisions. Some degree of numbness is to be expected following surgery. It is usually temporary, disappearing as the healing progresses. In most cases, you are seen at the clinic the day after surgery and at one week postoperatively when any skin clips are removed. The patient usually returns to light work and resume driving after two weeks. Out-of-town patients should plan to stay in the Memphis area for at least one week.