No matter how well you take care of your skin and stay out of the sun, everyone eventually succumbs to gravity and volume loss. Gravity is what causes the sagging that leads to jowls and "turkey neck," while loss of volume accentuates "smile lines" and causes a hollow appearance in the cheeks and around the eyes.
Each individual ages at a different pace and in a different manner, so facial plastic surgery procedures need to be customized for each patient in order to bring about the best results. This level of customization is something our facial plastic surgeons Dr. Miller and Dr. Heller are known for, and they will gladly help you to find the best treatment plan tailored to your specific goals and needs.
If you are interested in a facelift or other cosmetic surgery procedure such as an eyelift or rhinoplasty, don't hesitate to contact Associates in Plastic Surgery today at 732-548-3200 to schedule your complimentary consultation. We serve patients in Edison, Marlboro, and Warren, NJ as well as Staten Island, NY.
- What Is a Facelift?
- The Facelift Procedure
- Types of Facelifts
- Benefits of a Facelift
- Who Is a Good Candidate for a Facelift?
- Recovery After a Facelift
- Combining Facelift Surgery and Other Cosmetic Surgery
- How Much Does a Facelift Cost?
- Before and After Examples
- Schedule Your Facelift Consultation
What Is a Facelift?
There is a common misconception that a facelift treats the entire face, from chin to forehead. In fact, a traditional facelift addresses only the lower face and neck. During a typical facelift procedure, the underlying muscles will be tightened and excess skin trimmed in order to create a contoured, defined jawline.
The neck will also be addressed, and in patients who need it, neck bands and "turkey neck" can be reduced. If there is significant excess fat under the chin, liposuction may be recommended as well. Liposuction and a facelift can be combined easily, and may give a better result in some cases.
The Facelift Procedure
We perform all facelifts in our accredited surgery suite under either IV sedation or general anesthesia. Every effort is made to create unnoticeable scars and make sure that it is not obvious that you've had a facelift.
Facelift incisions are started in the hairline, go slightly inside the ear, then wrap around the back of the ear along the crease and back up into the hairline. This type of incision ensures that all scarring is well hidden.
After the skin is lifted, we tighten the muscle and fatty tissue. We will remove excess fat from the middle of the neck, and suture the muscles tightly together, which treats neck banding. When trimming excess skin, we ensure that there is no tension, so that scars will heal virtually invisibly. We do not pull the skin tight, meaning that patients will not end up with a "wind-tunnel" effect.
Types of Facelifts
There are many types of facelifts available. The right one for you depends on your goals, the condition of your skin, and the extent of your sagging.
Some of the facelifts we offer include the following:
- Deep Plane Facelift: Dr. Miller and Dr. Heller are specialists in deep plane facelifts. This type of facelift lifts tissue in a deeper plane before tightening, and is safer for patients who smoke than an SMAS facelift (although smokers should still be able to quit for at least 30 days prior to surgery). Deep plane facelifts also give more consistent and longer lasting results than SMAS facelifts.
- Mini-Facelift (also called S-Lift or Weekend Lift): Mini facelifts use shorter incisions and have less recovery time than regular facelifts. However, we have found that they are only useful in a very small number of people. Generally, a full deep plane facelift will give much more dramatic and longer lasting results. If you have significant jowls or a heavy neck, this procedure will not be the best for you. Ask us during your consultation if you are a candidate.
- Neck Lift: If you have significant sagging skin on your neck but no jowling, a neck lift may be a good option for you. Neck lifts focus solely on the neck, and involve less recovery time than a full facelift.
- Cheek Lift: If your cheeks are sagging and you want subtle rejuvenation without a full surgery, a cheek lift (also called thread lift) may be a good choice. Thread lifts involve long stitches placed under the skin in order to lift and anchor sagging tissue. Local anesthesia is used, and this procedure can be combined with fat injection, upper eyelid surgery, or a chemical peel in order to provide a rejuvenated appearance. We offer a variety of different types of cheek lift tailored to different concerns.
Benefits of a Facelift
While there are many non-surgical options that have come on the market recently, the best option if you have significant sagging of the jaw or neck will always be a facelift. There are many benefits to having a facelift, including:
- Dramatic results
- Long lasting
- Take years off the appearance
- Feel better about your appearance
- Feel more confident
- Age more slowly
While a facelift unfortunately cannot completely stop the aging process, it will reverse the hands of time enough that you will always look younger than if you had never gotten one. Most people only need one facelift in their lifetime, although some people may opt for a second facelift or mini lift ten or fifteen years after their first one.
Who Is a Good Candidate for a Facelift?
The best facelift candidates:
- Are in good health
- Are non-smokers or are willing to quit smoking for 30 days prior to surgery
- Have significant jowling and/or sagging of the neck
- Are looking for a long-lasting solution
- Have enough time to rest and recover at home
- Understand the potential risks
- Have realistic expectations
It is vital to understand what to expect when undergoing a facelift. This procedure is not meant to magically make a 50 year old look 25 again. Instead, it will make a 50 year old look amazing for his or her age by tightening the skin and muscle and taking around 10 years off the appearance in a very natural manner.
In addition, while smoking is not an automatic contraindication for a facelift surgery, it is highly recommended to stop smoking for at least 30 days prior to your facelift. This will reduce your risk of complications and help smooth your healing process.
Recovery After a Facelift
After surgery, patients will develop some swelling and bruising. However, pain is usually minimal. We will prescribe pain medications to help with any pain or discomfort you feel, although many patients are surprised at how little pain they are in following a facelift.
You can use a cold compress to help with any swelling, and remaining upright as much as possible and sleeping at an incline will also help. If you develop bruising, arnica can help.
Generally, patients are well enough to return to work at 10 to 14 days. At that point you should also be looking well enough that no one will be able to tell you had surgery performed unless you point it out or they knew beforehand. Most people will chalk up your new, refreshed appearance to a good vacation or haircut.
Following your surgery, you should refrain from strenuous activity for two to three weeks. Please get clearance from your surgeon if you are not sure that you're ready to resume activities such as weight lifting or intense cardio.
Combining Facelift Surgery and Other Cosmetic Surgery Procedures
Many people ask if it is possible to combine facial plastic surgery procedures. The answer is generally yes. Many surgeries can be done simultaneously to achieve comprehensive results and cut down on time away from work with just one recovery period.
Some popular procedures that men and women like to combine include:
Depending on your individual concerns, you may benefit from combining cosmetic surgery procedures. During your consultation, Dr. Miller or Dr. Heller will listen carefully to your goals, examine the condition of your skin, and advise you on the best comprehensive treatment plan.
How Much Does a Facelift Cost?
The cost of a full facelift will vary depending on a wide variety of factors, including:
- Skill and experience of surgeon
- Type of facelift
- Anesthesia and hospital fees
During your consultation, we will be upfront about all costs and fees involved, and will give you an accurate quote. If you require facelift financing, we offer a range of different options to help you afford your surgery.
While it may be tempting to "shop around" for the cheapest deal on a facelift, remember that this is a complex surgery being performed on your face. If something goes wrong, you may end up disfigured or unnatural looking. We highly recommend doing your research, finding a board-certified plastic surgeon with appropriate levels of experience and skill, and if necessary, saving up to go to the best surgeon rather than settling for a lower-priced surgeon who may not be able to give you the best results.
Before and After Examples
A facelift can completely rejuvenate your face. The best facelift will make you look like you, just more youthful and refreshed. A good facelift should not leave you looking unnatural or unlike yourself.
Take a look at some examples of before and after pictures to see what a facelift can potentially do for you.
This patient wanted improvement in her neck and jawline, but was happy with her eyes and did not have much volume loss. Therefore, a facelift alone gave her the results she wanted.
This patient wanted improvement of the nasolabial folds and heaviness under the eyes as well as of the neck and jawline. We performed a facelift plus fat injection, which tightened up her jawline as well as improved her eye bags and nasolabial folds.
See our full before and after photo gallery for more examples.
Schedule Your Facelift Consultation Today
If you are interested in improving the contour of your neck and jaw, lifting your cheeks, or improving your eye bags, schedule a complimentary facelift consultation with Dr. Miller or Dr. Heller of Associates in Plastic Surgery by calling 732-548-3200 today.
We serve patients in Edison, Marlboro, and Warren, New Jersey, as well as Staten Island, New York.