Facial aging can develop as a result of gravity, sun exposure, genetic disposition and daily stresses. Your facial skin will sag especially between the nose and mouth (nasolabial folds), the droopy jaw lines (jowls), and neck region. A facelift, also known as rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure to help restore a more youthful look. It however cannot stop the aging process. A facelift works by removing excess fat, tightening underlying muscles, and redraping the skin of your face and neck. By smoothing out fine lines and deep facial folds, your face will appear smoother, firmer, and younger. This youthful look often will give you better self image and confidence. Surgery alone will not correct all the aging process. Facelift surgery can be long lasting but it is not permanent. A good skin care regimen will further enhance your look and maintain a long lasting result. Sunscreen, retin A, glycolic acid, moisturizer and good nutrition will help protect the skin from aging effects. When you choose to have facelift surgery, consult with Dr. Vu on other options that may be available to you to optimize the results of your surgery and make you look your best. Other surgical options include browlift and eyelid surgery to compliment your new youthful face. Non-surgical options include chemical peel, botox, tissue fillers. If you considering a facelift, please contact Dr Vu for a complimentary personal consultation.
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Choosing to have a facelift
If facial aging has affected your personal life and business career, a facelift may be an option. If you desire a more youthful face with smoother and firmer skin, a facelift may be a choice for you. You should have the surgery for yourself and not for others. Good candidates are those in good health, non smokers, and have realistic expectations. During the consultation, Dr. Vu will discuss your concerns and carefully examine your face. He will discuss the possible options, procedure and risks with you so that you can make an informed decision. If you prefer non-surgical options, Dr Vu also performs Botox injections, tissue fillers and chemical peel which can reduce lines for a younger look. These procedures will not change your face as much as a facelift but will have less recovery time. They can be used to buy time before a surgical facelift.
Facelift is generally performed under IV sedation or general anesthesia in our AAAASF certified surgical suite. There are different variations of a facelift; however, two main types are:
- Traditional facelift: For those that have significant jowls and redundant neck skin/fat. The incision starts in the temple hairline, extends in front and behind the ear into the posterior scalp. A skin flap of the cheek and neck is lifted. The facial muscle/fascia is elevated and sutured. The fat is sculpted and skin is repositioned to more youthful position.Procedure generally takes 3-4 hours.
- Limited incision facelift: For those with mainly jowls. It utilizes shorter incisions starting at temporal continuing around the ear. Similar to the traditional technique, a skin flap is lifted of the cheek. The muscle and skin are repositioned to create a youthful contour. Procedure generally takes 2-3 hours.
A facelift is typically done on an outpatient basis. A head bandage will be placed around your face to minimize post-facelift swelling and bruising as your face heals. Occasionally a drain is placed to remove any excess fluid or blood. You will need to return to our office the next day for dressing removal and examination. Dr Vu will give you all necessary instructions to manage your discomfort and caring for your incisions. It is normal to have uneven swelling of face and bruising. They will resolve over 7-10 days. Complete resolution of swelling may take a few months. You can resume non-strenous activities after 1 week. Make up can be applied to conceal bruising if necessary. Discomfort should be mild and controlled with medications.