Surgical facial rejuvenation (facelift or rhytidectomy) remains the fundamental treatment to address and improve the anatomic changes associated with facial aging. Over time, the cumulative damage of the sun, aging, and gravity can unfavorably affect the appearance of the face.
Although these changes can be unfavorable, there are several approaches to facial rejuvenation that can be utilized to repair damaged tissues and achieve a more refreshed appearance. Because there are multiple causes of facial aging, surgery is only one aspect of a balanced plan for facial rejuvenation. Facelift surgery can be complemented by injectables like BOTOX® Cosmetic, XEOMIN®, Restylane®, or JUVÉDERM®, as well as skin care products and laser skin resurfacing.
What is a Facelift?
A facelift is designed to restore internal support for the face by lifting and repositioning sagging tissue, thereby restoring a younger-looking version of yourself. During a facelift, facial features are replaced to their normal location. The underlying anatomy of the face is highlighted to restore a refreshed and natural appearance. In patients with volume loss or deflated features, volume can be replenished with additional procedures. Combined, this strategy provides a balanced and natural rejuvenation of the face that lessens the effects of time and restores a more youthful appearance.
Facial rejuvenation is the term used to describe both surgical and non-surgical procedures aimed at restoring the aging face to a more youthful state. Although the central procedure is the facelift, current facial rejuvenation utilizes multiple modalities — such as BOTOX® Cosmetic/Dysport®, injectable fillers, lasers, chemical peels, facial implants, and facial soft tissue augmentation — as an adjunct, and in some cases, in place of a facelift.
Is a Facelift Right for Me?
A facelift is most successful for healthy patients who have realistic expectations for the outcome of surgery. If you exhibit signs of facial aging you would like to improve, such as hanging skin along the jawline and neck, a facelift (with or without complementary facial rejuvenation treatments) may benefit you. Those interested in a facelift should also be non-smokers, or willing to quit smoking before and after the procedure. To provide the most optimal results, you and Dr. Jerome Liu or Dr. Tom Liu will discuss your concerns at length to ensure a mutual understanding of surgical goals and desires for the outcome.
A facial rejuvenation consultation will take approximately one hour. Because facelift surgery is only one component of facial rejuvenation, Dr. Jerome Liu or Dr. Tom Liu will perform a complete facial analysis as part of the decision making process. Important considerations include assessment of the skin, facial volume, and signs of aging. Combined, these elements will determine the necessary components of a comprehensive plan for facial rejuvenation.
The goal of the consultation is for you to obtain all the information you need to make an informed decision regarding facelift and facial rejuvenation. Our plastic surgeons are dedicated to educating patients about the causes of facial aging, the anatomic changes that occur, and how best to address it. As part of the consultation, we will help you with the decision making process and answer all of your questions. We pride ourselves on building a “partnership” with you, the patient, during the consultation.
How Do I Prepare for a Facelift?
Patients are required to complete pre-operative testing and medical clearance from their primary care doctor to evaluate their medical fitness for surgery. Typically, this involves a medical history and physical from their doctor, including lab work and an EKG. Patients will receive an information packet that contains pre-operative information, details about the surgery, and post-operative instructions. Our team will work closely with you to oversee every aspect of your care and enhance your experience. We highly recommend that a skin care regimen be in place prior to facial rejuvenation. Healthy skin will improve healing and complement your post-operative results.
How is the Facelift Procedure Performed?
Facial rejuvenation surgery is an outpatient operation and is performed at an accredited surgical facility. There is always an anesthesiologist present, whether under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation. Having an anesthesiologist present allows Dr. Jerome Liu and Dr. Tom Liu to concentrate on attaining the best cosmetic result instead of dividing their attention between the operation and monitoring the vital signs of the patient.
What Can I Expect During the Recovery Period After a Facelift?
Patients go home on the same day as surgery, but should have a responsible adult stay with them for the first 2 to 3 days. We recommend staying at an aftercare facility or having a private duty nurse for the first 24 hours. The recovery period is relatively rapid with most patients feeling very well by 2 to 3 days. The majority of the swelling and bruising dissipate by the end of the first week. Strenuous activity should be avoided for 1 to 2 weeks. Dr. Jerome Liu or Dr. Tom Liu will follow you closely during the recovery period and let you know when you can resume full activities. Post-operatively, patients should continue to meet with our professional aesthetician to continue skin treatment regimens and maintain youthful skin. These can be combined with procedures to enhance the quality and texture of the skin and improve any residual fine wrinkles.
Can I Get a Facelift Without Surgery?
A facelift is among the most powerful techniques to reduce signs of facial aging, but there are also non-surgical treatments that can be performed to refresh the face without surgery. While the results will not match the outcome possible with a facelift, Dr. Jerome Liu and Dr. Tom Liu offer FaceTite® by InMode as a minimally invasive alternative to rhytidectomy. FaceTite® is a cutting-edge treatment that uses radiofrequency (RF) energy and a small, patented cannula to tighten the underlying structures of the face and neck.
The specialized applicator is designed to apply gentle heat above and below the surface of the skin, effectively tightening loose skin and reducing jowling. Not only can this improve skin laxity, but FaceTite® technology also works to stimulate collagen production. This treatment may be performed in conjunction with, or in lieu of, a surgical facelift depending on your anatomical indicators. While the results of FaceTite® unfold gradually, treatment can offer noticeable and relatively long-lasting rejuvenation of the facial features.
There are many options now available for facial rejuvenation, both surgical and non-surgical. Our aesthetic fellowship-trained plastic surgeons are skilled in the most advanced techniques in facial rejuvenation. To find out if a facelift (facial rejuvenation) is right for you, please make an appointment with Dr. Jerome Liu or Dr. Tom Liu.