A facelift can help restore a youthful appearance.
As you age, the skin on your face and neck begins to loosen, folds and fat deposits appear around the neck, deep creases form between the nose and mouth, and the jawline becomes slack. Factors that contribute to aging include genetics, habits, gravity and sun exposure. Dr. Dawes can perform a surgical facelift (rhytidectomy) to help minimize sagging, drooping and wrinkled skin on the face and neck, and restore a more youthful and rejuvenated appearance.
The facelift, clinically known as rhytidectomy, is one of the earliest performed cosmetic surgeries. Thanks to our outdoor lifestyles in Calgary, our facial skin takes a beating from the elements. Plus, our bodies produce one additional percentage point less collagen every year after our 20th birthday. Since collagen is the protein in the body that provides the structural framework that supports our skin and keeps it firm this allows the skin to sag and form lines and creases. Gravity and heredity play a role. The result is the formation of deep creases beside the mouth, hanging jowls, sunken cheeks, loose skin and fat deposits on the neck, and an overall loose, saggy look. The goal of a facelift is to remove excess sagging skin and reposition and tighten underlying muscle and tissue to firm and “lift” the skin contour. Facelifts target the lower two-thirds of the face, the jowls, and the neck. There are different methods used for these surgeries, depending on the unique facial aging of the patient. These procedures can boost your self-confidence that had been tagging along with your sagging facial countenance.
Is a Facelift Right for Me?
Not all patients are suitable candidates for a facelift—a consultation will help determine if this procedure is right for you. During your initial consultation, Dr. Dawes will determine if you are a good candidate for a facelift and make a recommendation tailored to your specific goals. This may include recommendations of other possible surgical or non-surgical combined treatments which can further enhance your result such as Botox, fillers and skin rejuvenation. A facelift does not change your fundamental appearance or stop the aging process.
Good candidates for facelift surgery are individuals who:
- Have hallowing or loss of volume in the cheeks
- Sagging skin along the jawline
- Deep creases that extend from the nose to the corner of the mouth
- Double chin and thickness towards the bottom of the face
How Facelift Surgery is Performed
In a traditional facelift, an incision is made following a course from the temple area, around the ear and into the lower scalp. While performing a facelift, Dr. Dawes may:
- Remove and/or re-drape loose skin
- Remove or tighten investing muscle fascia
- Remove fat within the neck, jaw, and jowls
- Transfer fat to the area around your eyes and/or cheeks
After draping the skin over the uplifted contours, Dr. Dawes will trim away any excess skin before closing with sutures. A second incision may be made under the chin to improve the aging appearance of the neck.
The recovery time is about two to four weeks. Final results will be long-lasting, but swelling may take several months to dissipate, and incision lines up to six months to refine and fade. Bruising may be extensive. It will be worst at 3-4 days and may persist for up to 3 weeks. Avoid prolonged exposure to sun and heat for three months to prevent swelling of your face. Diligent sun protection and a healthy lifestyle will help maintain and extend your rejuvenated appearance.
Today’s improvements in methods used by Dr. Dawes and other surgeons also delivers a much more natural-looking rejuvenation compared with the former stretched look often associated with poorly done facelifts. Depending on the method used and the areas targeted, you can expect a noticeable firming of your skin, reduction of lines and creases, removal of loose skin, and an overall younger, refreshed facial appearance.
A facelift is a major surgery, and it includes the risks associated with surgery: bleeding, infection, hematoma, and the like. Beyond those general risks of surgery, there are some risks inherent with facelifts. This surgery can create a temporary loss of muscle function and sensation. The incision scars can thicken and widen, especially if recovery procedures are not followed. There can be hair loss at the incision sites within the hairline. These complications are rare, however, and facelifts are a very satisfying procedure for the vast majority of our patients.
The results of your facelift are permanent. Your face will look 10-15 years younger, and this will not change. You will, of course, continue to age, but you will age from a younger starting point. To keep up with this aging, many patients have a more limited procedure again in five to 10 years.
Recovery times cannot be pinpointed without knowing the methods Dr. Dawes will use for your unique facelift. One key to recovery from any method for these surgeries is to minimize increasing the blood pressure to your face. This includes strenuous exercise, lifting of any moderate amount of weight, and even sex. All of these things need to wait probably for about one month. You will also need to avoid using blow dryers and avoid steam rooms and saunas for two months.
You’ve probably heard med spas promising their “liquid facelifts” accomplishing the same rejuvenation as surgical facelifts, but this isn’t accurate. Yes, dermal fillers will return the volume to sunken cheeks and to areas around the mouth. But, as you would assume, they can’t change the underlying sagging of the skin and musculature. They can’t reposition the skin and muscle to their former higher positions on the cheeks. Dermal fillers can improve volume deficits for up to one year. Surgical facelifts provide permanent change.
Dr. Dawes is a board-certified plastic surgeon with rigorous training and vast expertise. He uses his extensive experience with this surgery to effectively hide your incisions. He uses the natural chin crease and hides the ear incisions in the hairline as much as possible. These scars will heal well naturally and will be quite inconspicuous in a matter of months.