A facelift, referred to in the medical community as rhytidectomy, is an anti-aging procedure designed to rejuvenate the appearance of the neck and lower face. However, in some cases, it may be used to enhance the appearance of the midface. Today, our aesthetic experts at The Mack Cosmetic Center in Tampa, FL are answering some of our most frequently asked questions about this procedure, including how it works.
How Does a Facelift Work?
A facelift works by tightening loose, sagging facial muscles and skin. Typically, the scope of this procedure includes enhancing the appearance of the lower face. However, in some cases, the appearance of the neck and midface can be enhanced, too. This is accomplished by sculpting the fat in the area to smooth out creases and wrinkles. Also, in some cases, excess skin is removed during this procedure.
Other Frequently Asked Questions Answered
How Long Will the Results Last?
The results of your facelift may last anywhere from two to 15 years depending on a number of factors, including the technique used, your skin health, and your lifestyle.
How Does the Technique Used Affect the Longevity of My Results?
If you opt for a traditional facelift, you can typically expect the results of your procedure to last for 12 to 15 years. However, if you are in your late 60s, there is a chance that your ideal results will only remain for a decade. This is because your skin produces collagen at a 1% slower rate every year starting around the age of 25. The less collagen your skin has, the sooner it will start to sag again.
On the other hand, if you opt for a mini-rhytidectomy, your ideal results may only last for two to six years. During your initial consultation, we will advise you on which procedure will be the most appropriate for you based on your unique aesthetic goals.
How Does My Skin Health Affect the Longevity of My Results?
The healthier your skin is, the longer your results will last. Some of the benefits of this procedure are derived from lifting and tightening the underlying facial muscles. However, some benefits of this procedure are derived from tightening loose, sagging skin. Skin sags due to insufficient quantities of collagen and elastin. Therefore, if you prioritize keeping your collagen and elastin healthy, your results will last longer.
How Does My Lifestyle Affect the Longevity of My Results?
Your lifestyle choices affect how healthy the supportive structures of your skin (collagen and elastin) are. Your lifestyle choices can also affect how efficiently your skin grows new supportive structures for itself. For instance, if you don’t wear sunscreen diligently, the UVC rays emitted by the sun can both damage your existing collagen and reduce your skin’s collagen production rate.
What Is the Right Age To Receive This Procedure?
While most people who receive this procedure are in their 40s, 50s, or 60s, there is no right age to receive this procedure. As long as you have moderate-to-severe cosmetic concerns affecting your lower face and neck, you are not too young to undergo this procedure. Also, as long as you are healthy enough to receive this procedure, you are not too old.
Am I a Good Candidate for This Procedure?
We need to meet with you before we can tell you whether you are a good candidate for this procedure. Typically, we will deem you a good candidate if you are a fairly healthy adult and concerned about the appearance of your lower face and neck. However, it is essential that we review your health history before we make a final determination. If you receive general anesthesia, the health of your heart and lungs is extremely important.
If you have heart or lung problems, you may still qualify for this procedure. However, you will receive intravenous sedation to keep you asleep and a local anesthetic to keep you numb. Note, medical conditions that may preclude you from this procedure include heart disease, uncontrolled diabetes, liver failure, and acute illnesses. Also, you may not be a good candidate for this procedure if you’re only worried about the appearance of your cheeks.
How Should I Prepare for My Facelift?
We will give you a complete list of preparation instructions during your initial consultation if we determine that you are a good fit for rhytidectomy. One of the most important preparation steps that you must take prior to your operation is refraining from tobacco use. Whether your preferred nicotine delivery system is a cigarette, can of chewing tobacco, or electronic cigarette, you need to hold off on nicotine use for a few days pre-op.
Another crucial preparation step is refraining from alcohol consumption. It is essential that you do not consume tobacco products or alcohol prior to your procedure because nicotine and alcohol have the potential to increase your blood pressure and slow your post-op healing. It is also very important that you are hydrated and well-nourished on the day of your procedure.
Will I Have To Fast?
You will only have to fast prior to your procedure if you opt for general anesthesia. If we determine that general anesthesia will be best for you, it is of the utmost importance that your stomach is empty when the anesthesia is administered. Therefore, you should not consume solid food or beverages with pulp for eight hours prior to your scheduled facelift. However, you will be able to drink clear fluids up until two hours pre-op.
Can I Take My Dietary Supplements the Morning of My Procedure?
During your initial consultation, we will ask you about all of the drugs and supplements you are taking. If you usually take a multivitamin, you must stop taking it for a few days pre-op. Just like it is important that you stop smoking and drinking alcohol so you don’t increase your blood pressure, it is important that you don’t take any blood-thinners.
It is not enough to just not take NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) in the days leading up to your rhytidectomy. You also need to stop taking other drugs (like MAOIs) and supplements (like vitamin E and fish oil) that can thin your blood.
How Long Will My Recovery Take?
How long your recovery will take depends on the technique used, the scope of the procedure, and how well you take care of yourself after your procedure. The more time you spend resting, the faster your skin will heal itself. Also, your recovery will end sooner if the scope of the procedure only involves enhancing the appearance of the lower face.
If you also received another anti-aging procedure, like blepharoplasty, your recovery may take a little longer. Typically, it takes a few days to heal from a mini-rhytidectomy and a few weeks to heal from a full rhytidectomy. However, even if you opt for a traditional rhytidectomy, you should mostly feel like your old self after seven to 10 days. If you have a sedentary job, you shouldn’t have to take more than a week off to recover.
How Can I Speed Up My Recovery Process?
There are a number of things you can do to speed up your recovery process. To reiterate, getting enough rest plays a major role in how quickly your skin heals itself. Specifically, you should try to sleep for nine consecutive hours nightly, making sure that you keep your head elevated and only sleep on your back. If you sleep on your stomach or side, too much pressure may be applied to the incision site or sites.
You can also speed up your recovery process by making a point to walk regularly. Gentle physical activity promotes healthy circulation and more nutrients will be delivered to your lower face through your supported circulatory system. Your diet can also play a role in speeding up your recovery process. You should make sure that you are getting at least 50 to 60 grams of protein daily. We recommend egg whites, legumes, and lean meat.
Schedule Your Initial Consultation Today
Are you concerned about the appearance of your lower face and neck? Do you have jowls that make you feel self-conscious? If so, you may be considered a good candidate for rhytidectomy. This procedure works by tightening loose tissues and sculpting fat. To discover for sure whether this procedure is appropriate for you, contact us today at The Mack Cosmetic Center in Tampa, FL to schedule your initial consultation.