Skin laxity is a common aging effect that most people will experience at some point in life. As you age, facial changes like sagging or folds on the cheeks alter your appearance. You may not evade aging effects, but Dr. Leo Urbinelli Portland can make your facial skin firmer using a facelift. A facelift is one of the most common cosmetic surgeries, with more than 131,000 people in the United States getting a facelift.
What is a facelift?
A facelift is a cosmetic, restorative surgical procedure that involves signs of aging on your face by repositioning or removing skin, fat, or muscle. Most people who resort to a facelift have:
- Jowls or drooping skin on cheeks and jaw
- Deep crease lines between the nose and corners of the mouth
- Facial fat that has fallen
- Sagging or relaxed skin on the face
A facelift does not fundamentally change your appearance or stop the aging process. It can’t also treat sun damage or irregularities in your skin color. Knowing this is essential if you are considering a facelift so that your expectations are reasonable.
How to prepare for a facelift
A facelift is a major surgical procedure, so you want to consult your surgeon to understand what the process entails and its risks. Expect a thorough medical history evaluation whereby you will answer questions about your current medical conditions, previous surgery, and complications. Be prepared to answer lifestyle questions if you have a history of smoking or drug or alcohol use. If there are any concerns about your eligibility for surgery, the surgeon may request recent records from your doctor or order a consultation with a specialist.
You will provide the name and dosages of all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you take. Include herbal medicines, vitamins, and any other dietary supplements on the list. Your surgeon will capture images of your face from various angles and up-close photos of some features. These images provide a reference point during and after surgery. Your surgeon will examine the shape of your face, bone structure, skin quality, and fat distribution to determine the best options for the surgery.
Your surgeon will ask about your expectations for the outcomes of a facelift. They will help you understand what the procedure can and can’t do. For example, a facelift does not address concerns like fine wrinkles and naturally occurring asymmetry in your face, nor does it stop aging.
How safe is a facelift?
A facelift is associated with various short-term side effects and long-term complications like any other major surgery. The risks of a facelift include:
- Scarring. The incision scars from a facelift are permanent, but they are usually covered by your hairline and natural contours of the face. You can minimize their appearance with corticosteroid medications.
- Hematoma. This is a common complication of surgery; it usually occurs within 24 hours. Hematoma is blood collection beneath the skin, causing swelling and pressure.
- Hair loss. You may lose some hair near the incision sites temporarily or permanently. Patients with permanent hair loss may consider hair replacement options like a hair transplant.
If aging effects are a blow to your confidence, consult your surgeon at PNW Plastic Surgery to know if a facelift is good for you.