Facial rejuvenation treatments are almost too numerous to count, ranging from non-invasive topical skin treatments to minimally-invasive injectables, lasers and ultrasound skin tightening treatments. While many of these options offer mild or modest results, there is only one tried and true surgical technique that can reliably and dramatically reduce the signs of aging in both the face and neck: the facelift.
Facelift surgery has advanced and improved over the years, but new technology has not done away with the need for surgical facelifts in the aging patient. “The only true way to address significant facial skin laxity is with facelift surgery,” shares board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Daniel Y. Maman. “Facelift surgery allows us to remove the extra skin of the face and the neck that we simply can’t do with non-invasive modalities.”
At What Point Do I Need a Facelift?
In New York City where Dr. Maman practices, facial fillers, Botox, chemical peels and skin tightening technologies like Ulthera are all done frequently and on a daily basis. Non-surgical facial rejuvenation procedures play an important role in offsetting the minor signs of facial aging as they appear, but in the big picture, they cannot replace the need for surgery when the time comes. They can, at best, delay the need for a facelift.
Non-surgical facial rejuvenation options:
- Facial fillers to replace lost volume
- Botox to reduce wrinkles
- Chemical peels and lasers to improve skin texture and pigmentation
- Ultherapy to tighten loose skin
The best way to know when it is time for a facelift is to meet with a board certified plastic surgeon who offers a wide range of facial rejuvenation options. Having experience with minimally-invasive rejuvenation procedures, as well as surgery, provides the surgeon with the knowledge necessary to confidently assess which option will provide you with the results you desire.
Will It Be Obvious I Had a Facelift?
You can rest assured that your surgical secret is safe in the hands of an experienced board certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Maman. “The scar is really minimal,” describes Maman. “By two weeks it’s almost entirely impossible to perceive that the patient has had some type of facial surgery.”
A full facelift involves the removal of excess skin, the tightening of underlying muscles and the re-positioning of remaining skin and tissues of the neck and face. In order to achieve these things, an incision is necessary. The resulting scar is hidden in the area around the ear. It begins just above the ear, where the scar is disguised within the hairline. From there it continues down the natural skin creases of the ear to just below the earlobe, where it wraps behind the ear and disappears back into the hairline.
Dr. Maman provides all of his patients with detailed instructions on how to best care for their incisions in order to minimize scars. He always advises his patients to keep the scar protected from exposure to the sun. In many cases he also provides topical skincare products to assist with optimal healing.
How Lengthy is the Recovery?
Facelift surgery typically take around two hours for Dr. Maman to complete in his private ambulatory surgical facility. Many people choose to complement facelift surgery with the addition of eyelid surgery, fat transfer or eyebrow surgery. Each additional procedure extends the length of the operation and also the length of the recovery.
Following facelift surgery, patients remain under the care of a nurse overnight. Swelling and bruising are evident in the first week or two, but most evidence of surgery subsides by the two week point.
Patients return to regular daily activities after the first week to ten days. Dr. Maman cautions his patients to wait several weeks before he fully clears them to return to vigorous exercise, allowing the body plenty of time to fully heal and return to full strength before adding additional physical strain.
How Long will Facelift Results Last?
Facelift surgery provides optimal correction and dramatic results for patients with moderate to significant facial aging and sagging of facial skin. While a facelift can set back the clock on facial aging, it does not stop facial aging altogether. How long the results last after a facelift depends on several factors, including a person’s genetics, their overall health, their sun exposure and their ability to maintain a stable weight.
Factors that can affect facelift longevity:
- Sun Exposure
- Weight Fluctuations
“Our objective when we do facelift surgery is to get as long of a duration of an outcome as we can,” states Maman. “We hope that at the very minimum the patient has ten years of benefit from facelift surgery.”