As we age, the skin on our face begins to soften up and often starts to sag. Most commonly, you may notice loose or saggy skin, wrinkles, loss of muscle tone or even excess fat deposits under the chin and jaw. These are what’s known as signs of facial aging.
Oftentimes, you might think that your face looks much older than you actually feel. These feelings combined with the physical signs mentioned above might make you a good candidate for a rhytidectomy, or facelift.
Aside from the actual procedure itself, your initial consultation with a plastic surgeon is an extremely important one. You want to make sure you are well prepared so you can accurately assess whether a face lift is right for you as well as choose the right surgeon who will meet your needs and expectations. Choosing the right surgeon will make all the difference in the world. For more information on how to choose the right surgeon, click here.
It’s okay to feel nervous about your first consultation. For many people, it’s natural to feel some form of acute anxiety. One way to help quell your anxiety is to think of your first consultation like an interview. You are the one interviewing the surgeon who could potentially perform your facelift. Not only do you want to ask the right questions but you must also get a sense that your potential surgeon makes you feel comfortable and at ease. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to prepare questions beforehand so all of your concerns can be addressed promptly and, most importantly, prior to surgery. For more information on what to expect during your first consultation click here.
Before your procedure, your plastic surgeon will make sure that you are in good physical condition and he will need to clear you for surgery. He may require a full medical evaluation and possible lab work. It’s also a good idea to disclose any and all medications,vitamins and supplements you are taking during this time so your plastic surgeon can safely recommend medications post-surgery that won’t interact. Your surgeon may ask you to stop certain drugs or products before surgery to avoid complications.
After your initial consultation and medical evaluation, your surgeon will provide you with special instructions regarding what to do the night before. It’s crucial that these guidelines are adhered to as strictly as possible.
At this point you may be asking yourself ‘What happens during a facelift surgery?’ Depending on the extent of your procedure, your plastic surgeon will have an anesthesiologist administer an intravenous sedation or general anesthesia first.
Incisions may be made either within your hair or along the hairline above your ears, continuing around the ear hidden by natural contours, and ending within the hair behind your ears. Incisions and scars will vary with the exact procedure and short scar techniques are available in some cases.
Depending on the extent of your procedure, fat may be redistributed or sculpted from your neck, jowls or face. Next, the underlying tissue and facial muscles are lifted. The skin is then re-draped over the new contours and any excess skin is trimmed away. Small sutures are then used to close the incisions.
Initially after any surgery there will be some swelling and bruising. Generally speaking, this should subside within a few weeks. Your surgeon may want to see you as soon as the first or second day after surgery. As far as pain is concerned, many patients only require Tylenol for pain management, but stronger medications are available if needed.
Dr. Schwartz usually wraps your face in a soft fluffy dressing for cleanliness and comfort for the first few days after surgery.