The years, the elements, and stress work against us all to create wrinkles and sagging skin on the cheeks, jawline, and neck. You might be surprised to learn how many people have rejuvenated their face and erased years from their look with a facelift.
The facelift procedure has undergone many significant improvements in the past two decades. Many of these have involved making the operation safer and more effective at creating a natural look while reducing recovery time. These advances include improved material technology and far more sophisticated surgical techniques.
The results of early intervention are far more believable than when aging becomes more pronounced. One can look younger earlier and longer — safely and more simply than ever before. The surgery varies in range from minimally invasive ‘lunchtime lifts’ to more extensive, sophisticated surgery.
A Mini-Facelift (or short-scar facelift) is often the ideal solution for those in their 40s and 50s with minimal loose skin in the lower face, but no obvious excess skin along the jawline and neck. A mini-facelift can be performed on its own or in conjunction with other procedures, and generally requires only half the traditional facelift incisions and often eliminates the need for incisions behind the ears. This more limited procedure still addresses excess skin, fat, and also tightens underlying tissues but comes along with significantly less recovery and downtime than a traditional facelift.
How it works
In short form, a facelift removes excess skin, tightens underlying tissues, muscle, and redrapes skin on the face and neck. It can correct midface sagging, marionette lines, jowls, and a double chin, maintaining its reputation as the ‘gold standard’ for facial rejuvenation.
Facelift scars can be virtually invisible: narrow, flat, and well placed behind the ear so you can wear your hair close-cropped. Dr. Romita will place the incision in areas that are hidden and in areas where the scars look like natural wrinkles. Incision healing depends on surgical technique, infection prevention, reduction of tension, your nutrition, any known or unknown underlying medical conditions, no smoking, and your genetic tendencies.
How long will it take?
Facelift surgery is done in an outpatient setting and usually takes between 2 to 4 hours to complete depending on the extent of the procedure.
The patient must be in good health and a non-smoker or smoke minimally. In less extreme cases, however, the current short-scar facelifts can be performed safely in smokers who are otherwise in good health. Patients who are hypertensive, or who have a prolonged clotting time, must be treated by their primary care physician and regulate these conditions by medication. Obvious medical problems, such as heart, lung, or kidney disease, also preclude any aesthetic surgery procedure.
Obese patients must lose weight before undergoing surgery and inflammatory or infectious skin conditions must be brought under control to ensure good healing.
Before any facial enhancement surgery, a lymphatic drainage facial is highly recommended, several days before surgery. This pre-operative treatment prepares the skin by making tissues optimally healthy, which improves recovery time. Also recommended is a deep cleansing facial for your face and neck.
In advance of your procedure, your surgeon will ask you to:
Stop smoking six weeks before your surgery to promote wound healing and to reduce scarring. Smoking also increases your risk of serious complications.
Avoid taking aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs: Advil, Motrin, Aleve) and vitamins/homeopathic regimens. These can increase bleeding.
Regardless of the type of surgery to be performed, hydration is very important before and after surgery for safe recovery.
One can expect ten days to two weeks of recovery before life returns to normal. Daily activities and athletics may be resumed after a month or six weeks.
After your facelift, lymphatic drainage (with or without a facial) can usually be done as soon as one to two weeks post-operatively. Your doctor will determine the exact time and frequency of the treatment. Lymphatic drainage will dramatically shorten the healing process by reducing swelling and inflammation, as well as strengthening the immune system.
An excellent way to support the skin a few weeks after surgery is a Hydrating Facial. This treatment will combat the dryness, chafing and dehydration common after surgery. The facial gently exfoliates and bathes your skin in essential serums and creams containing ceramides. Texture, tone, and clarity are all enhanced, resulting in luminous skin.
Mini-facelift recovery is fast and results can last up to five years. Traditional facelift surgery provides lasting improvements that can remain for 5 to 10 years. Unfortunately, the procedure can’t stop the natural aging process. Factors such as skin elasticity, exposure to the sun, and lifestyle choices (such as smoking and weight changes) can affect the longevity of your improvements.
Your genes, skin quality, and maintenance routine are important factors in the longevity of your facelift, but the facelift technique is the number one factor in determining how long the result will last. Our patients often find that regaining their youthful look enhances their self-esteem as well as their appearance.
“THE ART OF SEQUENTIAL INTERVENTION”
Translation = doing only what is necessary and at the right stage in a patient’s life, no more and no less to preserve a truly believable and youthful appearance.
By intervening with the aging process in this totally natural and non-obvious way requires great attention to detail, and a refined experience in the art of careful application technique.
Over the years, Dr. Romita has developed a sequence of corrections which when properly applied can forestall surgery until the absolutely necessary time and only in the areas necessary.
Stage I: Third and Fourth Decade
A carefully combined program of ultra-pulse laser (single treatment), fillers (natural fat) or hyaluronic acid, and appropriate Botox along with aesthetic clinical skin care is created.
Stage II: Late Fourth and Fifth to Early Sixth Decade
Assuming the stage one treatments are done correctly and (not pushed beyond their limits) which would be an overly artificial look. Early surgical interventions; i.e. outpatient procedures done under sedation or twilight, these can accurately correct eyelid, aging, jowl and neck sagging. It's important that these are done when the changes first become obvious and are no longer corrected by the stage one procedures. These minor surgeries are directed only to the affected areas which would bring them back into balance with the non-aged areas of the face.
Stage III: Sixth and Seventh Decades
Assuming the prior procedures are performed correctly, a mini-lift to the upper mid-face lift done at the appropriate time will balance the facial appearance in a most natural, believable way.
Before & After
Click photo to enlarge
A Sequential Intervention Patient at age 35 and currently at age 70.