Aging of the face is inevitable.
Genetics, personal habits, the pull of gravity, the Florida sun. It’s a volatile cocktail of elements all working to make sure you look old before your time.
The skin begins to loosen on the face and neck. Crow’s feet appear at the corners of the eyes. Fine forehead lines become creases and then, gradually, deeper folds. The jawline softens into jowls, in the neck, vertical folds can appear, and increased skin laxity creates a much older look.
And who wants that? Nobody! Which makes it easy to understand why rhytidectomy, commonly known as the facelift, has become the third most desired facial plastic surgical procedure.
More than any other procedure, it can restore a more youthful, refreshed face, and our facial plastics expert is among the best at doing them.
Is a Facelift for You?
When you’re deciding to pursue a facelift, expert advice is critical. As with all facial plastic surgery, success starts with understanding your own health, the procedure, and setting realistic expectations.
A consultation with an expert is always the best place to begin.
Your consultation with Dr. Morgan will include discussions about skin type, ethnic background, degree of skin elasticity, individual healing, and basic bone structure. We want to make sure you’re fully informed and positioned to make an educated decision to move forward.
WHEN is the Best Age to Have a Facelift?
Patients often ask, “When is the right time for a facelift?”
In our experience, the answer shouldn’t always be tied to age. This procedure is sometimes performed on patients in their thirties, and successful surgery has been performed on patients in their eighties.
Younger patients have more elasticity in their skin which helps them to obtain outstanding natural results. Older patients can also obtain outstanding results but require special handling of the tissues to ensure a natural result.
“I think the facelift is the best way to address the jowls and excess laxity in the face and neck that accompanies aging. I can deliver dramatic improvement and still maintain a very natural look.”
~ Jonathan M. Morgan, MD
A facelift cannot stop aging, nor can it turn back the clock. What it will do is help your face look its best with a healthy and more youthful appearance and restore increased self-confidence.
You should pursue one when you’re ready, with the guidance of a trusted and honest facial plastic surgeon.
THE INITIAL CONSULTATION
During your preliminary consultation, Dr. Morgan will examine the structure of your face, skin texture, color, and elasticity. Individual risks will be examined, especially those related to medical situations such as high blood pressure, a tendency to scar, smoking, and any deficiency in blood clotting.
Dr. Morgan will take a thorough medical history, assess your mental and emotional attitudes toward the surgery, and discuss realistic outcomes and expectations.
He will share his knowledge about facial symmetry and whether the overall effect of facelift in your case will be more successful if additional changes are made. It’s not uncommon to have additional procedures, such as blepharoplasty and brow lift, recommended as parallel procedures. This is done to ensure that the face is not mismatched, and the lower and upper face are not out of synch.
HOW LONG WILL A FACELIFT LAST?
Just as every individual face is different, the results of every facelift performed can vary as well.
While a facelift will not permanently prevent future aging, today’s procedures can hold off aging for 10-20 years. But how long your facelift results last will depend upon the type of facelift surgery you had, your age at the time of surgery, and the characteristics of your skin.
To maintain your youthful look for as long as possible, maintain your body weight with a healthy lifestyle. Commit to an anti-aging skin care routine, and don’t shy away from age-defying procedures such as facials, peels or injectables.
Understanding the Surgery
Facelift surgery is performed under general anesthesia or I.V. sedation. You will sleep through the entire operation.
The surgery is performed first on one side of the face and then the other.
Incisions are individualized to fit the patient’s needs. In most cases, an incision is started inside or around the hairline at the temples, continues downward in a natural line around the earlobe and extends into the back of the scalp or nape.
- Occasionally an incision may extend onto the front of the ear in men.
- A small incision may be necessary under the chin to provide access to excess neck skin.
Working through these incisions, the underlying muscles are tightened, and the excess skin is gently re-draped and trimmed. In some cases, accumulations of fat are removed from beneath the chin and neck. Sagging muscles and connective tissues are tightened.
The incisions are closed with fine sutures which permit surgery without shaving hair from the incision site.
Depending on the extent of the surgery, the procedure lasts from two to four hours. Following the surgery, Dr. Morgan will apply a dressing to protect the entire area where incisions were made.
What to Expect After the Surgery
Before surgery, every patient is schooled on what to expect afterwards and how to navigate a successful recovery. A full after-care plan is always provided.
- After surgery, bandages are removed within two days. Most of the swelling and bruising dissipate within two weeks.
- Dr. Morgan recommends patients sleep elevated for two weeks and use Arnica and Bromelain to reduce swelling and bruising.
- Pain connected with the surgery is minimal to moderate and is controlled with oral medication.
- Scars from the incisions fade significantly with time and are inconspicuous because they are made within natural creases.
- Recovery usually takes two to three weeks, and many patients return to work in two weeks.
Each year thousands of rhytidectomies are successfully performed. Complications connected with this surgery are rare. There are certain inherent risks connected with every surgical procedure which will be discussed with Dr. Morgan will discuss prior to surgery. You can minimize complications by carefully following directions given by Dr. Morgan and his staff.