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Guide Facelifts

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Learn more about facelift surgery below. If any of the following describe you, a facelift is an option to consider:. Patients who exhibit a mild degree of jowling and sagging skin are often good candidates for a mini-facelift. Depending on the case, a mini-facelift may be performed using local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia; your cosmetic surgeon will recommend the best option for your individual needs.

A mini-facelift can help you address unwelcome signs of aging before they become too pronounced, postponing the need for more extensive surgery for many years. Facelifts are typically performed using general anesthesia, although local anesthesia with sedation may be used in certain less extensive procedures. This allows the cosmetic surgeon to reposition the deeper facial tissues, get rid of the jowls and create a firmer foundation for the skin. Why is this the case? A facelift is a complex procedure requiring exceptional surgical skill, but the recovery process is surprisingly quick for most patients.

One of the primary concerns patients have following a facelift is how soon they will look presentable after their procedures, and understandably so — unlike a breast or body procedure, for example, you cannot easily cover the area with clothing. To understand what is accomplished by a facelift, we must first study the anatomy of the face and the effect of aging on the anatomy with time. Once we understand the aging process and how the face is supported, we can develop techniques that help reverse these changes. The term "facelift" has been diluted by its use on quick shortcut procedures that distort the face, creating a very unnatural and often painful-to-look-at appearance.


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These procedures are not true facelifts, yet unfortunately, they are given the same name. In our opinion, we should use the term "facelift" only for those procedures that truly surgically address the aging process at a structural level. The Anatomy of the Face. Facelifts can be broken down into three major categories. However, in order to understand the various types, we need to review the basic anatomy of the face. The anatomy of the face as it relates to aging involves the various layers of the face and how it is built.

The deepest structure is the skull bone ; this provides the scaffold that supports all the soft tissue. We then have the deeper muscles and fat compartments that provide fullness to the face. Beyond this layer is the fascia layer called the SMAS fascia. This fascia can be thought of as a canvas-type material that is strong and does not stretch. This envelops the face, holding the muscles and fat in place. How does this layer attach to the skeleton for support? This is perhaps the single most important concept in facelifts and how we can make them appear natural.

There are ligaments that travel through all the layers of the face from the skeleton, through the soft tissue fat and muscle , through the fascia and to the skin.

Facelifts and Neck Lifts

These cutaneous ligaments are numerous and are distributed in multiple areas of the face. Beyond the fascia layer is a layer of fat and the final layer of skin. The skin is elastic and can stretch, so it can be compared to a plastic bag. As we age, the face sags; as it sags, it remains tethered by the cutaneous ligaments that are present in the cheekbone area, side cheek, and chin.

These tethers create the standard aging changes. Many people believe that aging results from pure volume loss. That is not the entire story.

Face-lift - Mayo Clinic

In reality, the volume is not lost; it just falls to the center and lower parts of the face. The upper parts of the lower eyelid and upper cheek appear skeletonized and devoid of volume while all the volume piles up in the lower cheek and jowl area. The anchoring ligaments force the volume into these areas. Logically, if we could move this volume to its original location that should solve the problem. Let us discuss how the facelifts are done. Categories of Facelifts. We will explore all three major categories to compare and contrast the technique, results, and efficacy. They promise fabulous results at minimal cost.

How are they done? Well, remember what your mom taught you — if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is! This facelift falls into that category. In essence, all they are doing in those 45 minutes to 1 hour is stretching the skin over the entire face. So we take the plastic bag and pull it taut over the face.

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This creates a pulled appearance and does nothing for the fallen volume of the face. We are all too familiar with this undesirable look. The second category of facelifts is the SMAS fascia facelifts. These facelifts move the fascia that helps support the deeper face, making it a much better facelift because the supporting structure of the face is addressed. While this facelift does a great job in tightening the neck and lower face, it fails in re-suspending the fallen volume of the face.

The result is a decent neck, but the middle of the face appears unchanged. The midface appears full in the lower cheeks, yet the lower eyelid and upper cheek areas still appear sunken.