Dr. Thompson sees a considerable amount of patients regarding facial rejuvenation of the lower face area and the amount of facelift surgeries he performs each year is far above the national average. When patients visit him for their intial consultation, they often report deep frustration in the looseness of their jowls, lower face and neck. Aging is inevitable, and overtime the jawline softens into the jowls, the folds around the mouth deepen, and the neck loosens and begins to sag.
Heredity, personal habits, the pull of gravity, and sun exposure contribute to the aging of the face. Unfortunately, effects of these catalysts set in far before the inside feelings and symptoms of aging occur, which is why patients often report a deep desire to just look as young as they feel inside. Diet, exercise and healthy living keep us feeling good but it often requires surgery to restore outside features to reflect how one feels on the inside.
The Ideal Candidate
An ideal candidate for a facelift, rhytidectomy, is typically in their 40′s or older, has significant jowling and neck laxity with a desire for a more comprehensive, longer laster approach to the alternatives. Facelift surgery is great for comprehensive lifting of the neck, lower and mid-face with signifcantly enhanced results with fat injections.
Many patients initially request just a “neck lift”. It’s important to know that if a surgeon were to remove just the excess neck skin, the lax skin of the face would bunch up in front of the ears and would looking highly unnatural. If a plastic surgeon tells you he can do a neck lift alone, we strongly encourage obtaining a second opinion. Furthermore, doing the neck and face together provides an opportunity to perform neck liposuction and place the obtained fat elsewhere in the face. Fat injections are used in the majority of facelift surgeries to restore loss volume in the face.
Initial Common Concerns
Almost all patients report not wanting to look too tight or pulled following the procedure and desire to steer clear of anything resembling Joan Rivers! As a facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Thompson has the training and experience to provide a natural, rejuvenated result that will only restore the neck and jawline to it’s original state.
Fat grafting, also known as fat transfer or fat injections, is often used in conjunction with facelift surgery for optimal results. A patient’s own fat is taken from another area of the body, typically the abdomen, thighs or back, and is used to restore volume loss in the face that occurs with aging. The fat can also be used to fill in deep nasolabial folds, tear trouphs and marionette lines, hollow temples and skin depressions in the face. Facelift surgery lifts the lower part of the face to restore the neck and jawline while fat transfer restores volume that has been depleted overtime. Together, comprehensive facial rejuvenation is achieved for an overall natural, youthful result.
During a facelift surgery, Dr. Thompson begins the incision in the area of the temple, just above and in front of the ear. The incision continues under the earlobe and follows the back of the ear and blends into the hairline. The skin is gently lifted and repositioned and the underlying muscle and connective tissue is tightened. Fat is often removed as well as excess skin. For men, the incision line often blends into the natural line of the beard. In all cases, Dr. Thompson places incisions where they’ll fall in line with natural skin creases. Fine sutures hold incisions in place. Surgery last anywhere from 3-5 hours depending on the case and is done in a surgical facility under general anesthetia. Dressings and a head wrap are applied to protect the entire area where the incisions have been made and hold things in place.
Most patients report minimal pain but a general feeling of tightness for the first 2-5 days. Medications to ease pain, prevent infection and aide in the healing process are prescribed prior to surgery. Bruising and swelling is to be expected and peaks at approximately 48 hours. It’s recommended to use ice packs during this time to reduce the effects. Dr. Thompson encourages patients to spend the first night in the facility and can visit the next morning to remove dressings, clean incisions, and remove draining tube if applicable. Directions for care of incisions are given with encouragement to keep head elevated and avoid as much activity as possible. All sutures are removed within five to 10 days following surgery. Most patients are feeling quite well after 1 week but may have signs of bruising and swelling for an additional week or two.
Facelift Care Package
The total cost for facelift surgery includes all pre and post appointments and additional products designed to enhance your results and aide in the healing process. Arnica is given at the pre-operative appointment and is a homeopathic medication used to decrease bruising and swelling. Also included is an Obagi Surgical Kit (retail $380) to prepare the skin for surgery and resurface the skin overtime to enhance the overall result. Jane Iredale mineral loose or pressed powder is included to use as a safe, effective way to camoflouge incisions once all sutures have been removed. Botox and other perks are often including depending on the specials offered at any particular time. Dr. Thompson feels a combination of treatments are often best for the overall result.
Additional surgeries are sometimes recommended to obtain the best results possible and the combination can vary depending on the patient’s needs and concerns. Facelift surgeries are typically done with fat injections, as mentioned above, to restore volume loss in the face and make use of the fat taken during the procedure. Sometimes Dr. Thompson recommends a chin implant to strengthen the jaw and neck line or an eyelid and/or browlift to rejuvenate the upper part of the face as well. It’s important to discuss all your concerns with Dr. Thompson at your initial consultation so together you can come up with the best plan possible to achieve your goals.