Facelift Salt Lake City, UT
As we age, our face starts to change. Skin loses its volume and begins to sag and droop. Wrinkles and deep creases form. Before you know it, you’re an older version of your former self. Fortunately, a facelift from Dr. Dunkley can turn back the clock on the march of time.
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What is a facelift?
A facelift, also known as a rhytidectomy, is a common surgical procedure for patients bothered by the unwanted effects of facial aging. The procedure involves tightening the skin and repositioning the muscles and fat to achieve a more youthful appearance. If you’re between 40 and 70 years old you’re a candidate. The better the skin quality and elasticity, the better results you’ll get from a facelift.
The facelift is one of the oldest cosmetic procedures; the first facelift procedure was performed in Berlin in 1901. Up until recently, where technological advances have added options, most facelifts would be called “traditional” facelifts. Today, there are various methods that Dr. Dunkley uses depending on the individual needs of each patient. During your consultation, the two of you will discuss your goals for your facelift and you’ll discuss the various options. These are three of the common methods, although every surgery is unique to the patient.
- Traditional facelift — A traditional facelift involves the largest degree of lifting and repositioning of underlying muscle and other tissue. The goal is to rejuvenate the lower third of the face, jowls, and neck. Incisions begin at the temples on each side of the face, run down in front of the ears, wrap around the earlobes, and end in the hairline behind the ears. If the patient has extensive jowls, a second incision may be made under the chin to provide access to the skin and muscle of the upper neck. Dr. Dunkley usually doesn’t remove fat so much as he repositions it; this avoids the patient having a hollow look after recovery. Excess skin is trimmed, and then the skin is re-draped.
- Mid-face lift — In a mid-face lift, the target is the middle of the face, particularly the cheeks. Mid-face lifts can reduce puffiness under the eyes, correct nasolabial folds, and improve cheek definition and tone. For this method, Dr. Dunkley makes small incisions in the lower eyelids or the mouth.
- Limited-incision facelift — If the patient doesn’t have too much sagging, a limited-incision facelift can be effective. It provides limited rejuvenation around the eyes and mouth, including nasolabial folds and other deep creases. Shorter incisions are made at the temples, around the ears, and sometimes in the lower eyelids or under the upper lip.
What can a facelift treat?
This facial plastic surgery procedure is especially recommended to eradicate visible signs of aging on the face and neck. Signs of aging include wrinkles, volume loss in the cheek area, sagging on either side of the mouth or dare we say, jowls. A facelift is the best neck treatment as well, removing loose skin under the chin and jaw to improve neck contour.
What happens during my facelift consultation?
During your initial consultation with Dr. Dunkley, your goals and expectations regarding treatment are discussed. Your treatment options are presented, as are instructions on how to prepare for surgery. Your medical history, prescription medications, and past surgeries are reviewed. Dr Dunkley also performs a physical examination to assess the face.
How can I prepare for a facelift?
If you’re a smoker, you’ll need to stop four weeks before and not smoke for several weeks after your surgery. Smoking decreases oxygen delivery to the operated area. Smoking can cause the skin to die. Certain medications need to be stopped a week before surgery. Certain medical conditions require a note from your regular doctor saying he feels you are okay to have surgery.
On the day of your surgery, wear loose clothing that doesn’t have to be pulled over your head. You’ll need to have someone drive you home after surgery and stay with you during initial recovery.
What happens during a facelift?
In a facelift, an incision is made on the hairline, starting in the temple area and continuing to the back of the ear. Once the cut is made, the skin is separated from the cheek. Dr. Dunkley accesses and tightens the underlying muscles and tissues that have caused the signs of aging to appear. Once the fat and muscle are repositioned, the skin is redraped, trimmed and closed. Various techniques are utilized based on your specific needs, preferences, and skin condition. A facelift takes from two to four hours depending on the complexity.
What happens after a facelift?
You wear an attractive head-wrap the day of surgery. The next day an elastic dressing is put on and worn for one to three weeks. Bruising and swelling may last up to a month. As the swelling subsides, your results will become more and more noticeable. If you want to prevent others from knowing about your surgery, plan on hiding for two to three weeks. After three weeks, your friend won’t know you had surgery though they may do a double-take because you look great.
What is recovery like after a facelift?
Facelifts involve a good deal of lifting and repositioning of skin and underlying tissue. Plus, Dr. Dunkley adjusts the support muscles. This creates tissue trauma, which shows itself with initial bruising and then enduring swelling.
Following surgery, Dr. Dunkley will have wrapped your face in bandages, and in most cases there will be drainage tubes to help minimize fluid retention. Your first week or so you’ll need to sleep with your head elevated, making sure not to roll over onto your face. The first few days will be the most difficult, but then you’ll feel better quickly. As you recover, there will be some numbness in areas. This is normal and is a result of the facial nerves adjusting to the re-draped skin. This numbness will transition to itching along your incisions. This is all normal. Patience is truly a virtue when recovering from a facelift. Most patients can return to work by the third week after surgery.
How long does it take to fully heal from a facelift and see my final results?
Everyone heals at their own unique rate, so it is difficult to place an exact timeframe on full recovery. Any pain or tenderness should run its course in about two month, but swelling endures. Most of our patients see significant improvement at six months, but it can take a full year for any residual swelling to fully resolve. Itching along your incision line will usually stop after about six months.
How long do the results of a facelift last?
The changes made by Dr. Dunkley to the underlying support structures of your face, and the removal of any excess sagging skin are permanent changes. Facelifts involve a fairly lengthy timeframe for any residual swelling to fully resolve, but you’ll be very pleased with the changes. People wonder how long their changes will endure. The consensus is that a facelift lasts for about 10 years. It’s not that the changes reverse; it’s simply that your face continues to age. Collagen production continues to decrease; your skin continues to thin; and sun damage and other factors continue to add up. But all of these factors will age your face from a far younger starting point. To counteract continued aging, many of Dr Dunkley’s patients opt to have another, limited incision facelift in a decade or so simply to keep up with natural aging.
Envision Cosmetic Surgery proudly provides patients in the Murray and Salt Lake City area with facelift procedures. For more information call (801) 268-2650 or visit our contact us page to request a consultation today!