The purpose of a surgical facelift is to achieve maximum anti-aging results that are much longer-lasting than those that can be achieved with non-invasive alternatives. At Plastic Surgery Specialists of South Florida in Hollywood, FL, patients who undergo this life-changing procedure can expect to look younger for many years. With a great surgeon and proper self-care at home, patients can enjoy a refreshed, youthful appearance that will last.
What Long-Term Results To Expect
A facelift is designed to lift and tighten the face while smoothing out deep wrinkles and fine lines. Patients will of course look much younger and more refreshed after this procedure, but they also want to know how long they can expect these results to last. Since there is some downtime necessitated by a surgical procedure, patients naturally want reassurance that their recovery time will be “worth it.”
Realistically, the face should be able to retain its more youthful appearance for up to 10 years post-op – sometimes even longer, although we cannot guarantee this outcome. While the results of this procedure can be significant, we of course cannot stop the aging process, so patients should anticipate that they may eventually need another procedure if they wish to keep facial aging in check.
Comparing Results With Other Treatments
While there is no surgical procedure that can keep a person looking young forever, the results of a surgical lift are incredibly long-lasting compared to any outcome that can be achieved with non-surgical alternatives such as lasers, fillers, or Botox. While these types of treatments can deliver excellent results when the aging process is not too advanced, these results are relatively temporary and require frequent “touch up” appointments to maintain the desired effect.
How To Make the Effects of This Procedure Last
We often see patients who still look very good even 15 or 20 years after their surgery, and most of these patients have a few things in common. They keep their face out of the sun, maintain healthy lifestyle habits, and follow a meticulous skin care regimen. With some basic self-care and a common-sense approach to diet and hydration, the skin can maintain its elasticity much longer than it might be able to otherwise.
Habits That Can Hijack a Youthful Face
We all know that healthy habits are directly reflected in our skin, but there are also specific things that should be avoided if you want the effects of your procedure to last as long as possible. Lying in the sun is bad for the skin in general but can be particularly harmful to the face and neck, which are more prone to signs of aging. Wearing a hat and a skin cream with a high SPF is strongly recommended if you want to avoid having lines creep back into your face.
What you put in your body is equally important. Alcohol, cigarettes, and too much sugar or processed food can all have detrimental effects on even the best facelift. If you’ve struggled to maintain good habits in the past, having a life-changing procedure of this nature can perhaps be the motivation you need to get healthy. It’s never too late to develop better habits! If you’re having trouble achieving this on your own, partnering with a nutritionist can be a great idea.
Other Ways To Keep Your Face Smooth Post-Op
While fillers and Botox alone will not necessarily turn back the clock to the degree that many patients would like, they are an excellent way to keep your facelift looking fresh for many years. Fillers such as Juvéderm or Restylane can plump up new wrinkles as they develop while Botox can often prevent wrinkles from forming in the first place. Working with a clinic that offers all these options is a good idea.
If You Have Decided To Have a Facelift
Perhaps you have been using non-invasive treatments for a number of years but are now at a point where you want to make a longer-term investment in your appearance. If you haven’t already sat down with a plastic surgeon for an initial consultation, you are likely wondering exactly what is involved with a full or partial lift of the face and what will happen during the recovery period that will follow.
The Procedure Itself
The reason why the results of a facelift are able to last so long is that the skin and underlying muscles are manually adjusted during surgery to create a smooth, taught facial contour that simply can’t be achieved to the same extent with any non-invasive treatment. The goal is to create the most natural effect possible while significantly smoothing out problem areas.
Once the facial tissues have been lifted, they are secured with sutures that are placed in inconspicuous locations behind the ears and/or hairline. How many sutures are needed depends on whether you have had a full or partial facelift. A lift of the lower face may only require incisions around the ears, while a lift of the mid-face or brow may require incisions above the hairline at the forehead.
The Recovery Process
The price one pays for these more significant, longer-lasting results is that there is some downtime required post-op. Patients must take at least two weeks off work and cannot engage in any intense physical activity for up to a month, or until their surgeon gives them the green light to do so. It is very important to get plenty of rest and to follow the surgeon’s directions for at-home care to the letter in order to ensure the smoothest, fastest recovery possible.
You may be prescribed some pain medication to take for the first few days after your surgery and will be advised to sleep in an upright position that does not put any pressure on the face. The doctor may also give you a special ointment to apply to your incision sites. Most importantly, you will want to rest and stay hydrated. Ideally, there should be someone at home to help you out for at least the first few days after your procedure.
The Final Result
While you will look and feel much better by the second week after your surgery, it is important to note that the final outcome of your procedure may not be evident until two or three months post-op. The tissues need time to settle and your scars will need time to fully fade, although your hairline should disguise these incision sites as the healing process takes place.
If You’ve Had More Than One Procedure
Some patients choose to have a combination of procedures performed during one surgery. This can be a great way to save time and money, although the recovery period might take slightly longer. A facelift may be combined with a neck lift, eyelid lift, or breast surgery. If you have jowls or fatty deposits that you wish to get rid of, your surgeon might recommend a small amount of liposuction around the face or neck to create the best overall result possible.
Having More Facial Work Done Later
If you’ve already had your face lifted years ago and are starting to see the signs of aging creeping back in, you may be wondering if it’s time to have this procedure performed again. If a full or partial lifting procedure was performed on your face 15 or more years ago, it is entirely possible that you could be ready for another surgery. As long as you are still in good health, there is no reason not to have this or any other cosmetic procedure performed.
Some people have several lifting procedures performed on their face over the course of a lifetime, particularly if their first surgery took place at a relatively young age (some people have their first facelift in their 40s). Any incisions required for subsequent procedures would be in the same locations, so there would be no additional scarring.
Are You Ready To Return To a Younger Version of You?
If you have been thinking of having work done on your face or having a revision performed on a procedure that took place many years ago, we recommend coming in for a consultation so that we can help you decide the best course of action. Contact us today at Plastic Surgery Specialists of South Florida in Hollywood, FL so that we can set up an appointment and get to know you and your beauty goals.