Rhytidectomy (Facelift) Scottsdale
Facelift Surgery: An Overview
As time passes us by, the skin on our faces and necks start to loosen and sag. Fine lines on the forehead turn into creases and then deeper folds, and crow’s feet start to form around the corners of the eyes. Vertical folds or the dreaded double chin may emerge, and the jawline will turn into jowls. While facial aging is something that just comes with time, other factors that contribute to increased aging of the face include personal habits, heredity, sun exposure and sun damage, and gravity. As such, it is clear why rhytidectomy, often referred to as a facelift surgery, is now the third most popular facial plastic surgery procedure.
A facelift surgery can do wonders to enhance your looks and self confidence while bringing forth a more youthful you. If you are considering this procedure for yourself, you need to have knowledge about what is to be expected and how it is done in our Scottsdale facial plastic surgery practice with Dr. David Hecht.
Positive outcomes from facelift procedures come from a positive rapport between you and your surgeon. There needs to be a trust that is based on the surgeon’s medical expertise and your realistic expectations as a patient. This takes shape prior to surgery in the consulting stages. Your facial plastic surgeon will understand how important this is and will be willing to answer your questions.
- Is a facelift right for you?
- Deciding on a Facelift
- An Overview of Facelift Surgery
- What to Expect After a Rhytidectomy Surgery
Facial plastic surgery procedures, as is the case for any realistic expectations, requires good health. As a rhytidectomy patient, you must be psychologically healthy and be aware of the limitations of the procedure. The goal is to improve the appearance of the face, but perfection is not possible. Factors that will affect the success of the procedure include:
- skin type,
- individual healing,
- degree of skin elasticity,
- ethnic background,
- basic bone structure, and
- realistic expectations.
This surgery has been performed on patients as young as 30, although patients have been in their 80s as well with successful outcomes. While a facelift can make you look younger and rejuvenated, it will not stop the aging process completely. Facial aging will continue, but you will continue to look younger than your years and can maintain your new look with regular visits to your facial plastic surgeon for non-surgical touch-ups such as injectables and laser skin resurfacing treatments.
Before making an official decision, you should discuss whether or not you would benefit from additional procedures, such as lower face and neck lift surgery. Some patients opt for facial liposuction in order to take away excess fatty deposits during their facelift for improved results. Others opt to add more facial volume using dermal fillers like Juvederm and Radiesse.
It is crucial that you choose a qualified, board-certified facial plastic surgeon. Dr. David Hecht is board-certified in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) and has performed countless facial plastic surgery procedures, including full facelifts, forehead lifts, eyelid lifts and more. During your initial consultation, Dr. Hecht will look closely at your facial structure as well as skin color, elasticity, and texture to determine the right approach for your surgery to ensure the best results. Individual risks will be taken into consideration, particularly risks that are related to medical conditions, such as a proclivity to scarring, high blood pressure, a history of smoking, and blood clotting deficiencies. Dr. Hecht and our staff will obtain a thorough medical history and assess your mental and emotional state regarding the procedure. During your consultation, we will also take a number of pictures so we can have a side-by-side comparison for you after you’ve healed from surgery.
After we collectively make the decision to proceed with the rhytidectomy, Dr. Hecht will discuss the surgical technique that will be used, the surgical facility, the type of anesthesia to be used, additional procedures to be done, possible complications, costs and recovery expectations.
During a facelift procedure, your facial plastic surgeon will begin with an incision at the location of the temple hair. This is in front of and just above the ear. The incision will continue around the ear lobe, circling the ear. It will then go back to the point of origin in the scalp. The skin will be raised outward and re-positioned to tighten the underlying connective tissue and muscle. It is possible that some excess skin and fat will be removed in the process. For men, the incision will be aligned so that it accommodates the natural lines of the beard. In every case, the incision will be made so that it falls in a natural crease of the skin to help avoid visible scarring.
After removing the excess skin, the surgeon will close the incision with metal clips, fine sutures, or both. This will allow surgery without having to shave hair from the site of incision. The process typically takes 3 to 5 hours, though it varies with the extent of the surgery. Patients will have minimal discomfort in cases when the procedure is done with the combination of local anesthesia, mild sedatives, and mild intravenous anesthesia, though some surgeons will use general anesthesia for this procedure. After the surgery, dressing is applied to all of the cut areas.
Most patients have minimal pain after a face lift surgery, but medication will be prescribed to minimize discomfort. Some bruising and swelling will be inevitable, and you may be instructed to use cold compresses to minimize the swelling. Any dressing that was applied will be removed within a day or two. You will also be instructed to keep your head elevated whenever you are lying down, to report excessive discomfort, and to avoid as much activity as you can. There is inherent risk in any surgery, although this procedure is relatively safe and thousands of them are done annually. Dr. Hecht and our facial plastic surgery support staff will be available every step of the way to ensure your recovery is as smooth as possible.
Some of these procedures will involve packing or a drainage tube being inserted during surgery. This will be taken out the day after surgery. All staples and sutures are typically removed within the 5 to 10 days after the surgery.
Recovery will usually take 2 to 3 weeks, even though a lot of patients go back to work within 2 weeks. Scars are typically not noticeable after they have had enough time to mature. No matter what, they will be easily camouflaged by the hair, in natural skin creases, or by makeup in the most persistent cases until the incisions have completely healed. The aging process will keep going after surgery, and it is normal for the tissues to relax somewhat within the first few weeks.
Surgery that is solely cosmetic is generally not covered by insurance. However, if it is done to correct or improve traumatic injury or genetic deformity, it may be at least partially reimbursable, depending on the carrier. Be sure to check with your insurance carrier to find out if coverage is available for you.
Contact us for a consultation today and see if a facelift surgery in our Scottsdale facial plastic surgery practice with Dr. David A. Hecht is a good option for you.