Your Questions about Face Lifts Answered
As a facial plastic surgeon, I talk with patients that are considering a face lift all the time. Many of them have similar concerns and questions, so here are answers to the 7 most common questions patients ask about face lifts.
Is Now the Best Time for Me?
When is a “good” or “best” time to get a face lift?
The answer: it varies! Visible signs of aging will be different for each person because our skin, health, lifestyles, and genes are different. Typically though patients begin to consider a face lift when they are 40 to 70 years of age. Forty is definitely on the young side, and often times other facial procedures can be done to create a more youthful appearance before a face lift is necessary.
Here are a few indicators that suggest a face lift might be a good option for you.
- Skin Elasticity – A good candidate has skin that retains some of its natural flexibility and suppleness.
- Strong Bone Structure – a well defined underlying bone structure provides support and contributes to optimal results.
- Realistic Expectations – this is where your consultation with your surgeon is very important to discuss your particular circumstances and considerations. Expect your surgeon to explain what the face lift procedure can accomplish, but also the limitations of face lifts.
- Good Overall Health – a good candidate is generally healthy. It is important to tell your surgeon of any medical conditions, if you are a smoker, and your prescriptions. Face lifts are an invasive procedure and require significant healing and recovery.
- Loose Skin on the Face or Neck – Face lift candidates generally desire to remove or tighten excess, sagging skin from the face and neck area.
How Do People Choose a Plastic Surgeon for Face Lifts?
After deciding that you are interested in a face lift, choosing your surgeon will be your next most important task. Read our complete blog on Choosing A Facial Plastic Surgeon for a detailed list of considerations. Here are a few key factors:
- Choose a Plastic Surgeon that is a Facial Specialist. This is your face. Trust it to someone that has extensive training and experience in the structure and intricacies of the face.
- Investigate your surgeon’s experience, number of procedures completed, and results.
- Select a surgeon that utilizes a credentialed surgical facility.
- Read our blog on making the most of your Consultation to evaluate and select the best facial plastic surgeon for your face lift.
What Are Important Health Considerations to Discuss Before My Facial Plastic Surgery?
Honesty is Not Only the Best Policy – It’s Critical
During your facial plastic surgery consultation be forthright and honest about your medical history, past surgeries, current drug or narcotic use, if you smoke, recent or planned weight loss, vitamins you’re taking, and any other medical concerns. These all affect your healthcare, the surgical plan, even potential outcomes of your facial plastic surgery. This is not the time to keep secrets.
Of course, your surgeon and the medical staff will make every effort to minimize discomfort and facilitate your recovery. But be realistic and know that every surgery has discomfort, risks, and recovery time.
What Face Lift Procedure Is Best for Me?
There are different types of face lifts. Your circumstances, aging, and desired outcomes plays a big role in determining which is the best face lift for you. Your facial plastic surgeon is an expert in this area. Go to your consultation with an open mind. Have a candid discussion regarding realistic outcomes and options best suited to your unique circumstances. What worked best for your friend or the movie star in the magazine, may not be best for you. For greater details on specific procedures visit our website.
Preparing for Face Lifts
Use our detailed list of how to prepare for your plastic surgery. It discusses everything from your mental preparation, weight loss ahead of the surgery, vitamins, smoking, and getting the house ready as well as what to have on hand after your face lift.
How Soon Can I Be Back to Normal?
1 – 2 Weeks After Your Procedure
In the second week any residual swelling and bruising will start fading away. At the one week mark, most patients are quite presentable and can
manage any persistent bruising, swelling, and incision redness with make-up and hair styling.
You need to avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activity for two weeks. After two weeks, you can return to a normal routine. Avoid rapid head motion from side to side for 4-6 weeks to allow the neck tissues to firmly heal.
Of course, it is important for you to closely follow your surgeon’s instructions given for your specific circumstances.
How Long Do Face Lifts Last?
Each patient is different. We each have different skin color, tones, and lifestyles. Each of these are factors in how long you can expect your face lift results to last. Longevity of results range from 2- 15 years. In most cases a more general length of maintaining improved results would be 5-10 years. A long term follow up study published in 2014 found that after an average of 12.6 years that almost 69% of face lift patients rated their current degree of improvement as very good or beyond expectations. An equal number of patients felt that 10 or more years had been added to their youthful appearance.
The most important recommendations are that you have a realistic expectation of potential results for you; you are selective in choosing an experienced facial specialist for your face lift procedure, and that you closely follow your doctor’s instructions regarding surgery preparation and healing.