Thanks to a better diet, lifestyle, and medical science, most folks feel energetic and youthful long after their outward appearance begins appearing “tired” and “old.” In fact, this is one of the most common complaints that Dr. Chow hears in the office. Having others constantly ask about being tired, sad, or angry can be a recurring annoyance as we age. These questions arise when others notice sagging cheeks and jowls, “laugh lines” that develop around the corners of the mouth, and excess skin that sags around the jawline and the neck. Fortunately, a facelift can rejuvenate these areas.
Most commonly referred to as the facelift, a rhytidectomy restores sagging areas of the lower face and neck to their far more youthful positions. This in turn leads to a more energetic, happy, and engaged appearance. Although some believe the facelift to be a procedure used only for women and celebrities, men in today’s competitive work environment frequently seek facelift procedures to regain that rejuvenated look that more accurately depicts their youthful vigor and desire to succeed.
Misconceptions About Facelifts:
A common misconception about the facelift is that it “lifts” the entire face. The traditional facelift is best used to restore the lower third of the face and neck. This includes the lower cheeks, the jowls, the chin and jawline, and the neck. It is commonly performed with submental liposuction (removing excess fat in the neck), specialized chin implants (to restore lost volume rather than making the chin more prominent), eyelifts such as upper and lower blepharoplasties, the brow lift, the midface lift, and fat injections.
Your Decision for a Facelift:
Choosing to have a facelift is an intensely personal decision that should not be taken lightly. At the Chow Center, you will have every opportunity to discuss your aesthetic goals and cosmetic concerns with Dr. Chow personally. In order to learn more about the facelift and how it might help you, simply click on one of the links below, or call (626) 447-3223 to schedule your consultation.
Rejuvenating your face by with the rhytidectomy, or facelift, is a wonderful way to regain that youthful appearance with a lasting improvement. Thanks to a combination of innovative techniques and expert skill, tightening the skin and underlying tissues of the face in a facelift eliminates jowls to provide a smooth contour to the cheeks, jaw line, and neck.
Remember, this procedure treats the lower third of the face and neck. If you desire an eyelid lift or blepharoplasty, a midface lift, or a brow lift, simply click on the links provided. If you desire a nonsurgical liquid facelift, or perhaps are a candidate for the mini-facelift, please visit those pages for more information.
Before the Procedure
The first step towards addressing your cosmetic concerns is to have an in-depth consultation with Dr. Jen Chow at the Chow Center. This will provide you with the opportunity to review your aesthetic goals with the facial plastic surgeon himself. Additional before and after photos will be available for you to view, and you will receive an information packet that will describe much of what you discuss in greater detail. This will allow you to review the information at your leisure after your consultation.
When you have scheduled your facelift, you will have the opportunity to ask Dr. Chow any additional questions you may have regarding the procedure. You will also be provided written instructions regarding what you should do before and after surgery. These will be reviewed with you so that you are completely comfortable about the procedure. Foods, supplements, and even vitamins that may thin the blood should be avoided. Aspirin, ibuprofen, Aleve, and other over the counter non-steroidal inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) should be avoided as well.
If you color your hair, you may choose to do so at least a week prior to your surgery. You should avoid hair dyes for several weeks after the procedure, depending on your type of surgery, in order to maximize safe healing afterwards.
Dr. Chow performs almost all of his facelifts at a fully accredited surgical facility. The procedure may also be performed in the office when appropriate. Should you decide you prefer to have anesthesia during the procedure, it will be done in an accredited outpatient surgical facility and a board certified anesthesiologist will be on hand to take care of you.
You will be given specific instructions leading up to your procedure. Some helpful tips for the day of surgery include: avoiding clothing that must be pulled over the head (zippered or buttoned shirts are recommended), leaving jewelry and valuables at home, and keeping the face and hair free of makeup and hair sprays or gels, respectively.
Once you have arrived at the facility, Dr. Chow will mark your face for the procedure and use hair bands (when appropriate) to preserve the hair and keep it away from the facelift field. He does not need to shave any hair in order to provide excellent results.
The incision lines for a facelift may vary, depending on your unique aesthetic concerns. You will have every opportunity to discuss where these will be made. In general, these are well hidden and once healed, very difficult to see. In addition, you will have tightening not only of the skin, but also of the underlying tissues, allowing you to have longer lasting, more complete results.
* Individual results may vary.
View before-and-after pictures of real patients of Dr. Chow
After the Procedure
Most patients have only mild to moderate discomfort after the procedure. In fact, many require only over the counter Tylenol. Swelling is generally very modest, and is reduced by a dressing placed on the day of surgery that is then removed the following day. You will be seen the day after surgery, and sutures are removed as early as five days after surgery.
You may resume light activities (such as office work) a week after surgery. There may be residual swelling and some sutures that still need to be removed at that time. However, most such sutures are difficult to see, as they are well hidden. If you have bruising, it may be covered with makeup or clothing (turtlenecks, scarves) at this time.
You should avoid strenuous activity, such as heavy lifting, running, etc., in the first week to two weeks after your facelift. Moderate physical activities may be performed after two weeks, and nearly all usual daily activities can be resumed after three weeks.
What is a Facelift?
The traditional facelift, often referred to as a rhytidectomy by facial plastic surgeons, rejuvenates the lower face by removing excess fat, tightening the neck muscles and underlying tissues of the lower face, and removing drooping skin. This procedure can be combined with multiple other procedures, such as the temporal lift, the endoscopic brow lift, the midface lift, upper and lower eyelid surgeries, and chin implants, among others. For those with early or very minor changes due to aging, the mini-facelift may be a viable option. Should you desire non-surgical options, the liquid facelift may be the choice for you.
Who is a candidate for the Facelift?
There are many different versions of the facelift, and certainly your general health plays a role. In general, those who are best suited for the facelift are seeking to regain the more youthful, vibrant, and uplifting look they remember having, thereby matching their outer appearance to how they truly feel. Having appropriate expectations and undergoing a thorough evaluation by Dr. Chow is essential to determining if a facelift is right for you.
What are some alternatives to the Facelift?
As noted above, early changes in aging may be addressed by the mini-facelift or the nonsurgical liquid facelift. The best way to determine which option is appropriate for you is to visit the Chow Center and discuss your cosmetic concerns with Dr. Jen Chow personally.
What is not addressed by the Facelift?
The traditional facelift is for the neck and lower third of the face. The middle third of the face, just beneath the eyes, may not change significantly, and certainly the forehead and brow is not affected by the traditional facelift. Other procedures, including the endoscopic brow lift and the midface lift, which are often performed at the same time as the facelift, can rejuvenate these areas.
What type of anesthesia is used? Do I need general anesthesia for the facelift?
No, the facelift can be performed under local anesthesia, in which the procedure is done while the patient is awake but comfortably numbed to minimize discomfort. That said, most patients choose to have “twilight” sedation or even general anesthesia.
Where is the facelift performed?
The facelift can be done in the office if no anesthesia is used or in a qualified and fully accredited outpatient surgery center.
How long does the facelift take?
The length of time needed to fully address your face varies depending on the exact procedure(s) performed by Dr. Chow. In general, men have larger faces than women, and may therefore take slightly longer. For the average, uncomplicated facelift, operative time is usually around three hours.
Will the facelift hurt afterwards?
Most patients say that the facelift is uncomfortable rather than painful. You will be provided with prescription pain medication, but many do not need to use narcotics after surgery.
Where are the incisions made for the facelift?
Beginning beneath the temporal tuft of hair (or sideburns for men), the incision wraps around the natural curves of the ear before extending into the hairline behind the ear. Because these incisions fall naturally between two separate components of the face, they are generally very well concealed.
How long will recovery take?
Most patients are presentable about ten days after surgery. Any swelling and/or bruising that may still be present at this time can be covered with makeup or clothing (collared shirts, turtlenecks, scarves, etc.). Most sutures are removed within the first week after surgery, and surgical tape (steri-strips) may be used to minimize the chance of widening scars. Your own hair and ears will cover most of the incisions, keeping them well hidden while they heal. Incision lines will initially be pink, then fade as they continue to heal.
How old do I have to be before having a facelift? Is there an age where I am too old for a facelift?
Although the majority of patients are between forty years of age through their sixties, a facelift can be performed in any adult when appropriate given the aesthetic changes that have taken place in the face and the general health of the patient.