A facelift (rhytidectomy) is a procedure to improve the most visible signs of aging by removing excess skin and fat, tightening underlying muscles and the overlying tissues (superficial facial system), and redraping the skin of your face and neck. The surgery corrects a sagging neck line, the appearance of jowls, the deposit of fat along the jaw line and neck, and a deepening of the lines between the nose and corners of the mouth (nasolabial folds).
Aging changes of the eyes and brow must be treated by a separate procedure, such as a forehead lift or eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), which can be done in conjunction with the facelift. Another procedure that patients often have along with a facelift is nose reshaping (rhinoplasty).
The goal and the result of a facelift are a more youthful-looking face, and the improvement can be expected to last many years*. The results don’t “wear off.” Instead, the aging process continues, but starting with your new, younger appearance – almost like a reset button. When further aging occurs, you can choose to have a secondary facelift years later, which can be performed safely and easily.
Dr. Kevin Tehrani has been in practice for many years, providing natural-looking facelifts for his patients. In Manhattan and Long Island, as well as the entire New York area, you have many options when choosing a surgeon for your facelift. The more you know about the procedure and the options available, the better equipped you will be to make an informed decision. When choosing our office, we want you to feel 100% comfortable with your decision, so we are available to answer any and all questions you have.
Advantages of the Multilevel Facelift Technique
Dr. Tehrani prefers the multilevel facelift technique, which involves not only tightening the loose skin, but also repairing the sagging of the deeper layers of the face. In doing so, less tension is applied to the skin which avoids a “pulled” or “unnatural” appearance. Almost every patient who contemplates facial surgery expresses concern that they not look “done” or “artificial.” The multi-level approach is an effective way to prevent and avoid this.
Who is a Candidate for a Facelift?
Consideration must be given to facial bone structure and skin elasticity in planning and performing a facelift. Candidates include men and women whose faces and necks have begun to sag – usually between the ages of 45 and 70. They typically have sagging under the chin, jowling, and prominent cheek lines.
There are exceptions, however. Some people age prematurely and consider the surgery at a younger age. This is why more consideration is given to the patients’ actual appearance than their chronological age.
Some patients may be candidates for more limited procedures, such as a minimal incision facelift or a neck lift, which tightens the neck only. This can be done with a more limited scar.
The Facelift Procedure
The Preoperative Period
At your initial consultation, you will discuss your concerns about your appearance with Dr. Tehrani. He will review your medical history and conduct a physical examination. If you are a good candidate for surgery, he will explain how the procedure will be designed to correct your areas of concern. Every facelift is tailored to your specific needs.
Dr. Tehrani may request that you visit your private medical doctor for a check-up and for any necessary lab work and x-rays. Precise preoperative instructions are provided, and all necessary prescriptions are given to you in advance of your surgery. All aspirin, aspirin-containing products, and anti-inflammatory products must be stopped at least ten days before and for ten days after surgery. You will be provided with a complete list of which medications to avoid. Tylenol may be taken during this time, and we will also give you a list of vitamins and homeopathic preparations to take prior to and after your surgery to promote healing and limit bruising.
Facelift is an outpatient procedure usually done under general anesthesia. In some cases, however, local anesthesia with intravenous sedation may be used. Dr. Tehrani and our anesthesiologists will help you make this decision.
In the past, a standard facelift was the only option. This one-dimensional operation involved simply removing excess skin and tightening it. As a result, the facelifts were often obvious, and patients ended up looking “pulled.”
Today, more attention is given to the deeper layers of the face that, like the skin, are affected by age and gravity. The multi-level procedure that Dr. Tehrani uses require less pulling on the skin so that it provides a natural, less “surgical,” and more long-lasting result.
An outpatient procedure, the operation takes 2-3 hours. Incisions are usually begun above the hairline at the temples, extending in a natural line inside the cartilage at the front of your ear, and continuing behind the earlobe to the lower scalp. If the neck needs tightening, a small incision may also be made under the chin. Scars are generally hidden under your hair or behind the ear.
Facial skin is lifted, fat may be trimmed or suctioned, underlying muscle and membranes are tightened, and excess skin is removed. The skin is elevated from the fat and muscle below. Fat may be trimmed or suctioned from around the neck and chin as well to improve the contour. The underlying muscles are tightened, the skin is tightened, and any excess skin is removed. Great care is taken to avoid a “pulled” appearance or a change in your natural expression. The incisions are then closed with fine stitches.
At the completion of the facelift, a bandage of cotton and linen is applied to your face and neck, and you are awakened and taken to the recovery room.
The Postoperative Period
You will spend 1-2 hours in the recovery room. When you are fully alert and ready for discharge, we recommend that you stay in an aftercare facility for a 2-night stay so that care can be provided to you around the clock by licensed nurses. Some of our patients prefer to be cared for at home, however. In that case, we can arrange for a private nurse.
Recovery from a Facelift
The following morning, all bandages are removed in our office, and after we examine you, we apply a lighter bandage. We will give you instructions for caring for your incisions and stitches, which will be removed in 7-10 days.
Most patients have no pain after a facelift, while others describe the pain as minimal. We will prescribe medication, although many patients stop needing it after the first day. Sleeping with your head elevated can significantly reduce any discomfort.
There may be mild to moderate bruising and swelling for approximately one week. Makeup may be applied after one week. Most patients return to work and social activities after two weeks. Strenuous physical exercise is avoided for 2-3 weeks.
FACELIFT: BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTOS
*Individual results may vary