Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Rhytidectomy
Sullivan Centre – Columbus, OH
What is the typical age of a facelift candidate?
We all age at different rates. This is often dictated by the genes we inherit from our parents, the effects of gravity, environmental damage from the sun, smoking, and fluctuations in weight. Most facelift patients are in their 40s to their 70s. During these years, the skin usually continues to have good elasticity, which is essential for natural and lasting facelift results. Patients with thin skin and less elasticity are still candidates for facelift surgery, but the results may not last as long. These patients may experience some premature looseness of the facelift results, although optimal results can be recaptured by a minor touch-up procedure within 1–2 years after the initial procedure.
Are the benefits of facelift surgery permanent?
Cosmetic surgery doesn’t stop the biological clock of aging; it merely resets the clock. The face continues to age after facelift surgery. State-of-the-art techniques, however, give a longer-lasting improvement. Patients are typically pleased with the results for 8–12 years. In addition, the effects of even one facelift will continue to be noticeable; you’ll look younger than if you had never had a facelift at all. These days, it’s not uncommon for patients to have a second or sometimes a third facelift in their lifetime. The key is proper planning and the performance of the initial facelift procedure.
What are the risks and potential complications with facelifts?
Risks and possible complications can occur with any type of surgery, including facelift surgery. By choosing a Facial Plastic Surgeon who performs facelift surgery frequently, you can minimize these risks as much as possible.
Bleeding is a common concern with facelift surgery. Everyone experiences a little bleeding, which results in mild bruising. When more than the expected amount of bleeding occurs after surgery, however, it may develop into a hematoma (a collection of blood under the skin). This is not life threatening, but can slow down the healing process and result in considerable bruising. Treatment involves opening the skin to evacuate the blood. Smokers and patients with uncontrolled blood pressure are at increased risk for bleeding after facelift surgery. Dressings, drain tubes, ice, Vitamin K, and bruise cream are all recommend to decrease the likelihood of bruising after facelift surgery.
Temporary numbness around the earlobe is an expected side effect with facelift surgery. Normal sensation should return in 3–6 months. The facial nerves are important for facial expression. While facial nerve branches are at risk with facelift surgery, fortunately, these nerve branches are much deeper and are rarely injured. Infection is a concern, but occurs infrequently. Prophylactic antibiotics are always prescribed.
How long is the recovery?
Most patients can return to normal activities and work within 10–14 days of the procedure. We suggest that a facelift not be within six weeks of a major live event.
How do I choose my facelift plastic surgeon?
No matter what type of cosmetic surgery or non-surgical procedure you’re considering, your most critical decision will be your choice of physician. Make sure your physician is board certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Look for a surgeon who specializes specifically in facial procedures. If you elect to have a surgical procedure, make sure the procedure will be done in an accredited facility. Ask how often your surgeon performs the procedure in question. The more you know about your surgeon and the procedure, the more likely you will be pleased with the outcome.