Your face can easily give away your age because signs of aging tend to be most visible there. Fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin do not have to be a problem when you undergo a facelift at Carp Cosmetic Surgery Center. Headed by Dr. Steven Carp, this Green and Beachwood, OH clinics is proud to offer facelifts to residents of Canton, Akron, Cleveland, and the surrounding areas.
Sun damage, stress, and heredity all affect the way you age, especially in your face. You may notice that your cheeks are not as full, and your jawline now appears puffy. Tiny lines and wrinkles appear almost overnight around your eyes, and you now have deep creases from your nose to your lips. Many signs of aging are caused by sagging skin, lax muscles, and fat that moves to other areas of your face. Facelift surgery addresses all of these problems to give you a natural and refreshed appearance.
Understanding how a facelift will improve your appearance is an important part of your decision to undergo surgery. The following information provides some general insight about the procedure. The best way to learn if a facelift is right for you is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Steven Carp of Carp Cosmetic Surgery Center.
The Best Candidate for a Facelift
The goal of facelift surgery is to enhance your appearance by reducing lines, wrinkles, and creases. You will look refreshed and rejuvenated, but your appearance will not be completely different. You will still look like yourself, only younger, healthier, and more vibrant. Men and women who undergo facelift surgery often feel a heightened sense of self-confidence because they feel better about their appearance. Being realistic about the physical and emotional improvements of your facelift surgery is of utmost importance.
Facelifts are ideal for men and women who are between the ages of 40 and 60, but the surgery is also beneficial for patients up to 80 years old. For optimum results, you should have a well-defined bone structure. Skin elasticity is another key factor in determining if you are a good candidate for the procedure. Elasticity ensures that your skin re-shapes around your facial structure. Without good elasticity, your skin is likely to sag and crease, thereby reducing the anti-aging effects of facelift surgery.
Planning Your Facelift
The surgical plan begins during the consultation. Dr. Carp examines your bone structure, skin health, and effects of aging. Your consultation is also when you should have a candid and open discussion about what you like and dislike about your appearance.
Your consultation also includes a complete medical evaluation to determine your overall health. Dr. Carp will ask about your medical history, current medical conditions, and any medications you are taking. Providing negative information will not necessarily prohibit you from having facelift surgery, as each case is different. Some medical conditions may increase your risk of surgery, such as the following:
- Blood clotting disorders
- Uncontrolled high blood pressure
- Excessive scarring on your face and neck
Dr. Carp may also speak with your primary care physician about the surgery and your medical status to determine your individual risks for surgery.
Preparing for Your Facelift
Based upon the information gathered during your consultation, Dr. Carp will define a treatment plan that includes the anticipated results, techniques, anesthesia, recovery, and other details. The information is shared with you to help you prepare for your surgery. You may also be advised to stop taking certain supplements and medications. If you smoke, you should stop at least two weeks before your procedure to promote proper post-surgical healing.
You will be given detailed instructions for recovery during the consultation. Having someone with you when you are released ensures that all instructions are understood, and any questions are addressed. You will need to have someone drive you to your surgical appointment and take you home. We also highly recommend that a friend or family member stay with you for three to seven days after the surgery.
Some symptoms after the surgery may limit your ability to speak, eat, and drink. You may need to follow a diet of soft foods and liquids for two or three days after surgery, so purchasing special foods and ingredients before the day of your surgery is recommended.
Types of Anesthesia
The type of anesthesia used for your facelift is based on the surgical plan, your medical status, and your individual comfort level with the procedure. Dr. Carp chooses from three types of anesthesia that may be used alone or in combination with one another.
- Local anesthesia, which numbs the treatment area.
- General anesthesia that makes you sleep during the surgery.
- Sedatives that help you relax. With sedatives, you may still experience some sensations, such as pulling during the procedure.
Your Facelift Surgery
Facelifts may be performed alone or in conjunction with other procedures, such as a neck lift. A facelift generally takes at least three hours, and the procedure may be longer if other procedures are performed at the same time. Dr. Carp may also determine that two separate surgeries are needed to complete your treatment plan.
Dr. Carp is an expert in the most advanced facelift techniques, and each surgery is customized to the patient’s individual needs. As such, no two facelift procedures are alike. Dr. Carp may correct one side of the face before working on the other side, or surgery may involve working on both sides simultaneously. Other factors that vary are the specific technique and incision placement.
For most patients, the overall approach to a facelift is consistent. The appearance of the face is improved by doing the following:
- Removing excess skin and fat
- Re-positioning fat to add fullness and enhance natural contours
- Suturing underlying muscles to give the face a smooth and defined appearance
- Using liposuction to remove small fatty deposits
Incisions are made in areas where the scars are less noticeable and well hidden, such as along the hairline, natural crease at the bottom of the ear, and back of the ear. If applicable, an incision may be placed under your chin to enhance the neck area.
Once Dr. Carp is satisfied with the results, the incisions are closed with sutures. A small drain may be placed behind your ear to allow for fluid drainage, and the tube is removed two days after surgery. Your face and head are wrapped in special bandages to promote healing and reduce swelling.
After Your Facelift
Most patients tolerate post-surgical symptoms very well after a facelift. If the discomfort is difficult for you, Dr. Carp may prescribe medications. Antibiotics may also be prescribed. You should rest and keep your head elevated to help your body heal.
The most common symptoms after facelift surgery are the following:
- Bruising, especially around the eyes
Most symptoms last only a few days, and others may take a few weeks to resolve.
Approximately five days after your surgery, you will return to our office for a follow-up appointment. Dr. Carp will then remove the bandages and sutures. You will also have the chance to see the initial results of your surgery, but you may still have some residual swelling and bruising.
How Much Does a Facelift Cost?
A facelift is considered to be elective, so most insurance providers won’t cover the costs. To help make a facelift affordable and accessible for everyone, Carp Cosmetic Surgery Center offers financing options. We also accept cash, personal checks, and major credit cards.
Getting Back to Normal
The first day or two after surgery, you will be tired. On day three, your energy returns. You can get out of bed, but you should limit the intensity, frequency, and length of your activities. When you feel tired, return to bed, and elevate your head. Talking, chewing, and drinking may be challenging, so be patient with yourself.
Healing from a facelift can take several months, and the length of your recovery is based on how well you give your face time to heal. You can slowly resume your normal activities in stages. Light activities can resume after two weeks, including returning to work. More strenuous activities should be avoided for up to three months.
Your New Look
When the bandages are removed during your follow-up appointment, remember that your face will appear swollen and bruised. Once the swelling goes down, you are able to better see the results of the surgery. Bruising can be covered with make-up. If incisions were made along your hairline, you might notice small areas where the hair is thin. Your hair will grow back after a few months. The skin on your face and neck may feel dry, and Dr. Carp can recommend skin care products to help hydrate your skin. Men who undergo plastic surgery may need to be more diligent when shaving, as the skin is re-positioned during a facelift.
Once you are fully healed, you will be amazed at the refreshed appearance of your face. The lines, wrinkles, and creases are diminished, and you have fuller, natural contours on your cheeks and other areas.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you sleep after a facelift?
Following your facelift surgery, we recommend you sleep on your back with your head elevated to a 45-degree angle. Keeping your head elevated rather than laying back completely allows for better blood circulation and further reduces swelling around your incisions.
How do I prepare for a facelift?
Preparing for your facelift surgery is going to be similar to preparing for any other surgical procedure. Make sure to talk to Dr. Carp about discontinuing any medications you may be taking, and prepare to have a close friend or family member around to drive you home after the procedure and help you make your way around the house.
Is a facelift permanent?
While the skin is always subject to aging, the effects of your facelift have the potential to last long-term. You can better maintain the results of your facelift by participating in a medical-grade skincare routine and regularly coming in for non-surgical skin rejuvenation treatments, like microdermabrasion and chemical peels.
What is the best age to have a facelift?
There really is no best age to have a facelift. We most often see patients between the ages of 55 and 75 come in for a facelift, however, you can qualify for a facelift in your 40s or 80s depending on your skin’s condition. The best way to know if you qualify for a facelift is to get evaluated by Dr. Carp at your one-on-one consultation.
How long should I ice after a facelift?
It’s important you closely follow Dr. Carp’s post-operative care instructions following your facelift procedure. Icing your face after your surgery can hinder your healing and can cause damage to the skin around your incisions.
A facelift is one of the most commonly performed procedures at Carp Cosmetic Surgery Center in Green and Beachwood, OH. Dr. Steven Carp would be glad to discuss the possible benefits of a facelift with patients from Akron, Canton, Cleveland or the surrounding areas. Contact us today!