Both gravity and diminished volume in the face are results of aging. Most patients requesting evaluation for a face lift feel that their facial features do not reflect the fact that they still feel youthful and energetic. Dr. Charles Hsu, a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills and Koreatown, believes face lifts are a great procedure for patients who want to reverse the signs of aging, such as excess skin and sagging along the jawline. Many face lifts also incorporate some degree of a neck lift, depending on the severity and location of excess skin.
Best Candidates for Face Lift
Sagging skin in the midface and/or jawline
Deep creases extending from the nose to the corners of the mouth (nasolabial folds)
Lines extending from each corner of the mouth down the chin (marionette lines)
Fallen or displaced facial fat (volume)
Sagging and loss of muscle tone in the lower face, resulting in jowls
Dr. Hsu performs a full physical examination of the patient and collects their medical history during the consultation. Based on his evaluation and the goals of the patient, Dr. Hsu will recommend different options. Together, Dr. Hsu and the patient will work to create a plan that encompasses the patient’s desires and individual anatomy for optimal aesthetic results.
Face lift procedures are performed under general anesthesia in approximately 3-4 hours. Dr. Hsu will make the incision where the ear meets the cheek, ensuring it will be nicely hidden. Depending on the degree of the face lift, the incision can trace from the hairline in the temple to the front of the ear and if needed, may extend behind the ear. Dr. Hsu performs a face lift by lifting the skin, accessing the muscle, tightening the muscle, and then removing excess skin. This method creates a more naturally enhanced result rather than a pulled look.
Recovery and Post-Op
Dr. Hsu will wrap the surgical area in bandages after the procedure that needs to remain in place for the first week. Patients will also need to keep their head elevated and dry at all times during the first 2 weeks. Most patients will have swelling and bruising throughout the face for 2 weeks. Patients usually return to light activities after 2 weeks and can attempt more strenuous activities, like exercise, after 6 weeks. To speed healing, patients should start walking as soon as possible after the procedure to promote blood circulation and prevent clots from forming.
From Dr. Hsu
“Perhaps more than any other plastic surgery procedure, the face lift procedure is highly individualized by patient. In my experience, I’ve seen that different patient faces can age quite differently. In some people, it is more in the jawline and jowls with excess skin hanging around the chin. In other patients, it is in the deepening of their smile lines around their mouths (the nasolabial folds). In yet others, it is in the descent of the cheeks. It is really quite surprising how different the facial aging process affects different faces, and so careful evaluation is needed to appropriately set back the clock for the individual patient’s face.
In nearly all patients, I prefer to perform my face lifts in two layers, working on both the skin as well as the muscle layer below. I feel that this gives an excellent lift, which is natural appearing, but without giving the skin a pulled appearance. Overall, my goal is to give patients a rejuvenated appearance, done in conservative fashion so that their friends notice that they look fresher and more rejuvenated, without knowing how it was accomplished. I cannot emphasize enough that each face is individual and unique, and careful and meticulous technique is required in order to give a natural rejuvenation.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Best Techniques for Face Lifts?
Most face lift techniques focus on the lower facial areas, such as the jawline, jowls and cheeks. A face lift can also focus on the mid-face or the forehead. In some techniques, deeper facial tissues may be repositioned or tightened to restore a more youthful contour. In other techniques, removal or addition of fat or other soft-tissue fillers may be necessary to achieve the best results. Today, many different techniques exist with outcomes that can be consistently reliable, safe, and durable.
Face Lift Surgery Recovery Tips?
After surgery, the patient and their caregiver will receive detailed instructions about post-surgical care, including information about normal symptoms and potential signs of complications. Patients need to follow all postoperative instructions, including information about bandages, drains, taking an antibiotic (if prescribed), and the level of activity that is safe. Recovery time will vary by patient and in relation to the extent of the surgery.
What to expect in my Final Results from a Face Lift?
The recovery for a face lift is than the mini-face lift, but the results generally last over 10 years. The more extensive the procedure, the longer the recovery period will be, but the longer the results will last.