Nothing gives away your age like loose and sagging facial skin. Although it can be exacerbated by things like UV radiation, aging skin is normally caused by a breakdown of skin components called collagen and elastin. These two important substances provide the bulk and elasticity for your skin.
When you get older, collagen and elastin break down more readily and are more slowly replaced by your body, leading to wrinkles and skin folds.
Facelift procedures are able to correct numerous problems with the facial appearance, including:
- Midface sagging
- Deep creases under lower eyelids
- Fat that has become displaced or fallen
- Deep folds and creases running from the corners of the mouth to the sides of the nose
- Excess fatty deposits and loose skin under the jaw and chin, causing a “double chin”
The cost of a facelift depends upon the place that it was performed, the plastic surgeon involved, and the size of the treatment area, since not every facelift treats the entire face.
A facelift for one-third of the face can cost $3,000 or more, while a full facelift can cost $15,000 or more.
To learn the exact cost of your own facelift procedure, schedule a consultation with the plastic surgeon of your choice.
Although every facelift procedure is somewhat different, they share certain traits. To start, you’ll be provided with either general or local anesthesia, or conscious sedation.
Your plastic surgeon will form incisions around your ears and along your hairline, which could extend to your scalp. They will gently pull the skin away from your face, carefully rearranging subsurface tissues into a higher position, as well as removing excess skin. Excess fat can be removed with a liposuction.
Finally, your plastic surgeon will position your skin back over your face, and seal your incisions using sutures.
Although every patient is somewhat different, here is a general guideline of what you can expect while recovering from facelift surgery:
You should make arrangements for someone to drive you home after your surgery, as you will still be somewhat under the effects of the anesthesia. You’ll also need someone to care for you for a day or two after you return home. Use any prescribed pain medications to keep you comfortable and allow you to rest.
In a day or two after your facelift, you will be returning to your plastic surgeon who will remove your drains and check on your incisions. It is normal to have a significant degree of swelling and bruising during the first week. You should find that your pain and discomfort eases during this time.
Although there will still be some significant swelling and bruising, it should begin fading noticeably during the second week after your facelift. Most of your pain should also be gone by this time. Some numbness and tingling in the face is completely normal.
More than likely, you’ll be able to return to work in two weeks after your surgery, unless you have a very physically demanding job. It is okay to walk, but avoid vigorous physical activity at this time.
Weeks Three and Four
You’ll be happy to learn that most of your facial swelling should be gone by now. This is when you’ll finally start getting the big payoff from your facelift surgery, as your results will start becoming evident. This is a great experience that will only improve with time.
Now is the time when you can begin slowly ramping up your physical activity, including some forms of exercise. Take it slow at first, and listen to what your body is telling you. Follow all of your surgeon’s instructions faithfully to ensure that you enjoy a refreshed and rejuvenated facial appearance that lasts for many years to come.
Although a facelift is certainly effective at reducing the signs of facial aging, it is not for everyone. If you have only minor skin sagging, and light lines and wrinkles, you may be better off with a minimally invasive treatment like dermal fillers or Botox.
Although fillers and injectables are safe and effective, they are no substitute for a traditional facelift procedure when you’re dealing with loose sagging skin and skin folds. The results of a facelift also last much longer than that of fillers and injectables. On the other hand, the facelift is a major type of surgery that requires significant healing and recovery time.