How do I prepare for my facelift?
Gathering complete medical history and performing a complete physical examination with blood work will be done before your procedure. An electrocardiogram may be taken as well.
You will be given personalized instructions on how to prepare for your facelift. They will include which medications need to be stopped, if any, and what to avoid, like smoking or drinking alcohol. Because smoking can slow down wound healing, a smoker will need to stop smoking for a minimum of two weeks before and after surgery. Talk with your surgeon to see about OTCs that can help with not smoking.
As with any surgery, using antibacterial soap the day of the surgery is important to help fight infection. There may be shaving of the incision areas as well. Your surgeon will let you know exactly where.
No eating or drinking fluids are allowed eight hours before your procedure. Discussion with Dr. Brown will include your daily medications, vitamins, any sores or wounds you currently have and any allergies.
What form of anesthesia is used?
You will be asleep throughout the surgery under general anesthesia, as administered by an expert anesthesiologist.
How is this procedure done?
Strategically located incisions are placed in well-concealed areas, usually in or above the hairline and near the ear. While other surgeons may just adjust the facial skin by pulling it off of the underlying facial muscles and deep tissue (giving a pulled back and frozen look that does not last as long), Dr. Brown targets the deeper tissue, known as the fascia as well. Lifting this denser network of tissue that is less elastic than your skin gives you a stronger foundation that achieves longer lasting results than a typical facelift. Subcutaneous fat deposits concentrated in your cheeks and along your jawline are repositioned, changing the overall shape of your face to be more youthful (less square and more triangular). The incisions are then closed and dressed. You will then be taken to the recovery room to be monitored by Dr. Brown, your anesthesiologist and our team of nurses.
How long does the procedure take?
Facelifts take about four to five hours to complete while mini facelifts take about three to four hours.
Can I return home the same day?
Yes, although occasionally a patient can be kept overnight.
What precautions should I take during my recovery?
You should get plenty of rest and keep visitors and telephone calls to a minimum for the first two days. For a few days, please sleep with your head at a 30 degree angle to help with swelling. To help with a smooth recovery, no smoking, strenuous exercise or any stressful activities are allowed Your bandages will be changed 24-48 hours after your procedure and you will be instructed on how to care for the incisions.
What can I expect immediately after my procedure as well as later on?
Some swelling and discoloration is to be expected following a facelift but these side effects usually subside in two to three weeks. There will be slight discomfort that can be relieved by prescribed medication. Stitches are removed five to six days post-operatively.
It is extremely important to follow all post-op instructions that are given to you by Dr. Brown. Following these will ensure a faster recovery.
What kind of scarring can I expect?
Any form of surgery will leave scars. Dr. Brown places incisions within well concealed sites where your skin naturally creases. Facelift incisions heal well and will often go unnoticed after two months. Feel free to share with Dr. Brown about any previous scars you may have to assess your specific healing potential after your facelift. Please be aware that scars are permanent, and their width, height, and colour are not totally predictable.
How long before I can return to normal activity?
Most patients can return to work in about two to three weeks after a facelift procedure is done and one to two weeks after a mini facelift. Regular activity depends on the activity itself and the patient. Physical exercise or any other activity that will raise the blood pressure should be avoided for about three weeks.
What are some of the complications that can occur with a facelift?
While rare, some complications include hematoma (blood clot), skin flap necrosis, nerve injury, hair loss, parotid injury, pigmentary changes, contour deformities or depression. While you may know of the benefits of a facelift, you should also be aware of the possible complications so that you can make a better informed decision. Talk to Dr. Brown about every question and concern you may have.
How long will my results last?
As with all facelifts and other cosmetic surgeries, the longevity of the benefits is dependent on several factors. The "deep plane" achieves results that you can expect to last up to 12 years, or even longer with a healthy lifestyle and customized skincare regimen. A mini facelift, although is less invasive, typically only lasts a couple of years at most.
Read More About the Facelift / Rhytidectomy Procedure