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Facelift & Rhytidectomy Surgery

Facelift & Rhytidectomy Surgery

When people try to determine your age, they look at your face first for two of the key signs of aging: wrinkles and loose skin. With the passage of time, nobody is immune to their development, and it is for this reason that people rely on their presence to determine your age.

So, how old do you really look? Is it as young as you think or hope?

Imagine how much younger you would look without the wrinkles and saggy skin that tarnish your complexion today. Restore what time has taken, now.

Book your private medical appointment at 905-849-4282. Briarwood Cosmetic Surgical Centre specializes in helping you reclaim the smoother, firmer skin of your youth. Dr. Stephen Brown, the primary plastic surgeon at our state-of-the-art surgical facility, has dedicated his medical career of over 25 years to the field of anti-aging. He has refined his rhytidectomy surgical technique to help you achieve a restorative improvement in your facial contour with as minimal downtime as possible. After all, it is just as important to him as it is to you that you’re able to enjoy the results of your rejuvenation sooner rather than later.

The Only Solution That Achieves Dramatic and Safe Results

Medical research has proven that a facelift can effectively address wrinkles and loose skin more dramatically and safely than any other anti-aging solution available today. Patients find that even before they fully recover from surgery, others comment on how much naturally younger they look.

If you are dissatisfied with how old you look, it can prevent you from feeling all the positivity in your life that you have earned, now and in the future. There is no reason why you should let that happen, especially when a facelift can prevent this. Our patients have found that even though their facelift only removed wrinkles and tightened their skin, the results made an impact on their psychological well being and outlook, giving them a new zest for life.

The Facelift That You Get at Briarwood Cosmetic Surgical Centre

Dr. Brown has spent over two decades perfecting the surgical techniques he applies during the facelift procedure. The “deep plane” facelift he performs achieves results that you can expect to last up to 12 years, or even longer with a healthy lifestyle and customized skincare regimen.  Compare that to a mini facelift, which may be less invasive but typically only lasts one or two years.

Dr. Brown doesn’t just “lift” the skin on your face, as it can cause a tight, pulled back and frozen look that is also more susceptible to the effects of aging and gravity. He targets the tissues located deeper under your skin, namely the fascia and subcutaneous fat deposits concentrated in your cheeks and along your jawline. Lifting the fascia, a denser network of tissue that is less elastic than your skin, provides a stronger foundation that supports your skin. In addition, subcutaneous fat deposits are repositioned, changing the overall shape of your face to be more youthful (less square and more triangular). You get a result that not only lasts longer and is more resistant to the downward pull of time, but also a much more natural-looking improvement without the telltale signs of a facelift.

Enjoy life more with a renewed sense of self and defy your age.

Facelift FAQ

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.

SMAS Facelift

The surgical techniques used to accomplish facelifts have advanced dramatically with time. In the past, the procedure involved removing and tightening the skin of a patient’s face. This older approach had the unfortunate side effect of leaving behind an unnatural look usually referred to as “windswept” or “pulled.” The surgery would also weaken the skin fairly quickly, causing it to sag again and, ultimately, diminish results.

With over 25 years of experience performing the facelift procedure, Dr. Brown is able to perform more advanced facelift techniques that prevent these issues. With a SMAS facelift, you can regain a youthful appearance that is both natural looking and long lasting.

What is a SMAS Facelift?

Modern facelifts work by repositioning the superficial muscular aponeurotic system (SMAS) of a patient’s face, rather than the skin alone. The SMAS is a mesh-like network of organized fibres (fat cells, collagen, and elastin) that extend through the three layers of facial tissue. This structure connects the skin and muscles of the face. Since the SMAS works to distribute the force of facial muscles on the skin, it is also responsible for creating our expressions. The SMAS, in essence, connects the underlying and outermost layers of our skin and allows them to move as a single unit when we smile, frown, or otherwise move our faces.

Over time, natural aging processes cause the SMAS to weaken and facial muscles to sag. This results in common signs of aging like drooping cheeks, a saggy neck, deep lower eyelid and mouth creases, as well as the development of excess skin along the jawline (jowls). A facelift that focuses on repositioning the SMAS is able to rectify these problems and restore a youthful appearance.

The Basics of a SMAS Facelift

A SMAS facelift begins much like any form of surgery. The patient is anaesthetized before incisions are made at specific sites on the face and neck. The three layer unit of facial and neck skin is then released and tension is placed on the underlying SMAS structure to lift these layers upward. Once this is done, excess tissue is removed and sutures are applied. The procedure not only repositions interior tissue structures, but also works to lift the overlying skin.

Dr. Brown may choose to employ a different technique depending on how — and where — the SMAS layer is to be lifted so that the best results are achieved. This can be discussed during the consultation.

Recovering from a SMAS Facelift

Patients will leave surgery with drainage tubes and head dressings in place. During the first one to two weeks, a degree of facial puffiness, numbness, swelling, paleness, and bruising should be expected. In order to help manage swelling, patients must keep their head elevated for a few days following surgery.

While some bruising may persist for two to three weeks, other side effects gradually resolve over the first few days of healing.

The Benefits of the SMAS Facelift

SMAS facelifts provide a number of benefits when compared to older techniques. The most important of these is a more natural appearance that the procedure achieves. Repositioning the SMAS corrects signs of aging like hollowed cheeks, jowls, and facial folds without the kind of artificial looking results that older surgical approaches entail. Patients who receive a SMAS facelift enjoy longer lasting results as well. SMAS treatment offers a lift that lasts 10 years (or longer) than what was possible through more outdated techniques.

Smoking and Facelifts

If you’re a smoker and want to undergo a facelift, the first thing you’ll be advised to do by Dr. Brown is to stop smoking for a specific period of time before and after your surgery—generally a minimum of two weeks before and after your procedure.  This is sound medical advice that you should definitely follow. In some cases, you may not be able to go ahead with surgery if you don’t stop smoking.

While you already know that smoking has a negative impact on your health, you may not know that it can also adversely affect your recovery following a facelift (as well as other cosmetic surgery procedures that involve “flap” surgery that involves lifting the skin, such as a breast lift or tummy tuck). This all has to do with blood circulation.

Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to your skin to help with healing. However, the nicotine in cigarettes makes your blood vessels constrict, dramatically reducing the amount of blood that flows to your skin. As a result, your recovery may be compromised if you continue to smoke, increasing your risk of the following complications:

  • Infection
  • Bruising
  • Hematoma (One study found that the rate of developing a hematoma following a facelift was three times higher than that of non-smokers.)
  • Skin loss (particularly around the ears). It is extremely important that there is adequate blood supply to skin “flaps”.
  • Abnormal scarring
  • A prolonged healing process that could take months longer

In addition, complications with breathing during your procedure may also result.

Please note that any products that have nicotine will cause the same complications, including patches and gums.

Think About This To Help You Stop Smoking

You may have tried quitting several times before, but consider the reason why you need to stop smoking now, in preparation for your facelift. With all the time and money you’ll be investing in your facelift, you wouldn’t want to experience those complications mentioned above, would you? You want beautiful results and your scars to heal nicely! While your reasons may be purely for vanity’s sake, once you’ve stopped it doesn’t matter why you did. Your face, and body, will thank you. You’ll also be able to maintain your results and great new look for a longer time with your healthier lifestyle.