FOURTH QUARTER 2000, VOLUME 14, NO 4

Feel better and look vibrant with a facelift

IN THIS ISSUE

Feel better and look vibrant with a facelift

Your nose: form versus function

Ask the Surgeon / Health Tip / What’s New

What is it? A blemish or beauty mark?

We cannot escape the signs of aging. The constant pull of gravity, the over-exposure to the sun, and the daily stress of life can cause your skin to stretch and wrinkle. A rhytidectomy, more commonly know as a facelift, is a surgical procedure that improves the appearance of the aging face by removing accumulated fat, resupporting muscles that have stretched, and removing excess skin.

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Is a facelift for you?
As the saying goes, You are only as old as you feel. A facelift offers a way for your appearance to reflect your youthful inner spirit. If you want a facelift in order to feel better about yourself and are looking for improvement and not perfection, then a facelift may be a viable option.

The earliest apparent change is the obliteration of the angle formed by the neck and the lower jaw. Overall aging to the face– loss of that youthful look–may be a combination of loose skin, laxity of underlying muscles, and an accumulation of fat.

Look along your jawline, from your nose to your jaw, and under your chin. If you feel that these areas could use some attention, your facial plastic surgeon can tell you how a facelift can help.

The procedure
Your surgeon will probably make incisions above the hairline at the temples, following the natural line in front of the ear, curving behind the earlobe into the creases behind the ear, and into or along the lower scalp, or inside the ear. The skin will be separated from the fat and muscle below. The muscle is resupported with stitches. Fat may be trimmed or suctioned from around the neck and chin to improve the contour. The skin is redraped and tightened to a natural point, and then the excess skin is removed. Stitches, sutures, or metal clips may be used to secure the skin and to close the incisions. Additional incisions may be made under the chin to address loose deposits of hanging tissue.

The recovery
Following the procedure, the surgeon may wrap your head in bandages to minimize bruising and swelling. Your surgeon will give you guidelines to follow during recovery, such as keeping your head elevated and refraining from strenuous activities. There is little pain following a facelift, although, pain medication is prescribed to alleviate any discomfort. The procedure will require four to six weeks for the skin to completely heal. Most patients, however, return to most normal activities within 14 days after surgery.