Lines, wrinkles, and lax skin are all normal parts of aging. Collagen, a protein that gives your skin strength and resiliency, is abundant in your youth, but your body’s production starts declining around age 25 and diminishes further with each advancing year. But just because it’s normal doesn’t mean you have to like it, and fortunately, there’s something you can do.
At Arizona Ocular and Facial Plastic Surgery, oculofacial plastic and cosmetic surgeon Dr. Dustin Heringer understands that you want to hold onto that youthful look. That’s why he offers a long-term solution, the surgical face lift.
Medically known as a rhytidectomy, a face lift focuses on the lower third of your face, including the jaw. The procedure lifts and tightens the skin and the muscles beneath it, smoothing out deep lines and sagging skin, and bringing back your youthful contours. Here’s what you need to know about the procedure and the recovery from it.
There are many different techniques for performing a face lift, and the exact method Dr. Heringer chooses for you depends on your anatomy and personal aesthetic goals, which he discusses with you at your initial consultation.
It’s also common for patients to choose add-on procedures, such as a brow lift, neck lift, or blepharoplasty, when having a face lift to revitalize their entire face and neck, so that factors into the doctor’s approach as well.
The primary procedure Dr. Heringer uses is the Superficial Musculoaponeurotic System (SMAS). It’s more advanced than most other procedures, addressing your skin as well as the underlying muscles and connective tissue. He feels it produces the most natural-looking results.
Dr. Heringer makes the initial incisions along your hairline so the scars won’t be as visible. Next, he separates the skin from the underlying connective tissue and muscles so he can reposition the deeper facial tissues and remove sagging skin. This creates a firmer foundation for the remaining skin.
After replacing the skin over your newly rejuvenated facial tissues, your face has a smoother, more youthful contour without looking over-tightened.
It’s important to understand that while a face lift can rejuvenate your appearance, it won't remove the fine lines and wrinkles characteristic of sun damage. Other cosmetic procedures, such as microdermabrasion and laser resurfacing, address the quality of the skin itself.
A face lift is major surgery, so expect to take a couple of weeks off to rest and recover. Just after the procedure, you may experience:
The doctor will have covered the incisions with bandages that provide gentle pressure to minimize bruising and swelling. He may also have placed a small tube under the skin behind your ears to drain any excess blood or fluid.
In the first few days after surgery:
You’ll have follow-up appointments scheduled over the next two months as follows:
Dr. Heringer gives you comprehensive aftercare instructions, which you need to follow to minimize the risk of complications. Other recovery tips include:
Dr. Heringer will let you know when you can return to each activity of your daily routine.
If you’re bothered by the visible signs of aging and are considering a face lift, you’re in good hands with Dr. Heringer at Arizona Ocular and Facial Plastic Surgery. To schedule a consultation, give us a call at either location, or book online with us today.