If you’re thinking of getting a facelift, then there’s no better way to start than by doing all the necessary research before going ahead with it. A facelift, after all, is no minor surgery—it requires a lot of commitment! So before you go ahead and commit to this, we’ve come up some of the most frequently asked questions about the procedure. We hope the questions and answers below help you decide if a Beverly Hills Facelift is really right for you.
Full Facelift vs Lower Facelift: What’s the Difference?
Although traditional full facelift targets sagging in the cheek (mid-face) jowl, and neck, a lower facelift targets mainly the neck and jawline.
Although the incision locations are similar for both the full and lower facelift, the latter may only tighten the platysma, or neck muscles, instead of the entire SMAS layer. A lower facelift, on the other hand, is recommended for younger patients that show early signs of aging on the lower face.
Does a Facelift Surgery Include a Neck Lift?
A Beverly Hills facelift typically includes a neck lift too. The surgeon lifts the skin off the neck’s platysma muscle and tightens it.
The platysma is usually accessed through the same facelift incision sites on the back of the ear. But, in some cases, it is necessary to make an incision under the chin—especially when there is severe skin laxity and platysmal banding.
Platysmal banding occurs when the muscle is seen as two vertical bands that go from the length of the neck, from jawline to collarbone. However, this can be fixed by cutting and suturing the muscle via a small incision under the chin.
Doctors can also remove any excess fat under the chin with liposuction through the same incisions.
How Long Does a Facelift Surgery Take?
A normal facelift surgery procedure usually takes about 2 to 4 hours, depending on how skilled your surgeon is, as well as the technique they use.
You’ll also need additional time to recover after the surgery as the anesthesia wears off. Nurses will be checking in from time to time to make sure that you’re recovering well.
How Long Will it Take for You to Look Normal after a Facelift?
As soon as the bandages come off on day one, you’ll notice some of the results, despite all the bruising and swelling.
Patients are usually advised that they can resume day-to-day activities after two weeks, and that they can go back to social events and exercise after six weeks. The full results of the surgery usually takes a full year to be visible.
How Painful is a Facelift?
Because you’ll be under anesthesia during a Beverly Hills facelift, you probably won’t feel any discomfort. But as soon as the anesthesia wears off, you’re advised to stay ahead of any pain you might experience during the first four days by taking the necessary pain medication.
Everyone goes through pain differently, but you can expect your face to feel swollen, bruised, and tender for the first few weeks (2 weeks at least) of recovery. The worst swelling usually occurs between 48 and 72 hours after surgery.
You’ll be advised against any bending over or any heavy lifting during your recovery period for the first two weeks. This will help mitigate any excessive swelling.
If you want to reduce the swelling, bruising and discomfort you feel, you can apply a cold compress to your face for 20 minutes. Do this repeatedly during the first 48 hours and you should be good.
Are There any Risks Involved in Facelift Surgery?
According to a study in done in 2015, the rate of complications from facelift surgery is at 1.8%, with hematoma as the most common potential complication (1.1%). This complication usually happens due to too much activity while healing or increased blood pressure. When you develop a hematoma, the doctor will drain the blood using a syringe.
The next most common complication at 0.3% rate is infection. You can mitigate this risk by keeping your incisions clean.
Mild bleeding usually happens after any surgical procedure, especially if you strain yourself in any way. Get in touch with your surgeon immediately if you experience excessive bleeding.
Although facial nerve injury is possible, the chances of it happening are extremely low, and it is usually not permanent.
How Long Do Facelift Surgeries Last?
Your facelift should give you a more lifted and youthful appearance for 10 years or more.
Although getting a facelift will effectively turn back the clock on your skin, the natural aging process will still continue. For this reason, it’s important that you maintain a good skin care regimen and take care of your health.
Wearing sunblock, eating healthy, getting good sleep, and minimizing stress can effectively keep your skin and preserve the results of your facelift.
Are There Other Alternatives to a Facelift?
If you’re only seeing a mild sag on your face, you can opt for a neck lift, a mini lift, or a lower facelift. Mini facelifts are great for targeting the neck and the lower third part of your face. However, there remains no standard definition for these alternatives, and most surgeons consider them as simply marketing gimmick. None of the abovementioned alternatives can give the same results as a full facelift. However, these limited procedures are cheaper and come with less downtime.
Another procedure you can get instead of a full facelift is a thread lift. Also known as the 1-hour facelift, a thread lift is technically not considered a surgical procedure. Instead, barbed threads are inserted under the surface of your skin to lift tissue. As the threads are absorbed by the body in the span of six months, they will also stimulate collagen production, increasing your skin’s firmness for up to a year!
Other non-surgical options include radiofrequency (RF) or ultrasound therapy treatments (Thermage, FaceTite, or Ultherapy). These procedures use heat to stimulate collagen production deep into the your skin’s surface. However, these give you a fraction of the results you’d get from a full facelift.
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