As people grow older, the natural aging process, genetic influences, exposure to the sun and other factors cause the skin to wrinkle and sag. In the younger individual, the face is firm and smooth due to fatty tissue directly beneath the skin. The tissue, which fills out the contours of the face, gives it an even, rounded appearance. As an individual ages, the skin begins to sag and fit more loosely. Skin folds become more prominent, particularly around the chin, on the jaw line and on the neck.
In recent years, a remarkable procedure, rhytidectomy or facelift, has been developed to correct these conditions and give people the youthful appearance they desire. This procedure involves the tightening of facial, neck skin and muscles and the removal of excess skin. Often a facelift is done in conjunction with other facial cosmetic surgeries such as brow lift and forehead lift, blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), chin implant augmentation, liposuction, and rhinoplasty (nose surgery). A facelift can be performed any time after signs of aging appear.
Before Facelift Surgery
Prior to facelift surgery, a medical history of the patient is taken in order to evaluate the general health of the patient. A careful examination is also conducted. The cosmetic surgeon and patient discuss together how the face should look and what results can realistically be expected. The goal of the surgery is to produce a pleasing natural appearance. Photographs are taken before and after surgery in order to determine the amount of improvement. The type of anesthesia to be used, the procedure, and possible risks and complications are also discussed by the cosmetic surgeon and patient.
Preoperative instructions may include the elimination of certain drugs containing aspirin for several weeks before surgery in order to minimize the possibility of excess bleeding. Antibiotics may be prescribed to prevent infection. Patients may be instructed to shampoo their hair the night before surgery, and a small amount of hair at the temples or around the ears may be shaved.
The Facelift Procedure
The surgery can be performed in a cosmetic surgeon's office, an outpatient surgical facility or a hospital, depending upon the cosmetic surgeon's and patient's preference. It can be done under general anesthesia with the patient asleep or local anesthesia in which the area is numbed and the patient remains awake. Premedication is usually administered to relax the patient.
Mid face lift
Lower face lift
In the basic procedure, the surgeon works on one side of the face at a time. Incisions are made inside the hairline at the temple, running in front of the ear then around the earlobe and behind the ear, ending in the hair of the scalp. Loose skin is separated from underlying tissue and is pulled up and back and excess skin is removed. Connective tissue and sagging muscles are tightened, and in some cases, fat deposits are removed from beneath the chin and neck. This may necessitate an additional small incision under the chin. Tiny sutures are used to close the incisions. A facelift may take from three to five hours or more depending on whether other procedures are done at the same time.
Following Facelift Surgery
After surgery, loose bandages which are applied to the area are removed within a few days. Patients who are operated on in a hospital are released the day of surgery or after an overnight stay. Pain connected with the surgery is minimal to moderate and is controlled with oral medication. The cosmetic surgeon determines when sutures are removed. This may be done in stages in order to minimize scarring. Scars from the incisions fade significantly with time and are, for the most part, inconspicuous because they are made within natural creases. Swelling and discoloration disappear in a week or two. Swelling can be reduced by keeping the head in a slightly elevated position when reclining. A tightness or numbness of the treated area may be present for awhile, and there may be slight changes in the normal hair pattern around the incision. A limited amount of blood collection under the skin may occur temporarily but does not affect the overall results.
For several weeks after face-lift surgery, patients are advised to avoid the sun as much as possible and to wear sunscreen when going out of doors. Healing is gradual arid final results may riot be apparent for several weeks. The amount of improvement varies, depending on the initial condition of the patient and the extent of surgery. In most cases, a single procedure achieves the desired results while in some cases, additional procedures may be indicated. Most patients who have had a facelift are delighted with their more attractive, rested appearance.
Each year thousands of facelifts are successfully performed. Complications connected with this surgery are rare; however, there are certain inherent risks connected with every surgical procedure which should be discussed with the cosmetic surgeon prior to surgery. Patients can minimize complications by carefully following directions given by the cosmetic surgeon.
What to expect after Face Lift Surgery
Facelift surgery is a serious medical procedure that can help patients look younger by removing facial wrinkles and tightening loose facial skin and muscles. During the facelift procedure, excess skin and fat are trimmed away through incisions that separate the skin from the underlying tissue.
After surgery, the head and face will be loosely bandaged to help reduce swelling and bruising. A drainage tube may be inserted behind the patient’s ear to prevent blood and fluid from collecting under the skin. Pain medication is usually used to make the patient feel as comfortable as possible following surgery.
During the face lift recovery, patients should allow for adequate healing time and expect some postoperative swelling, numbness, and skin discoloration for about two weeks. All incisions and dressings should be kept dry until the surgeon indicates that showering or bathing is okay. For the first few days, the head should be kept elevated and immobile in order to minimize swelling. Most stitches will be removed in about five days, and the initial face lift results will be apparent soon afterward.
Facelift Healing Time
The facelift healing time and recovery period can last anywhere from one week to several weeks, depending on the type of face lift surgery undergone. Most patients can return to work from a standard facelift in 10 days to two weeks, and patients who choose a mid facelift can expect about the same amount of recovery time. Patients who undergo an endoscopic facelift can return to work in as little as a day or two, and thread face lift and mini face lift patients can expect about the same “weekend” recovery time.
Dos & Don’ts
Some things, such as blow-drying your hair and wearing earrings, may be prohibited for a longer period of time. For the first few days or weeks, depending on your procedure, only walking and mild stretching are appropriate physical activities. Vigorous exercise, heavy housework, and sexual activity should be avoided for at least the initial two weeks after surgery. Alcohol, saunas, and steam rooms should be avoided for several months. During the facelift recovery period, extra rest is very important to promote proper healing.
What to expect in the long term
You may ease into your regular fitness routine. However, wear protective eyewear and a hat. Discomfort or tightness and tingling in your face will resolve. Be prepared to wait at least six months for your facelift to completely heal inside and out. It is important to see Dr. Mangubat as scheduled.
Dr. Mangubat’s quoted fees are provided to reflect, as much as possible, the total cost of having the operation, and do not reflect individual variations. Dr. Mangubat’s fees are all-inclusive. Thus, these charges include the surgeon’s fee, operating facilities fees, anesthesia fees, and all pre and post-operative visits. The only costs not included are for prescription medications and lab testing.
Financial considerations are important but equally important are your comfort with and trust of your surgeon. Dr. Mangubat’s clients express a high degree of satisfaction with their facelifts and a high degree of comfort with their level of care.
Over 20 years of clinical experience
Dr. Mangubat performs 25-50 face lifts a year, and has over 20 years of clinical experience. He is a board-certified cosmetic surgeon. Patients choose him because he listens to his patients’ goals and concerns, and will be honest with you. He will do everything possible to deliver the results you desire. Communication and trust are hallmarks of his practice approach. He likes informed patients and always involves his patients in the decision-making process.
Cosmetic surgery is a team effort. He and his team provide the highest quality of personal service, a commitment to safety and excellent results. They will make you feel cared for, and be there for you 24/7. In fact, he welcomes, and develops long-term relationships with many of his patients. As a noted researcher and educator, he is on the forefront of cosmetic surgery and medicine. Importantly, Dr. Mangubat combines his experience with superior artistic vision, a heightened sense of aesthetics, and understanding of design and form. Each face is unique. He will determine how to sculpt your face so that all features are in harmony, to achieve for you a pleasing and aesthetic result.
Call today for a complimentary consultation and discover your options.
Face lift FAQs
1. Who is a good candidate?
- If you have wrinkles and loose, sagging skin on the face and neck due to aging and/or weight loss,
- deep creases around your mouth,
- loss of skin tone,
- jowls and fatty deposits around your mouth, under your chin and on your neck, and
- the youthful contours of your face have been lost due to time, sun, gravity, heredity, environmental conditions and stress, you may be a good candidate.
You must be healthy, a non-smoker and have a positive outlook and realistic expectations. The only way to know is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Mangubat.
2. What will a facelift do?
Generally, a facelift is intended to rejuvenate the face. It will tighten and lift the skin and underlying muscles to rejuvenate the jowls, cheeks and neck, and reduce fine lines and deep folds. It requires incisions in front of and behind the ears, and may be accompanied by fat transfers to plump the cheeks. This transforms a deflated, aged face into a youthful face.
The type of facelift Dr. Mangubat performs is usually a deep plane lift or SMAS lift. The underlying tissues and muscles of the face are lifted and repositioned, improving the jaw line and neck area. Excess skin is removed. This technique helps the patient look more like they used to before the aging process began, thus providing a more youthful and natural appearance. Generally you can turn back the clock by at least 7-10 years. A good facelift will make you look younger, not different.
3. How long will my facelift surgery last?
With the technique Dr. Mangubat offers, the facelift lasts an average 10 years or more, however, how long it lasts varies on how fast you are aging. Time, smoking, sun exposure, genetics, stress and diet will all affect the life of a facelift. The aging process does not stop.
4. What are the risks?
Adverse events are rare. Potential Risks common to all surgical procedures include:
- Anesthesia risks
- Bleeding and infection
- Nerve damage
- Poor wound healing
- Unsatisfactory results and potential cardiac and pulmonary complications
All of this will be discussed at your preoperative visit. It is vitally important that you ask your questions and listen to the answers. Dr. Mangubat believes that a good patient is an educated patient. He and his team strive to provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision, one that is right for you.
5. What will a facelift NOT do?
A facelift will not rejuvenate the eyelids, brows or forehead. These are separate procedures that are only offered when needed.
6. Can I have other procedures done at the same time?
Yes you can. Dr. Mangubat often recommends that facelift patients consider, when needed, an eyelift or blepharoplasty, or a brow lift. This should not lengthen recovery significantly and allows you to accomplish all your goals at the same time.
7. Will it be painful?
You will have discomfort. Your skin will feel tight. But this will be well controlled with prescription medications.
8. Will I have scars?
The scars will be hidden in your hairline and when healed completely are typically not noticeable to anyone including you.
“Excellent communication of anticipated results. Dr. Mangubat set realistic expectations.”
Please note that plastic surgery results can vary for different patients. Every patient is a unique individual and every surgery has unique aspects. Therefore no two surgical procedures will get the exact same results - even if patients are fairly similar and even if the procedures are performed by the same Plastic Surgeon.