Facelift Frequently Asked Questions

Written by

12 February 2013

Facelift Frequently Asked Questions


1. Who is a good candidate for a facelift?
Anyone with loose and lax facial and neck skin can benefit from this procedure. There is no particular age restriction for a facelift.

2. What kind of facelift is best?
The vast array of facelift techniques can be bewildering: deep plane, high SMAS, short scar, skin only, MACS lift, SMASectomy and the list goes on. The debate between a “Deep” facelift and a “Skin Only” facelift has been going on for years. Both can create beautiful results. Deep facelifts take a lot longer to heal and patients remain swollen for a longer time. A twin study where one twin had a deep plane facelift and the other twin had simpler facelift demonstrated that at two years after the surgery there was no visible difference between the quality of results.

It is more important to find the right surgeon than decide for yourself the right surgical technique. If you like the results of facelifts done by a certain surgeon, regardless of his or her technique, then you are on the road to obtaining the results you want.

Dr. Jugenburg intends to make patients look younger and more refreshed through minimally invasive superficial procedures rather than deep plane procedures. We find that these results have generate beautiful results for our patients while decreasing the downtime and significantly lowering the risk of complications.

3. How long does the surgery take, and what is the recovery time?
A basic facelift takes about 2-2.5 hours. If additional procedures are added, such as eyelid surgery, then the procedure length can take up to 3-3.5 hrs.

Patients' recovery times differ, but in general, noticeable swelling will go down within 5 to 7 days. Our patients often return to work in two weeks. To be sure you'll be at your best for special occasions, schedule surgery a month before the special event.

4. How will I look different?
Most patients look refreshed. A good facelift is one where the patients looks younger, not “operated on” as if nothing has been done beyond rest and relaxation. If you need an explanation… just say you came back from two weeks in a tropical paradise.

5. What should I look for in a plastic surgeon?
Many of us have seen facelifts gone wrong: patients who look perpetually surprised (eyebrows raised too high on the face), who’s their eyes are round and hollow following excess skin and neck fat removal. Other bad results include uneven or overdone necks, pixie earslobes or lower eyelids that merge unnaturally with overly flat and windswept cheeks.

How can you avoid these outcomes? Look carefully at a variety of patient examples from the surgeon you are considering. Look at their websites but also ask for additional photos of patients who have received facelifts so that you can be confident that you and your surgeon have the same understanding of how much will really change.

As with any procedure, ensure that a surgeon is certified by accredited medical boards such as the American Board of Plastic Surgery or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. This guarantees that they have gone through a specific training program, examinations and requirements for recertification to avoid complications and make cosmetic surgery safe.

6. What are the risks?
Facelifts are safe if performed by a well-trained Plastic Surgeon. Like any surgery, facelift procedures carry some risks. Infection, bleeding, and abnormal scarring can occur but these are not common. Nerve injury is rare and usually temporary. Healing is usually uneventful unless a you are a smoker.

The incidence of these risks relate closely to the surgeon's skills. However, these remain small but real risks even in the best surgeon's operating room.

7. I want to lose a few pounds. Should I wait to have my facelift?
Loosing a few pounds will not make that much of a difference in results. If you plan to loose a large amount of weight (>30lb) then you should wait until your weight has fallen off and stabilized.

8. How long will the effects of a facelift last vs. fillers?

Fillers are temporary. So-called “liquid facelifts,” were in vogue until it became clear that the result was too often a swollen, bloated appearance. Patients did not look younger — they looked different.

On the other hand, a real facelift will last for years.

Note that although fillers are not the same as facelifts, they can be combined with facelifts to enhance the facelift results..

9. I've been considering another procedure (rhinoplasty, fillers, etc.). Should I do the procedure in conjunction with my facelift? If not, how should I prioritize?

It will depend upon the patient, but the most common procedure done with facelifts is eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty). In fact, these procedures are performed together more often than not.

When adding more procedures such as rhinoplasty (nose reshaping), the patient should understand that the additional procedure will add a bit more discomfort and perhaps lengthen recovery time. The well-trained plastic surgeon will arrive at a surgical menu that is safe and appropriate for each patient, and the best course of action is to consult with your surgeon to see what he or she recommends.

10. What is the difference between facelifts, upper and lower facelifts, mini-lifts, and neck lifts?

When plastic surgeons discuss facelifts among ourselves, we're referring to a procedure that has an impact on the cheeks, jowl and neck. It requires incisions placed in front of and behind the ear.

A neck lift addresses neck skin redundancy or deformity, and involves an incision behind the ear and usually beneath the chin.

Mini-lifts are usually done for patients who have relatively minor concerns about their cheeks and jowl. They are often done to refresh a face that has had a facelift before.

Upper and lower facelifts are usually scheduled together and are another way of saying “facelift.”


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