Traditional Full Facelift
A traditional facelift (Rhytidectomy) was our only option years ago, but with all the new advancements in medicine and technology, face-lifting procedures have become more individualized and now allow patients more options for facial rejuvenation. Here we will discuss the traditional full facelift. However, a consultation with one of Premier’s Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeons is paramount in deciding if a full facelift is optimal for you.
A traditional full facelift (Rhytidectomy) will not stop the aging process, but it can set back your clock by improving the most visible signs of aging. Removing excess fat, tightening underlying muscles, and re-draping the skin of your face and neck will take you back 10 to 20 years. A facelift can be done alone or in conjunction with other procedures such as a forehead lift, eyelid surgery, or nose reshaping.
The Facelift Procedure
Doctor DeJoseph has extensive experience performing facelifts in Atlanta, performing over 200 facelifts and over 2500 facial procedures per year.
He begins the incision in the area of the temple hair above the ear. This provides more lift to the cheek area, restoring what gravity has pulled down, and gives a more natural appearance rather than a pulled or stretched look.
The incision continues down in a natural line in front of the ear (or just inside the cartilage at the front of the ear), and then continues around the earlobe, circling behind but remaining in the crease of the ear, and finally sweeps back into the hairline.
The tiny suture material combined with the experienced hands and advanced techniques of Dr. DeJoseph allow for a completely camouflaged suture line. “Much of the suturing is done inside,” says Dr. DeJoseph “This provides for longevity of the facelift and allows us to individualize the lift according to the patient’s needs.”
The amount of undermining naturally varies from patient to patient. Many patients think you go from the consultation to the operating room, but this is not the case at Premier Image Cosmetic & Laser Surgery. Even though the consultation is in-depth with careful evaluation and diagnosis provided, the patient will return for a second evaluation or what we call the pre-operative appointment. This is done to review the patient’s history, medications, EKG and blood work. “It’s what we call an ‘H & P’, or History and Physical,” says Dr. DeJoseph.
“Safety is top of mind, and it gives us an opportunity to sit down and review the photo imaging that was done during the initial consultation. It also allows the patient to ask more questions about the procedure and address any concerns.”
*Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.
Facelift Pre-Operative Instructions
The morning of the surgery and during the pre-operative preparation, Doctor DeJoseph marks the face with a marking pen. The exact design of the planned incisions will vary with each patient according to the amount of skin excision, direction of pull, and so forth.
“We review the patient’s photographs the evening prior to the surgery for planning, but the morning of surgery, during the pre-operative preparation, the patient is marked while he/she is sitting up,” says Dr. DeJoseph. “The patient will be supine or lying down during the surgery; however, our exact design will still be in place.”
“The goal here is to restore a very natural look,” says Dr. DeJoseph. “The direction of pull depends on the deformity that is to be corrected in the individual patient. Planning of the surgery begins at the consultation and continues through the pre-operative appointment, to the night before the procedure, and finally, the morning of the surgery.”
Patient Care & Recovery
At Premier Image Cosmetic & Laser Surgery, we pride ourselves on using only board-certified doctors of anesthesia and a nursing staff not only chosen for their expertise and certifications, but for their caring attitudes as well.
Dr. DeJoseph performs facelifts at Northside Hospital, Center Pointe in state-of-the-art operating rooms with a skilled and friendly Northside Hospital surgical staff.
Following the facelift procedure, patients should follow all post-operative instructions they are given. Doctor DeJoseph applies a dressing to be worn overnight to protect the entire area where the incisions have been made. Though discomfort should be fairly minimal, pain medication will be prescribed to help keep patients feeling comfortable throughout the recovery period. This will be removed on the morning following your facelift. Swelling is a normal part of the recovery process, and patients should try to sleep with their head elevated to reduce the amount of swelling. Patients should also avoid turning the neck as much as possible as this causes pulling on the healing tissues. Some numbness can also be expected during the first few weeks.
Most patients can return to work in about 10 days, but some activities will need to be postponed for a minimum of two weeks after surgery, including bending, lifting, and exercise. Saunas, hot hair styling tools, and steam rooms should not be used for at least two months following facelift surgery. Following postoperative instructions carefully will help avoid complications and enhance overall results.
Medications are prescribed by Dr. DeJoseph to ensure that your comfort is maintained.
Dear Dr. DeJoseph & Staff, I want to let you know how happy I am with my face. You did a great job again. You truly are an artist. I love everything you did, but nobody can get over the neck ! This really does make me feel so much better about my face. You may have a new patient soon (my husband). He doesn’t want me to get too far ahead. Ha I’ve gotten so many compliments and I owe it all to you. You are an incredible doctor and I’m so glad I found you… Tammy Please tell everyone I said hi, and thanks for the great service! We love you guys!!!
What kind of anesthesia is it used in the facelift procedure?
The traditional full facelifts (rhytidectomy) are usually performed under general anesthesia, and an MD of anesthesia will be with you during your entire procedure.
Will I experience bruising after the facelift surgery?
There is typically very little, if any, discomfort after surgery. Some numbness of the skin is quite normal and will disappear in a few weeks.
When can I go back to my normal activities?
Please avoid strenuous activity for at least two weeks.
Will the results look natural?
Modern facelift surgery is designed to look and feel as natural as possible. A skilled plastic surgeon will not pull the skin unnaturally tight and will perform the procedure to help restore natural youthful contours. Choosing the right surgeon will help ensure a natural result.
What are the risks of facelift surgery?
As with any surgery, there are some risks to facelift surgery. However, every precaution will be taken to ensure patient safety, and all patients will be furnished with pre- and post-operative instructions to help prevent complications. Some risks include infection, anesthesia complications, hematoma, nerve damage (numbness), and asymmetry. Choosing an experienced, board certified plastic surgeon will help reduce these risks.
Will there be scarring?
All surgery involves scarring, but the good news about facelift surgery is that the incisions are placed strategically to avoid leaving visible scars. A skilled plastic surgeon should be able to hide them in the hair and in inconspicuous areas so that the result looks very natural.
How long will the results last?
Most patients will enjoy the results of a facelift for up to 10 years or more. Leading a healthy lifestyle and using proper sun protection will help prolong the results.
How old should I be to get a facelift?
There is no “right” age for plastic surgery, as long as it is safe to perform the procedure. Any healthy adult struggling with sagging skin and other signs of aging is potentially a candidate for a facelift. Many people have this procedure performed in their 50s and 60s, but individual candidacy is up to the discretion of the plastic surgeon.
Will a facelift improve nasolabial folds?
While the procedure can soften the deep lines around the nose, it does not produce significant improvement in these folds. Patients may want to combine a facelift with other procedures, such as soft tissue fillers, for comprehensive rejuvenation.
How long does the procedure take?
Typically, a full, traditional facelift takes about 4-6 hours to complete. However, custom facelifts vary in complexity and may involve a shorter surgery.
Is it painful?
During the procedure, general anesthesia will be used for both safety and comfort reasons. After the procedure, any discomfort can be controlled with prescribed medication. Many patients are surprised by how good they feel during the recovery period.
How should I choose my surgeon?
It is extremely important to choose your surgeon carefully to ensure your safety and set yourself up for optimal results. Dr. Louis DeJoseph is a triple board-certified facial plastic surgeon and is known for his excellence is facial rejuvenation and patient care. Call 770-457-6303 or 888-455-FACE to schedule your private consultation in Atlanta today.