We have reviewed numerous highly advertised “stand-in” procedures for a facelift, but now it is time to review the steps of the real thing. Reputable surgeons always stand by this procedure as the mainstay of tools in their armamentarium to fight the aging face. The most important fact to remember is that every facelift needs to be customized to the individual. Structural factors such as bone structure, looseness of skin, ethnic/racial background and external factors such as state of health, are all important in order to determine the type of facelift and the extent of surgery needed. These factors also affect the longevity of the procedure. The best practice to protect your investment in a facelift is to do what you would do ordinarily even if you didn´t get surgery: Get plenty of sleep, stay out of the sun, exercise regularly and eat healthily.
The facelift incisions are much smaller today than they used to be in the times of your parents. Another very important difference is the level of anesthesia that is used and the downtime necessary. For most facelifts, Dr. Prasad uses local anesthesia with IV sedation and this type of anesthesia reduces the downtime to 4 to 7 days. The procedure is performed in our Joint Commission accredited, state of the art operating suite. Dr. Prasad uses the smallest incisions necessary in order to perform the procedure. Hair is almost never shaved. The incisions that Dr. Prasad uses are the type that allow women and men not to change their hairstyle.
There are two different types of incisions that Dr. Prasad uses. The short scar incision starts where the ear attaches to the face at the top, extends along the inner edge of this connection and then swings around the earlobe to behind it. The illustration shows you the path that is used.
For a more involved facelift which would be useful in patients who need more extensive work, the scar would be larger and still in front and behind the ear.
Even though this scar is larger than the short scar procedure, they are generally not visible. They tend to heal very well, but if there is a problem, a laser treatment will help to minimize the appearance of the scar. The larger facelift scar remains hidden.
This 50 year old architect wanted to change her look so that she didn´t look so much older than her younger colleagues. She looks better and it is only when you compare her 1 week postoperative photo to her preoperative one that you can see that the changes are quite significant. She uses her hair and makeup to cover up the minimal swelling around her ear.
Dr. Prasad performs a technically more involved facelift because it involves the layers of the face but the results are optimal. In addition, a facelift which involves more than the skin lasts longer. Once the skin has been cut and has been separated from the deeper tissues, the heavy lifting part of the procedure begins. The deeper tissues are a bundle of muscle and connective tissue and other materials called the SMAS, or the submusculoaponeurotic system. This muscle bundle is lifted and is the scaffolding upon which the rest of the lift will depend. If necessary, liposuction is performed around the chin, neck and jowls. The last step is to lift the skin over the new facial muscular structure and then remove excess skin as necessary. This type of multilayer facelift is most likely to yield a natural appearing face. The best facelift is the one that leaves people wondering why you look great but with absolutely no idea that you got a procedure.