Although there are lots of non-surgical treatments out there today, as well as minimally invasive surgical procedures, none of them really fully replace the surgical facelift. That’s because only a facelift will significantly tighten skin in the lower part of the face and neck area and reduce signs of aging caused by loose, excess skin.
While a facelift is unique in what it does, it might not be the best treatment option for every patient. If you’ve been looking at your face in the mirror and have been concerned about wrinkles, sagging or other issues lately, here are a few signs that you might be ready for a facelift.
You Have Some Sagging
Perhaps the number one sign that you’re a candidate for a facelift is the presence of sagging or loose skin around the cheeks and neck. The sagging skin might create folds and wrinkles over your cheeks, jowls near the jawline, or a droopy or sagging neck. Along with sagging skin, you might also have fat deposits that have shifted lower on your face or loose or weak muscles.
While you do need to have a fair amount of loose or sagging skin to benefit from a facelift procedure, it’s also important that you not have too much laxity in your skin. People who still have some elasticity in their skin often see the best results from a facelift, as their skin is able to spring back better after the procedure. The more elastic your skin is, the shorter your recovery period is likely to be.
Being in good health is also critical if you hope to have a facelift. Good health means all over health. Your surgeon will recommend a full medical exam before your procedure, typically that exam will include blood tests to make sure your immune system, liver, and other organs are functionally properly, as well as a blood pressure reading and blood sugar levels. Unmanaged or uncontrolled hypertension or diabetes rules you out as a candidate for facelift.
Depending on your age, your surgeon might also ask you to have an echocardiogram or other test to monitor the function and health of your heart. Any signs of heart disease or other issues with the heart can increase your risk for complications during or after a facelift.
Your mental and emotional health are also worth considering before a facelift. Your surgeon will most likely ask you about your feelings about the surgery and about why you want it, to get a sense of whether you are emotionally prepared for the procedure or not.
You Don’t Smoke (or are ready to quit)
Smoking can increase your risk for complications from a facelift, as the nicotine in tobacco products slows down blood flow. It increases your risk for poor healing or infection after the surgery. Usually, a facelift is only recommended to people who don’t currently smoke or to people are who willing to stop smoking several weeks before surgery. Although you can return to smoking several weeks after a facelift, to get the best, and longest lasting results, being ready to quit for good typically makes you a better candidate for surgery.
You’re Not Looking to Change Who You Are
Understanding what a facelift can or can’t do is an important step to being ready for the procedure. For example, if you are hoping that the surgery will vastly improve your life, make others like you more, or lead to more job offers, you might not quite understand the limitations of it. But, if you understand that the procedure is designed to take a few years off of your appearance and that it won’t fundamentally change your appearance or who you are as a person, you are most likely ready for the surgery.
You Have Enough Vacation Time
Even if you’re emotionally, mentally and physically ready for a facelift, one factor might get in your way, and that’s the limits of time. Typically, the initial recovery after the surgery can take up to two weeks, or in some cases, up to three weeks. You’ll want to take at least that much time off from work, to give your incisions time to heal, swelling and bruising time to decrease, and yourself time to recuperate in general.
After the initial recovery period, it might still be a few weeks before you are fully 100%. For example, your surgeon might advise avoiding exercise or strenuous activity for four to six weeks after the facelift.
If you think you are ready for a facelift, or at least are ready to learn more about it, contact a board certified, facial plastic surgeon today. In West Palm Beach, Florida, Dr. Michael Schwartz is a board certified facial plastic surgeon who regularly performs facelift procedure. To learn more about the surgery, or to explore other potential options, call 561-228-5888 today.