Have you been thinking about plastic surgery a lot lately? If so, maybe you’ve been considering a facelift to tighten up sagging skin on your face and create a more youthful, refreshed appearance.
But you may not be 100% certain about what happens during a facelift or what changes you’ll need to make to your lifestyle before and after the surgery. Most importantly, you’re not absolutely sure that a facelift is the best option for you or that you’re a good candidate for the procedure in the first place.
Whether you’re in the early stages of thinking about a facelift or have been considering one for a while, this guide will help you understand what the surgery involves, who’s a good candidate, and what you can expect in the weeks before and after a facelift.
What Happens During a Facelift?
Facelift surgery is more than skin deep. Although many people think that the procedure focuses solely on tightening the outer layers of skin to reduce signs of sagging and laxity, the surgery actually goes much deeper than that.
During a facelift, a plastic surgeon will tighten the muscles and tissues that lie beneath the skin before tightening and trimming away excess skin on the face. If a person undergoing facelift surgery has excess fatty deposits in the treatment area, the surgeon will remove those during a facelift as well.
Focusing on more than just the skin helps to extend facelift results, providing long-lasting rejuvenation. It also helps to create a more natural result.
Deciding if You’re a Candidate for a Facelift
How can you tell if you’re a good candidate for a facelift? Good candidates for the surgery should meet a few important requirements.
First of all, good candidates will have moderate to advanced signs of aging in the face, such as loose jowls or deep creases in the skin on the lower part of the face.
Your health is also an important consideration. Ideally, you won’t have any untreated medical issues or any chronic conditions that aren’t under control. If you’re trying to lose weight, you might want to postpone your surgery until you’ve met your goal, as weight loss can make the skin on the face looser and saggier.
Some lifestyles habits also affect your candidacy for a facelift. For example, if you’re a smoker, you’ll need to quit well before your surgery, as smoking increases the risk of complications and can delay the healing process. If you smoke and are interested in quitting, your plastic surgeon can provide advice and guidance about quitting.
Scheduling a Facelift Consultation
An important part of the facelift process is the initial consultation with a facial plastic surgeon. During your consultation, you can learn more about the surgery and what it involves. You’ll also get to know the surgeon a bit better and can learn about their experience and expertise in performing the surgery.
The surgeon also uses the consultation as an opportunity to get to know you and to see if you’re a good candidate for a facelift. Depending on the circumstances, they might say that going ahead with the surgery is a good idea or they might recommend an alternative procedure that will better meet your needs.
When should you schedule a facelift consultation? You can do it early on in the process, even when you’re just beginning to think about the surgery and aren’t 100% sure you’re going to go forward with it. Learning as much as you can about the surgery as early in the process as possible will help you make the best decisions.
Scheduling Your Facelift
Once you’ve attended your consultation and have decided that a facelift is the right option for you, when should you schedule the procedure?
It’s really up to you. It’s helpful to take a look at your schedule and choose a time and date that makes the most sense for you, based on what events you have coming up. The surgery itself will only take a few hours, but you’ll need to give yourself a week or two for the initial recovery.
That can mean it’s best to schedule your surgery during a time of year when your workload is lighter or when you have fewer responsibilities.
It’s also worthwhile to think about what’s coming up in your life. Do you have any big events, such as a wedding, graduation or milestone anniversary that you want to look your best for? If so, you might want to schedule your facelift so that you have plenty of time to heal and look great before the big event.
Recovering After a Facelift
Everyone recovers from a facelift at a slightly different rate, but usually, people are told to take about two weeks off from work or other pressing commitments after their surgery. You’ll also want to avoid exercise or strenuous physical activity for several weeks longer.
Your surgeon will give you a complete list of do’s and don’ts after your facelift, as well as tips for making your recovery as comfortable as possible. If you have any questions about the recovery process, feel free to ask your surgeon for guidance.
Dr. Michael Schwartz is a board-certified facial plastic surgeon practicing in West Palm Beach, Florida. He is always happy to help patients plan and prepare for a facelift. To schedule a consultation, call 561-288-5888 today.