No matter how many times you hear that “age is just a number,” it sometimes feels as though you can’t escape the hands of time or the changes it brings to your appearance. If you want to do something to reduce the signs of aging on your face, it’s useful to look at all of your options closely to see which one would bring you the biggest benefits.
For example, not everyone is cut out for a facelift, for a number of reasons. Some people benefit from the surgery more than others. If you need help deciding if a deep plane face and neck lift is right for you, here are a few things to keep an eye out for.
You’re In Good Health Before the Facelift
Your health plays an important role in deciding if any type of elective surgery is the right call for you. Making sure you’re healthy and that you don’t have any silent medical issues before a facelift is a must. At the very least, your facial plastic surgeon will usually ask that you have a medical exam and blood work done before you schedule surgery. The medical exam will make sure your blood pressure is within a normal range and the blood work will make sure your sugar levels are good, your liver is functioning as it should, and your immune system is OK. Depending on your age and previous health history, a surgeon might also ask you to have an electrocardiogram, or EKG, performed to make sure your heart is functioning well.
Your weight can also influence whether or not you’d benefit from a facelift. Generally speaking, obese or overweight patients have an increased risk for complications during any type of surgery. For many surgeons, the increased risk rules out patients with weight issues.
It’s not just the increased risk for surgical complications that can make your weight an issue, though. If you plan on losing weight after surgery, doing so can have some effect on your results. Since the goal of a facelift is often to tighten the skin and underlying tissue and to remove or reposition fat, if you lose fat and your skin becomes loose from weight loss after surgery, you can undo some of the results of the procedure.
You’ve Got Loose, But Elastic Skin
Patients who benefit from facelifts are patients who have some degree of loose or sagging skin. If you’re beginning to develop jowls or have a bit of droop in your cheeks, the surgery might be right for you. But, it’s important to know that it’s possible to have skin that is too loose or too saggy to actually benefit from a facelift.
As you age, your body produces less and less collagen, the protein that gives skin its elasticity and firmness. A slight drop in collagen leads to some sagging. A drastic drop in collagen, however, can make it difficult for the surgeon to get good results from a facelift. When there’s little to no elasticity left in your facial skin, it won’t respond to the surgical procedure quite right and the results you get might not be what you’d hoped to get.
For that reason, facelift surgery is often recommended for patients in their 40s or 50s. A 70-something patient can still benefit from the surgery, depending on his or her skin types. But, it’s more likely for the skin of a 70-year-old person to be less elastic than the skin of a 40 or 50-something.
You’ve Got Reasonable Expectations
You want to think of the emotional and mental effects of a facelift, not just the physical, when deciding if it’s the right choice for you. Getting older is tough on everyone, and you want to make sure you’re having a facelift for the right reasons.
For example, you might not benefit from the surgery if you go into it thinking it will make you look like a 22-year-old movie star or if you are expecting it to improve all areas of your life. Typically, a facelift takes anywhere from five to 10 years off of a person’s appearance. It won’t change who you are or make you look like someone else. You’ll still look like yourself, just a younger version.
After your surgery, it’s important not to expect miracles. You might feel more confident in your appearance and, in turn, more confident in the projects you undertake or more confident in pursuing certain relationships. But, you won’t see the results you’re hoping for if you have a facelift to win back a separated spouse, to try to get ahead at work, or to finally get someone to fall in love with you.
You Can Follow Instructions
Your surgeon will give you specific instructions to follow before and after your facial surgery. They won’t be terribly difficult instructions, but it will be incredibly important for you to abide by them to get the greatest benefit out of your surgery.
For example, he’ll most likely tell you to stop taking certain supplements or medications, to quit smoking, and to avoid certain common medications, such as aspirin, in the weeks before your surgery. Not following those directions can increase your risk for complications or impact the healing process afterwards. After the facelift, your surgeon will most likely recommend taking it easy for a week or two and not doing any strenuous activity for up to a month. Exercising and straining in the weeks following surgery can make you more likely to have bad bruising and other complications.
Do you think a facelift is right for you? Find out for sure. In West Palm Beach, Florida, board certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Schwartz is happy to discuss the surgery with you in greater depth and help you see if it would benefit you. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Schwartz, call 561-228-5888 today.