The process of aging combined with gravity causes areas of sagging skin which significantly ages the face. The contouring of the lower face begins to soften, creating jowls and diminishing attractiveness. Fortunately, cosmetic anti-aging medicine can restore youth and vitality to the face, including the forehead, cheeks, and neck and jawline, improving the appearance of sagging skin and displaced fat. Through facelift surgery, Dr. Swartout of Benjamin G. Swartout Facial Plastic Surgery in Beverly Hills, CA creates more youthful contouring of the lower face and jawline, allowing patients to achieve a rejuvenated appearance and look years younger.
What is Facelift?
Facelift surgery remains one of the best ways to comprehensively revitalize the aging face from the cheeks to the neck. During the procedure, the underlying facial muscles are tightened, facial fat is redistributed, and excess skin is trimmed and tightened. This classic and effective plastic surgery should always be performed by a specialist to help ensure a natural result. Facelift surgery may be paired with other procedures like eyelid surgery (also called blepharoplasty) or dermal fillers for the best aesthetic result.
How is Facelift Performed?
The patient is placed in a safe and comfortable sleep by an anesthesiologist prior to the procedure, which is performed at a fully equipped surgery center. Dr. Swartout begins the surgery by skillfully concealing surgical incisions in the hairline and behind and around the ears. Through these cuts, he can gain entry to the tissues of the face. The doctor may remove pockets of fat through facial liposuction or excision techniques, tighten muscles and other structures, and remove extra skin. The remaining skin is then pulled slightly taut and the incisions are sutured. Dr. Swartout has the experience and skill to achieve natural results, as he takes care not to over-modify the face which can lead to an artificial or “windswept” look.
Facelift surgery is customizable to the patient’s needs and can be combined with other procedures and tailored to address different areas of the face, including the upper, mid, and lower face. Different techniques will smooth forehead lines, create a lifting of the cheeks, and contour the jawline. The doctor can strategically alter certain areas of the face that shows signs of aging, which also promotes a realistic final aesthetic.
Following a facelift, patients are typically discharged home the same day, but should not drive themselves. Patients may require the assistance of a spouse or family member to care for them for the first 24 hours, helping to administer the appropriate amount of medications and ensuring they are comfortable. Postoperative bruising and swelling will be visible in the hours following surgery, but the majority of this should resolve within 7-10 days.
Dr. Swartout may prescribe medications to control pain and swelling, stave away infection, and to help promote healing. In about a week or two, patients can use approved cosmetics to conceal any discoloration or temporary irregularities that have yet to resolve. Most people return to non-strenuous work and activities within about two weeks. Patients will be scheduled for follow-up visits during their recovery so the doctor can monitor the results and address any issues that can arise following a procedure.
Patients who are interested in facial rejuvenation are encouraged to schedule a consultation appointment at Swartout Facial Plastic Surgery to discuss their concerns. During the initial doctor-patient meeting, the doctor will review the patient’s entire medical history, learn about their goals and concerns, and perform an examination of the face. In some cases, Dr. Swartout may suggest an alternative procedure or additional procedures that will best help the patient reach his or her aesthetic goals.
The doctor will then create a treatment plan that suits the patient’s needs and provide computer imaging that will provide an approximation of the expected results. Dr. Swartout can also show prospective patients examples of previous procedures that he has performed to help them understand what is possible.
In many cases, the eye area is among the first to show a person’s age. This is because the eyes are constantly in motion and are surrounded by very delicate skin. With aging, the upper eyelid skin may begin to crease and cause a hooded appearance. Crow’s feet may form at the corners of the eyes, while under eye bags can cause a chronically tired appearance. During upper or lower eyelid surgery, these cosmetic issues can be addressed to refresh the eyes.
Dr. Swartout performs cosmetic injections using the trusted fillers Restylane and Juvederm to smooth out wrinkles in the skin and add volume where it has been lost, often in the lips and cheeks. Rather than harvesting a patient’s fat or using bovine collagen sources, these injections are formulated from a biocompatible synthetic gel. This means that the formulas are more readily available for regular use. The effects from injectable fillers can last for months and may be repeated as necessary. Dermal fillers are a great option for areas that are in need of rejuvenation but may not require surgery. They can also be used to enhance surgical results.
Many people are confused about the differences between fillers like Restylane and Juvederm and the dynamic wrinkle treatment Botox. While fillers are administered to plump areas of the face, Botox is injected into the face to block movements that cause lines and wrinkles. Some people fear being unable to make regular facial expressions, but when performed by an expert, Botox treatments will improve wrinkles while still allowing for normal facial movements.
Though non-surgical options like dermal fillers and Botox can be performed alongside a facelift, they can also postpone the need for the surgery in certain cases. Often, patients in their early 30s and 40s may begin to develop fine lines and minor creasing in areas like the forehead and around the eyes and lips. Undergoing a facelift too early in one’s life may not be the best option, as it may need to be repeated in later years. Facelift surgery could also create results that appear too dramatic or harsh for a younger person’s age. By providing cosmetic injections, the doctor addresses imperfections in the skin while obtaining a naturally youthful look.
Is facelift performed in-office with numbing medicine?
Like many surgeries, not all facelifts are the same. Certain techniques are best done with the patient deeply sedated or under general anesthesia.
In other patients, long-lasting results can be achieved using only mild sedation and numbing medicine. This depends on the patient’s individual requests and anatomy and can be discussed during a facelift consult.
What is the difference between a facelift and necklift?
Both a facelift and a necklift focus on improving the sagging skin and muscles of the neck and face, but a necklift is limited to the soft tissue around the jawline and down into the neck, while a facelift combines these benefits with rejuvenation of the lower face, up to the cheek area.
A facelift incision is hidden in the hairline above the ear, around and inside the ear canal, along the front of the earlobe, and behind the ear in the hairline of the neck. In a necklift, the incision stops at the top of the ear canal. A necklift takes less time and typically produces less swelling during the postoperative period.
What are the different versions of a facelift a patient can undergo?
There are three primary versions of facial rejuvenation surgery to enhance the upper, middle, or lower areas of the face that are aptly named upper facelift (or brow lift combined with eyelid surgery), mid-face lift, and lower facelift. During an upper facelift, corrections are focused on the forehead and brows, sometimes also affecting the upper eyelids. This surgery is performed to treat vertical lines of the forehead and the placement of the eyebrows. Mid-face lift address sagging cheeks, which lower over time and can distort contouring of the face. Because cheek laxity can cause the appearance of under-eye bags, lower eyelid surgery is a great addition to this type of lift. A lower facelift may be performed alongside a necklift to eliminate lines around the mouth, jowls, and the extra tissues in the neck.
Will I have obvious scarring following the procedure?
Surgical incision can be placed carefully to heal into a line as thin as a strand of hair, and are typically placed in natural folds of the skin or disguised within the hairline or ears. Some patients might be eligible for endoscopic techniques, which involve fewer incisions and the doctor is assisted by the guidance of a tiny camera directed below the skin to lessen tissue disruption. Additionally, patients may undergo various scar therapies during and after healing to promote the best and most discreet outcome.
About Dr. Swartout
Benjamin G. Swartout of Swartout Facial Plastic Surgery in Beverly Hills, CA is a facial plastics expert in Southern California. He completed his undergraduate degree at Harvard University and went on to attend medical school at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. He completed a general surgery residency followed by a specialized residency in otolaryngology – head and neck surgery, both at New York University. From the East Coast, the doctor furthered his training in the largest city in the Midwest – Chicago. Under Dr. Dean Toriumi, Dr. Swartout completed a fellowship in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery at the University of Illinois. Moving further west, the doctor now resides and practices on the West Coast. He has dedicated his practice to cosmetic procedures of the face.
Contact Swartout Facial Plastic Surgery in Beverly Hills at (310) 274-6005 to set up a facelift consultation to meet with the doctor.