What to Expect from Your Facelift Procedure

Posted September 10, 2018 in Facelift


Despite competition from a range of nonsurgical facial rejuvenation procedures, the facelift  has endured as the favorite choice of patients seeking to correct the advanced signs of aging. A facelift has a remarkable ability to rejuvenate the skin; a facelift can not only remove loose skin, but also lift the underlying musculature of the face. When it comes to erasing sagging skin, facial hollows, jowls, and other cosmetic problems associated with aging, the facelift reigns supreme.

What Kind of Results Can You Expect from Facelift Surgery?

Before you book your facelift consultation, it’s extremely important to understand that there are a number of different types of facelift surgery practiced today—and these procedures create widely varying results. It’s important to avoid any surgeon who still focuses on stretching the skin of the face rather than working with its muscles and supportive tissues. To get the most out of your facelift experience, you will need to verify that your surgeon uses the “deep plane” facelift technique.

The deep plane lift, which involves repositioning the superficial musculo-aponeurotic system (SMAS) and then carefully draping the skin and tissue of the face over it, produces both profound and long-lasting results. Deep plane lifts often make patients look a decade younger (or more) and their results remain visible for an incredibly long time. Moreover, it’s possible to “touch up” a deep plane facelift after about five years using minimally invasive surgical methods, e.g. a short scar facelift.

Like all facelifts, however, the deep plane facelift cannot always meet all of the patient’s needs without assistance from complementary procedures. Facelift surgery primarily addresses issues found in the mid- and lower-face region: It can lift the cheeks, thereby restoring fatty deposits where they once were and eliminating hollows under the eyes and cheeks, and it can get rid of the patient’s jowls and wrinkles, and will also correct a neck “wattle”.  It cannot, however, correct severely drooping eyelids or heavily drooping eyebrows. To achieve flawless, even results from the shoulders upwards, Dr. Gilpin usually recommends that patients also have a brow lift and eyelid lift (blepharoplasty). In addition, for patients with advanced volume loss in the face, complementary fat grafting can be performed to restore and greatly improve this volume loss.  These procedures can be performed at the same time as facelift surgery to minimize the total amount of time that the patient will need to spend recovering from surgery.

What to Expect During Facelift Recovery

While deep plane facelift surgery is a complex operation, you’ll be happy to know that recovering from facelift surgery is usually not very painful. Most patients only experience mild soreness that can easily be managed with pain medication. However, it’s important not to mistake this lack of pain for complete healing; the deeper tissues of your face will take at least three weeks to recover from surgery. As such, surgeons usually advise facelift patients take between one to two weeks off work.

In addition to giving your body time to rest and heal, you will want to stay inside for at least a week for aesthetic reasons. It’s common for the face to become somewhat swollen and bruised after surgery, causing most patients to shy away from public view. You’ll also need to wear bandages and a supportive garment for  a few days after your operation. Naturally, given that few of us wish to step outside with swelling and bruising, most patients choose to relax in bed for the first week after they have facelift surgery.  However, you should look well enough to go out to a restaurant in 10 to 14 days after surgery.

Once you have your bandages removed, you’ll be able to see remarkable changes in your face. Your wrinkles will be gone, your facial proportions will be restored to their former shape, and your jawline will be much more defined. At the same time, however, it’s important to realize that you won’t be able to see all of the results of your facelift surgery right away. It takes the deeper tissues of the face a while to completely heal, and your skin will need some time to “settle” as well. As such, you can expect the results of your facelift to keep getting better for up to six months after you have surgery.

Above all else, you will be able to expect natural looking results from today’s facelift techniques. Because a deep plane facelift addresses the signs of aging where they start—underneath the skin—rather than just covering up the symptoms of aging by stretching the dermis, it can successfully turn back the clock on the effects of gravity and collagen loss. As a result, you won’t look like you’ve had a facelift once you’ve healed; you’ll just look like a younger, more refreshed version of yourself.

A Facelift with Dr. Gilpin

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Schedule a Consultation

There’s so much more to learn about the facelift, and the best way to be informed is by scheduling a consultation with a skilled plastic surgeon like Dr. Gilpin. Gilpin Facial Plastics & Aesthetics has the surgical staff that will help aide you in developing a treatment plan that can meet your needs and support your surgical results. If you are located in the Nashville area, Contact Gilpin Facial Plastics now for a consultation.

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