Full face lift is best option for some

Full face lift

In this age of mini procedures and little nips and tucks it is easy to forget that there is still a place for real plastic surgery in facial improvement. Some cosmetic patients do need to have more than filler injections, a little Botox or a mini facelift.

Mini plastic surgery procedures
Recently I have seen a number of cosmetic plastic surgery companies touting their new medical devices, be they lasers or liposuction machines, and daring to show pathetic cosmetic results. It is a disservice to cosmetic patients to have them believe that only minor cosmetic improvements can be obtained with plastic surgery. Any board-certified plastic surgeon will tell you the same.
Full facelift
Some plastic surgery patients still need a full facelift (rhytidectomy). This cosmetic surgery, like all others, means different things to different plastic surgeons. To me, a full facelift includes:
  • a cheek lift with excision of skin and tightening of the underlying muscles; incisions are in the hairline above the ears
  • a jowl lift with removal of skin and lifting of the fat pads; incisions are inside the ears
  • a neck lift with  removal of skin and tightening of the platysma muscles in the neck; incisions are behind the ears and under the chin
It does not involve a forehead lift or blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), though all can be performed at the same time.
Risks of full facelift
Major risks of a facelift or rhytidectomy include:
  • infection
  • bleeding
  • nerve damage – very rare
  • thick or wide scars – depends on your skin

I perform my full face lift / rhytidectomy as an outpatient procedure in the office under local anesthesia. If  patients wish, surgery can be performed in an ambulatory surgery center. Surgery takes about three hours and my cosmetic patients go home with someone around to help for the first night. There is little pain with this surgery. I do use a drain in the neck area, which is removed in 24-48 hours.

Healing after full facelift
You can wash your hair after two days, and the sutures are removed in a week.Regarding healing time for rhytidectomy, I tell my plastics patients the following:
  • two weeks before you can be seen by your friends
  • three weeks before your acquaintances can see you
  • five weeks before you present yourself in front of your enemies and have them become jealous!

Full healing from a rhytidectomy takes a good six months; but then again, this cosmetic surgery lasts 7-10 years! It is the rare plastic surgery patient who has two full facelifts done in a lifetime. Look at the results for yourself.  A full face lift / rhytidectomy is worth it!

Washington DC, Northern Virginia, Maryland
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