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Facelift FAQ

Facelift

What Is Facelift Surgery?

A facelift is an operation that involves elevating and re-draping the facial skin to reduce laxity and sagging. The operation can be designed to correct problems in the neck, under the jaw, under the chin, and in the cheeks. It can also be applied to the skin in the temporal regions and the forehead.

As individuals age, there is a change in the skin just as there are changes in all other parts of the body. Fatty tissue tends to decrease in volume and in density, causing the skin to fit more loosely. There are also changes in the bones of the face, which combined with changes in muscular action and gravity leading to more prominent skin folds. These changes are greatest under the chin and in the upper neck and at the skin folds near the corner of the mouth. Contour imperfections of the nose may also become more noticeable as the underlying soft tissue decreases in volume. Facelift surgery is designed to correct these facial conditions. Basically, the operation involves lifting and removing their excess skin. The underlying muscles are tightened and redirected. The skin is then gently redraped avoiding any pull on it. This gives the face a natural soft appearance.

How Is Facelift Surgery Performed?

Face lift surgery in Houston is performed under general anesthesia or IV sedation. You will sleep through the entire operation. The surgery is performed first on one side of the face and then the other. Incisions frequently are individualized to fit the patient’s needs. In most cases an incision is started inside or around the hairline at the temples, continues downward in a natural line around the earlobe and extends into the back of the scalp or nape of the neck. Occasionally, an incision may extend onto the front of the ear in men. A small incision is occasionally necessary under the chin to provide access to excess neck skin. Working through these incisions . The underlying muscles are tightened and the excess skin is gently re-draped and trimmed. In some cases, accumulations of fat are removed from beneath the chin and neck, and sagging muscles and connective tissues are tightened. Dissolving sutures close the incisions along the natural skin lines and creases. Although Dr. Viera will make every effort to keep scars as inconspicuous as possible, they are the inevitable result of surgery. In most patients, scars will fade gradually and become barely visible. At the end of five to six weeks, we perform a light dermabrasion to help erase any remaining incisions. Depending on the extent of the surgery, the procedure usually lasts from two to three hours.*

What Is The Recovery Period?

The operation causes the patient very little discomfort. When done alone, patients can return to near normal activity within a week of the operation. After surgery, there is some pain that is easily controlled by medication. You will be asked to keep your head slightly elevated for a few days. Swelling and skin discoloration are common and usually will subside within a week or two. Cosmetics can be applied to the incisions after the sutures are removed.*

Although you may be up and about in a day or two following surgery, Dr. Viera will advise you on the proper schedule for resuming your normal routine. To permit proper healing, activities that raise blood pressure, such as jogging, swimming, or even bending, should be restricted during the first few weeks. The decision to return to work depends on the individual’s degree of swelling and discomfort.*

Where Is The Face Surgery Performed?

Facelift surgery is well-suited to our AAAHC Accredited office Outpatient SurgiCenter in Houston (very private) and is less expensive than hospital or public SurgiCenters. Patients are able to go home without undue difficulty after the procedure, and are required to rest quietly for a day or so after the surgery. This can, however, be easily carried out at home.*

What Are the Risks?

Thousands of facelift surgeries are successfully performed each year in Houston. Nevertheless, you should be aware of the potential hazards of surgery and specific risks associated with facelift surgery. Post operative complications such as delayed healing, nerve damage, infection or localized collections of blood are uncommon. Smokers should be aware that smoking is strongly discouraged for two weeks before and after the surgery. Complications arise more frequently when a patient continues to smoke immediately after surgery. Risk of complications can be minimized by closely following Dr. Viera’s advice on follow-up care during the healing process.

*Results may vary for different patients and are not guaranteed. Contact our office to schedule a personalized consultation to determine if you are a good candidate.

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