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As discussed in detail in the “Aging Face” section, changes in the elasticity of the skin and the underlying soft tissue framework of the face called the superficial musculoaponeurotic system or SMAS. lead to the facial features that we associate with aging: jowling along the jawline, increased banding along the neck, and increased fatty deposits underneath the chin.
Although most people think of a face lift as a tightening of the facial skin, the modern face lift is a much more than that. Tightening the skin is not the goal of a modern facelift , but rather a byproduct of the re-draping and tightening the underlying soft tissue structure of the face, the SMAS, via a deep plane facelift. Furthermore, a modern, complete facelift not only addresses the “jowling” at the jawline, but also improves the neck contour and neck banding that usually accompanies facial sagging. Aging of the face and neck most often go hand in hand. So a facelift is most often performed in conjunction with a neck lift.
The incision on for the face lift portion of the procedure starts in front of the ear starting just into the hairline, along a natural crease, and extends inferiorly wrapping around the earlobe and then extending upward behind the ear, along the crease and then curves into hairline. Using the natural creases and camouflage of the hair/hairline, the scars are almost undetectable.
The Neck lift incision is placed underneath the chin, again in a natural crease. This allows access to the musculature as well as the fat deposits underneath the chin and neck. This is essential to achieving a taut neckline by addressing the “turkey gobble” and banding of the neck.
The surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, usually lasting 3-4 hours. It is performed under deep sedation or general anesthesia, depending on the patient’s health and anatomy, and the assessment of the surgeon and anesthesia provider. Though some surgeons may offer face and neck lifts under only local anesthesia, we value patient safety and comfort over the modest savings in cost which this may provide.
After the surgery is completed in one of our state of the art, Medicare-approved Operating Room, the patient will spend approximately an hour in our comfortable recovery area under the close supervision of our recovery nurse until he/she is ready for discharge.
The postoperative recovery usually lasts 1-2 weeks and you will have generally have a couple of visits with Dr. Amadi and his nurses in the that time frame to guide and comfort you through your recovery. Facial and neck tightness usually persists for a month or two after the surgery, while the well-hidden scars will improve in color and texture for up to a year after the surgery.
There are some “face-only” type facelifts that you may have heard of: a mini-facelift, an S-lift, or a “Lifestyle” lift. These types of procedures have been marketed to appeal to patients as “minimally invasive with minimal downtime”. Though technically, that is true, unfortunately it also achieves minimal results for someone that wants and needs a long lasting and effective rejuvenation of the face and neck in a harmonious fashion. It is the rare younger patient, late 30’s or early 40’s, that is looking to be “proactive” that may benefit from these “smaller incision” facelifts. In your consultation with Dr. Amadi, he will discuss whether you would be a good candidate for a mini-facelift, or a true face/necklift.
Though these two procedures are most often performed together, an isolated neck lift can be performed in cases where the neck fat deposits and/or muscle banding is very severe, or out of proportion to the facial jowling. In addition, although, facial rejuventation has become much more common in male patients, some are still hesitant to undergo a full face lift. Males often are much more cognizant and bothered by their neck anatomy rather than their facial laxity. As such an isolated neck lift may be an option for them as well. Though Dr. Amadi will evaluate your facial anatomy as a whole and make recommendations to optimize face and neck harmony, he takes great care in listening to each individuals patients desires in finalizing the surgical plan.
Yes, the aging of the lower face occurs in conjunction with the upper and middle of the face. So patients that need a face and neck lift will also having aging of the brows, eyelids, and skin as well. Dr. Amadi often performs brow lifts, eyelid lifts, facial fat grafting, and sometimes even regional skin laser resurfacing.