What is a facelift?
Facelift surgery, also known as rhytidectomy, is a plastic surgery procedure performed to improve the neck laxity, jowls, and the midface. As a person ages, the midface begins to descend, producing the nasolabial folds. The lower face then begins to show jowling, near the chin and the neck muscles sag, producing banding and redundancy. These three areas can be improved with the facelift procedure. The facelift does not improve the skin texture or quality.
Who is the best candidate for a facelift?
Dr. Bustillo believes that the best candidate is a healthy man or woman whose face is beginning to show signs of facial aging. The typical patient may have sagging skin in the neck and jowls. He or she may also have midface descent, producing a nasolabial fold. There are many other factors that determine whether an individual is a good candidate for a facelift, such as skin type, ethnicity, and skin laxity. Dr. Bustillo does not put a strong emphasis on the age of the patient, but instead focuses on the patient’s facial aging.
Are there any limitations to what a facelift can achieve?
The facelift procedure cannot stop the aging process. It, however, make the person look more refreshed and rested. It is commonly said that a facelift will make the person look ten years younger.
What happens during a consultation for a facelift?
Miami plastic surgeon Dr. Bustillo will personally meet with you during the consultation. He will examine and evaluate you. He will then show you before and after pictures and then explain the surgical procedure from beginning to end. This explanation will include what surgical technique he will use, where the surgery will be performed, what type of anesthesia, and a step-by-step explanation of what the recovery will be like. You will then meet with the patient care coordinator, who will explain the scheduling details and the cost.
Where is facelift surgery performed?
Dr. Bustillo performs the facelift procedure in his office-based operating room under local anesthesia with sedation. If the patient prefers general anesthesia or if the procedure is combined with eyelid surgery, Dr. Bustillo will perform the procedure in an AAAASF certified facility with an anesthesiologist (MD).
What type of anesthesia is used for a facelift?
Dr. Bustillo performs the facelift with either local anesthesia and sedation or general anesthesia. If general anesthesia is used, it will be administered by an anesthesiologist (MD). Dr. Bustillo will discuss which option is best for you.
How is the actual facelift procedure performed?
Dr. Bustillo performs a specific type of facelift, the deep plane facelift. This facelift technique has the advantage of producing a very natural result, while providing a very smooth neck contour. It also improves the jowls and the midface.
The procedure involves making a series of incisions. The neck muscles are tightened through an incision just under the chin. Then in the lower face, the facial muscles are identified and repositioned in their new location. The skin is then re-draped and the excess is trimmed. All of the incisions are closed with very tiny stitches so that they heal without scars. At the conclusion, a dressing is then placed.
How long is the surgical time for a facelift?
Dr. Bustillo takes about three hours to perform a facelft.
Where are the incisions made for a facelift?
Dr. Bustillo places all the incisions so that they are all hidden and out of site. The incision in the temporal area is hidden inside the hair. In front of the ear, it loops behind the tragus (the small cartilage in front of the ear). Next it travels behind the ear in the crease and then into the hair. Dr. Bustillo does not believe that the incision should travel in the hairline, as this may be visible if the person wears their hair up.
Are there scars that result from a facelift?
The scars from a facelift should not be visible after they have healed. There are two reasons why facelift scars are visible. One, because the skin was closed with too much tension. The second is because the incision was placed in a poor location. Dr. Bustillo uses the deep plane technique to avoid any tension on the skin. He also places the incisions in locations where they will not be visible and uses meticulous techniques to close the incisions.
Is there much pain with a facelift?
Dr. Bustillo will prescribe you pain medication in case you need it. Most patients do not feel pain after the facelift procedure.
Will I need someone to help me out at home after the facelift procedure?
It’s a good idea for patients to prearrange for post-surgery support from family members or friends.
What is the recovery like after a facelift?
The recovery for the facelift procedure is rather mild. The surgery is ambulatory, meaning that the patient is allowed to return home the same day of the surgery. Dr. Bustillo will see you in his office the morning after surgery. He will remove the dressing and check all of the incisions. He will then place a removable elastic bandage to help support the tissues during the healing phase. The patient will then return to the office on the fifth post-operative day. At that point, the small sutures around the ears and under the chin will be removed. On the tenth post-operative day, the sutures behind the ears will be removed. From here on the heeling will move forward quite rapidly. Bruising will gradually subside. By the two week mark the patient will be presentable. Most patients return to work at this time.
When will I be able to return to work after my facelift?
Patients are generally able to return to work about two weeks after the facelift procedure.
How soon after my facelift will I be able to exercise?
Dr. Bustillo recommends that his patients avoid strenuous exercise for three weeks following surgery.
How soon after the facelift procedure are the stitches removed?
Dr. Bustillo will remove the stitches around the ear and in the neck in the fifth post-operative day and the ones behind the ear on the tenth post-operative day.
What are the risks or complications associated with facelift surgery?
Some of the potential risks associated with facelift surgery may include infection, bleeding, scarring, nerve injury, and poor healing. These are very rare incurrence.
Will insurance cover the cost of a facelift?
Facelift surgery is not covered by insurance.
Are the results of a facelift permanent?
The results of a facelift may be considered permanent in that you will continue to look younger years later than you would have without undergoing the facelift. However, a facelift cannot stop the aging process and the face will continue to age. Many say that the facelift tends to last about five to ten years, after which time patients may opt to undergo a touch-up procedure.
Dr. Andres Bustillo specializes in Miami facelift procedures.