What’s the Recovery Like After a Facelift ?

Facelift in Boca Raton, FL

Let's face it, aging isn't fun. You likely spent your pre-teen years dreaming of getting to drive and getting into high school. High school arrived, and you couldn't wait to graduate, become an adult, and enter the “real world.” You reached that goal and dreamed of a family. Before you know it, time's flown by and what you notice more than anything is how you look older than you feel. Thoughts may turn to your youthful face, facial plastic surgery, and the facelift.

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According to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS), facelifts were the most popular facial cosmetic surgery among women, with more than 30,000 women opting for this procedure in 2012. Men were not immune to the desire to look younger. The same report stated that more than 4,700 men underwent facelifts that year. If you're still on the fence, you probably have questions. Here are the five most common questions regarding facelifts answered.

What is a Traditional vs. a Minimal Downtime Facelift?

You've likely heard facelifts described as full, traditional, mini, minimal downtime, or midface facelifts. It does get confusing. Every facial plastic surgeon has his or her own preferred name for certain techniques. Think of it along these lines: What some people call a cellar, others call a basement. It's the same area, but it has more than one name. That's what happens with the different terms for a facelift. In the end, it is generally a surgical procedure that tightens the skin on the lower face, jawline, and neck. There are variations on this to address less extensive aging signs or more extensive signs, the cheeks or the neck, and so on.

Double board certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Nathan Nachlas specializes in facelifts in the Boca Raton and Ft. Lauderdale area.  He routinely performs both the traditional facelift and the minimal downtime facelift for patients looking to restore a more youthful look. Other facial rejuvenation procedures performed by Dr. Nachlas include the neck lift, facial liposuction, eyelid surgery and the browlift.  Dr. Nachlas often combines procedures for those seeking a more dramatic result.

With a traditional facelift, the incisions are made just behind the hairline at the temples and extending down in front of and behind the ear. They are well concealed within the hairline and the natural skin creases. This makes it easy to hide any resultant scars. It also gives the doctor the best access to really correct the underlying muscle and facial tissue. Once complete, sagging skin on the lower face, jawline, and some of the neck is tighter. Dr. Nachlas performs the traditional facelift with general anesthesia.

With a minimal downtime facelift, the same concerns about sagging skin are addressed. The difference is that fewer incisions are made and  local anesthesia is used. The incisions are made around the ears. You should not have incisions within the hairline. The minimal downtime facelift is not the right choice for every patient, though. It's typically suggested for patients who are just starting to see signs of aging.

What Happens During a Facelift?

Prior to the actual surgery, in most cases of a minimal incision facelift, local anesthesia is all that is required. You will be asleep for the entire procedure if given general anesthesia as with the traditional facelift. The incisions are made, and skin is lifted from the underlying tissue. Muscles are corrected, tissue is repositioned, and the skin is draped over the new form. Once the skin is in place, excess skin is trimmed and the incisions are closed. A facelift takes anywhere from two to four hours to complete. A minimal downtime facelift usually takes less than two hours.

What is the Recovery Like?

After the facelift surgery, your head is wrapped in bandages that can feel pretty tight. This helps minimize swelling. Once the bandages are removed, you'll see swelling and bruising. This is common and nothing to worry about. Dr. Nachlas will prescribe pain medication for you, though over-the-counter products that do not contain aspirin or ibuprofen may work effectively.

How Long Before I Look Normal?

Every patient is different, but Dr. Nachlas finds that the majority of his patients see most of the swelling and bruising disappear within 14 days. At this point, you should be comfortable returning to work or social outings. Expect it to take longer before you see the full effects of your facelift.

Take a look at Dr. Nachlas’ facelift before and after photos. The difference that a facelift makes is impressive! Are you ready to have a tighter neck and jawline and less creases and lines? Dr. Nathan Nachlas is a board certified facial plastic surgeon in Boca Raton.  

For more information or to request a consult with Dr. Nachlas contact Sandy Friedman, Director of Patient Relations at 561-939-0909.

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