A procedure to reverse the results of aging in the lower face and neck, specifically addressing sagging cheek and jowl tissue, skin laxity and poorly defined jaw and neck contour.
Dr. Roy performs two types of facelift procedures, a limited-incision lower facelift and a full lower facelift.
Both procedures involve lifting the deeper, muscular/fascial layers under the skin of the face and neck (SMAS and platysma) for a long-lasting treatment effect that is natural and refreshed-looking. The limited-incision lower facelift is a procedure that solely involves incisions in the hairline and around the ears and requires only oral sedation and local anesthetic to be performed, while the full lower facelift adds a small incision under the chin for additional neck contouring and requires IV sedation (still no general anesthesia!). All incisions are strategically placed to be practically invisible once healing has occurred (even for patients who wear their hair up), and do not involve shifting of the natural hairline.
Dr. Roy does not utilize surgical drains and patients go home the same day, although overnight stay facilities are available for patients who choose this route. The procedure takes anywhere between 2 and 3 hours and only requires temporary use of facial and neck dressings. Sutures are removed in 1 week, and most patients are social by day 7-10 with the majority of swelling and bruising resolved by then. Patients can return to low impact activities after 2 weeks. High-impact activities (like running) should be avoided for 3 weeks. The final result will be most evident after 6 weeks to 3 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What kind of anesthesia is used for facelift surgery?
Limited incision procedures are generally performed under local anesthetic and if desired, oral sedation. More involved procedures addressing the neck directly are better tolerated under IV sedation. General anesthesia is not required.
2. How does Dr. Roy perform facelift surgery?
Dr. Roy utilizes an incision of variable length around the ear hiding it in natural creases and around the hairline. The deeper facial layer of the face (better known as the SMAS layer) is elevated, trimmed and tightened. This is the layer that is predominantly responsible for facial sagging. Once the SMAS has been addressed, excess skin is removed in just enough quantity to allow the edges to lie together without any tension on the skin. This allows for inconspicuous post-operative scars.
3. Where are the incisions for a facelift and will there be visible scars?
The incisions are designed to be hidden around the ear and the hairline and with certain lifts under the chin. Anytime an incision is made there will technically be a scar, but if performed with the appropriate technique, they can be virtually undetectable. Dr. Roy’s approach allows patients to wear their hair in any style (including up in a pony tail) without the incisions being visible.
4. Will facelift surgery be painful?
The use of local and oral anesthetics/analgesics in preparation for the surgery allows the actual surgery itself to be performed without pain for the patient. Most patients are surprised at how tolerable post-operative discomfort is and many transition to extra-strength Tylenol only after 1-2 days. Stronger post-operative pain medication, although prescribed routinely, is seldom used by patients after the first couple of days.
5. What is recovery like after facelift surgery?
After a lower facelift, sutures generally remain in place for 6-7 days. With limited incision procedures, bruising has usually resolved by this time. For more involved procedures involving direct neck interventions, bruising may persist for up to 10 days. Most patients are able to resume their social activities (“social recovery”) in 7-10 days although improvement in incision appearance and swelling will continue to improve beyond this time frame. Low impact activities can typically be resumed after 2 weeks, while more high impact activities (running, jumping etc) is permitted after 3 weeks.
6. How much time off work will I need after facelift surgery?
This is generally dependent on the patient. Most are able to work at least a partial day (assuming a non-physical job) after 2-3 days. If discretion is sought, than probably a period of 7-10 days is more appropriate.
7. When can I exercise after facelift surgery?
Light walking can be resumed after about 1 week after facelift. Low impact activities (such as elliptical, weight lifting, exercise bike etc) can begin after 2 weeks while high impact activities need to be restricted for 3 weeks.