Facelift procedures (or rhytidectomies) have become increasingly popular in recent years among both men and women who want to look as young as they feel. During the past decade, advances in facelift techniques have resulted in procedures that are safer and more reliable with recoveries that are faster and more comfortable. As a leading board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Baumholtz works closely with each patient considering a facelift in San Antonio to ensure they achieve the best possible results and the highest levels of satisfaction.
What issues can a facelift address?
Facelift surgery is a critical “tool” in the rejuvenation toolbox, and when performed by a board certified surgeon, a facelift should provide you with a more rested, healthier-looking, youthful version of you. Your face is your most recognizable and defining feature, and Dr. Baumholtz is skilled in techniques to help you achieve optimal results based on your age, anatomy, skin condition and other factors. Facelift surgery is designed to address issues like lines, creases, wrinkles, and sagging skin in the mid and lower face areas and to tighten up loose, saggy skin and facial muscles in the cheeks, jowls, mouth, chin and neck. During the procedure, your skin will be tightened and trimmed and the underlying tissues will be repositioned to improve and reverse the effects of aging. Many people who have facelift surgery combine it with other procedures like brow lift surgery or eyelid surgery to smooth out lines and sagging in the upper third of the face, as well as fat grafting to restore and “plump up” hollowed-out areas that form in the cheeks and other areas of the face as a result of gravity and natural volume loss. During your consultation, you’ll want to carefully describe any issue that concerns you so your procedure can be customized specifically for your needs and goals.
How should I prepare for my facelift?
Prior to your facelift, you’ll meet with Dr. Baumholtz for an examination and evaluation. During your office visit, you’ll need to provide a complete medical history as well as a list of any medications or supplements you’re taking. You’ll also need to let the doctor know if you have allergies and if you’ve had prior surgeries. Dr. Baumholtz will perform a very careful evaluation of your face, taking note of your skin tone and the areas that concern you the most. Before coming in for your visit, it can help to spend some time looking carefully in the mirror so you can describe the issues you’d like to have corrected. Next, he’ll review the facelift procedure with you and he may discuss other surgical options that can help you achieve the results you’re looking for. If you smoke or use any nicotine products, you’ll need to stop for at least 6 weeks before your surgery in order to be considered for the procedure. You’ll also need to stop taking aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for 2 weeks to prevent bleeding issues. If you take other medications, Dr. Baumholtz may recommend other changes in your dosing as well. Finally, depending on your age, general health and other factors, you may be asked to obtain a medical clearance from your family doctor or specialist prior to your facelift.
What happens during a facelift procedure?
Facelift surgery is performed in a surgical center or hospital using general anesthesia. Once you arrive for your surgery, you will meet with Dr. Baumholtz to review the procedure once more, and he may make marks on your face using a special magic marker. Your vital signs will be taken, and you’ll than be given medication to help you relax. Typically, surgery begins with incisions that extend from your temples down and around the front of your ears, then behind your earlobes to your hairline. When your neck is also being lifted, another incision may be made near the underside of the chin. When a facelift is being performed with other procedures like a brow lift or blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), additional incisions will be made for those procedures as well. Once the incisions are made, Dr. Baumholtz will gently loosen your skin and the deeper layers of tissue so they can be repositioned. Then these underlying tissues will be lifted and sutured in their new positions. Fat and excess skin will be removed, and in some cases, fat or fillers may be used to restore volume in certain areas of the face.
When a neck lift is being performed, the neck muscles will be tightened and brought together to provide a strong support for the neck skin. Liposuction may also be used to remove excess fat from the neck, jowls and chin area. After the tissues are repositioned, Dr. Baumholtz will redrape the skin over the face, closing the incisions with very small sutures. Drainage tubes may be inserted to remove fluid from the surgical site and prevent the buildup of fluid that can cause significant swelling. Finally, a special padded bandage will be placed over your face to support the tissues of your face with gentle pressure. Typically, patients remain in the hospital for the first night following their surgery so they can be monitored and cared for during the early stages of recovery. Having a facelift in San Antonio typically takes several hours, depending on the type of facelift you’re having. Dr. Baumholtz uses safe, reliable techniques to help patients achieve a more youthful appearance that still looks natural and beautiful.
What should I expect during my recovery?
During the initial few days of recovery, you’ll have swelling, bruising and redness, and you’ll need to wear a compression bandage to help minimize swelling and discomfort. For the first two weeks, you’ll need to sleep with your head raised at a 40-degree angle to prevent swelling, and you should spend as much time as possible sitting up or walking around to minimize swelling and pressure. Your neck may feel tight for the first few days, and you’ll be given pain medication to manage discomfort. Although you can apply cool compresses to your eyes, you should not place anything other than the bandage on your face. At your first visit following your surger, your bulky dressing and drains will be removed and you may be given an elastic supportive bandage to be worn as directed by Dr. Baumholtz.
You’ll also be given very specific instructions on how to care for your face, your incisions and your hair during your initial recovery period. You won’t be allowed to drive for a week, and you should avoid bending and lifting during the first week as well. From the second to the sixth week after your surgery, you’ll need to avoid swimming and strenuous activities. Most of the swelling will have resolved, but your scars will still appear red and firm, with gradual fading occurring over the next several months. You can expect some numbness around your incisions for a few weeks, and you’ll need to continue sleeping in a reclining position. You’ll also need to avoid using any face makeup until Dr. Baumholtz says it’s OK. It’s very important to wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 as well as a hat and sunglasses while your face heals, which can take about six months. Protecting your skin from the sun will help it heal better and avoid dark scars and discoloration.
Learn more about having a facelift in San Antonio.
Facelift surgery can incorporate different techniques and approaches to achieve a result that’s uniquely you. If you’d like to learn more about facelift surgery and whether it’s a good option for the look you’d like to achieve, call Baumholtz Plastic Surgery at 210-880-3708 and schedule a consultation today.
To learn more about the Baumholtz Plastic Surgery treatments and procedures performed by Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and Reconstructive Surgeon, Dr. Michael Baumholtz please contact us.
Dr. Baumholtz receives patients from San Antonio, Shavano Park, Texas and surrounding areas.