Facelift (Rhytidectomy)

A facelift is a very generic term used to describe a highly variable procedure in plastic surgery. There are multiple techniques used to reverse the effects of aging on the face. These techniques depend on the areas of facial aging, skin condition, and the extent of descent (sag) in the facial soft tissues and fat. Premature facial aging is commonly caused by excess sun exposure, smoking, and genetics. Facelift surgery can tighten sagging skin, lift the cheek area and refine the jaw line. Combining a facelift with other components of facial rejuvenation such as eyelid surgery and a brow lift can harmonize the effects of each individual procedure delivering a natural result that can help you look 10 to 15 years younger.

What are my options?

Dr. Trussler offers numerous facelift procedures for both men and women of all ages. A consultation in his Austin, Texas office will enable patient’s to discuss their goals and learn what their options for facial rejuvenation are. Facelifts are most effective for patients who want to correct:

  • Facial sagging along the jawline
  • Sagging excess neck skin and neck fat deposits
  • Midface (cheek) sagging with deep creases and bags under the eyes
  • Deep creases between the nose and mouth (nasolabial folds)
  • Skin creases and wrinkling

Facelifts techniques can be varied depending on the extent of aging in the cheek and lower eyelid area. In Dr. Trussler’s composite approach to the face, a full facelift may be combined with a lower eyelid blepharoplasty and brow lift to allow for smooth elevation in all of these areas to help deliver a natural result.

Considerations

Facelifts are ideal for improving the contour of the jawline and cheeks, and correcting sagging skin in the neck. The degree of facial aging including skin quality, the patient’s areas of concern, and the extent of cheek descent all factor in to the choice of facelift procedure. Facelifts are often performed in conjunction with lower-eyelid blepharoplasty and brow lifts to rejuvenate the area around the eyes and lift the cheeks and brow. Non-invasive facial procedures such as chemical or laser peels, fat grafting and volumetric fillers can all be performed at the time of a facelift to help harmonize the result and limit number of recoveries. Facelift procedures are ideally performed on healthy, non-smoking patients with defined and realistic goals that can be met with the recommended technique.

Dr. Trussler does perform secondary facelift procedures which are appropriate for patients seeking refinements of their face, years after they have had their first face lift. A face lift does not stop the aging process, and some face lift techniques only last about 2 years. Dr. Trussler typically performs a High SMAS facelift which will provide a long lasting and natural result.

Expectations

facelift restores a youthful shape to the neck and jawline region by elevating the facial areas that have sagged with age and smoothing deep skin lines and wrinkles. Each facial procedure performed by Dr. Trussler can achieve a natural rejuvenated look with a lasting result.

Surgery

The facelift procedure takes about 3 hours, and is usually performed under general anesthesia or deep sedation in the operating room. Additional procedures, such as eyelid surgery and a brow lift will add to that total time, but a complete facial rejuvenation can be completed in one operation with only one recovery.

The facelift that Dr. Trussler performs primarily is a High SMAS facelift which elevates the sagging facial tissues rather than just stretching the skin. The facelift begins with an incision in the chin crease which allows for the neck contour to be defined and any fatty deposits removed. Typically a midline platysmaplasty is the first step in this type of facelift.  Separate incisions are made around and behind the ears to release and elevate the face and cheek as one unit on the deeper stronger layer of the face called the SMAS layer. Excess skin is then removed and the skin tightened in a natural direction with the skin incisions closed with absorbable and permanent sutures. Dr. Trussler does place two small drain tubes to help collect fluid under the face and neck which are removed the day after the procedure.

Ancillary procedures like brow lifts, eyelid surgery and skin resurfacing are performed after the facelift is completed.

After Care & Recovery

Dr. Trussler typically recommends at least a one night stay in the after care unit to help make your recovery safe and easy.  Gauze dressings and drain tubes will be removed the day after the operation. The hair is washed in the operating room after the procedure and gentle washing of the hair is appropriate daily after a facelift. Any stitches will be removed in the first week.

After a facelift, patients will usually need about a week to two weeks off from work and other regular activities. There will likely be mild bruising and swelling for the first few days, which can be relieved with cold compresses to the face as well as elevation of the head.  Any operation around the eye can lead to swelling and irritation. This is alleviated with gel ice masks and hydrating eye drops for the first week after the operation. Dr. Trussler will provide you with his full post-operative instructions for a facelift during the initial consultation.

Results from a facelift are immediate though fully appreciated after about 3 weeks once swelling and bruising has subsided. Skin care and hair coloring can resume after one month. Men can resume shaving after 3 weeks though they should be cautious as the skin in the neck may have temporary numbness. Scars from a facelift are hidden in skin creases and do fade over the first month of the procedure.

Whether you have a question or would like to setup a facelift consultation, Dr. Trussler and his staff are here to help. Please fill out our contact form, call our office at 512-450-1077 to schedule in directly. Start your journey to not only looking, but feeling younger today!

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