- Facelift Surgery
- Facelift Frequently Asked Questions
Facelift Surgery FAQS
Dr Paul Howard - Facelift Surgeon Birmingham, Alabama
What is a facelift?
A facelift, or rhytidectomy, is a cosmetic surgical procedure that repositions the skin and soft tissues of the face that have been affected by the aging process. A facelift is intended to give the patient a more rested and youthful contour to the face. A facelift can only be performed surgically. Non-surgical rejuvenation treatments cannot achieve the same results. Dr. Howard also offers a non-surgical facelift for patients who are not yet ready or in need of a mini facelift or full facelift.
Am I a candidate for facelift?
You may be candidate for a facelift if you have experienced a loss of skin elasticity and muscle tone of the face. A facelift is also desirable if you are showing the signs of aging with the development of jowls and deep creases creating frown lines. Facelift may also be helpful if you believe you have a tired facial appearance. A facelift is a highly individualized procedure. An ideal candidate for a facelift is also one who:
- Is physically healthy
- Is a Non-smoker and non-drinker
- Has a positive outlook and realistic expectations
How is facelift surgery performed?
Facelifts range in size from "mini" to "mid" to “full” depending on location and extent of skin laxity. The operation is done on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia with oral sedation. Incisions are made along the ear, extending down around the earlobe, and ending behind the ear. The subcutaneous layers and facial muscles are tightened, the facial skin is re-draped and lifted, and the excess skin is removed. The patient goes home with head and neck wrapped in dressings, which are usually removed the next day. Minimal initial discomfort is easily controlled with oral medication and ice compresses. Sutures are removed within 7 days. Bruising and swelling will decrease over 7-14 days. Most patients are able to be socially presentable with the use of sunglasses, a scarf, and/or full coverage make-up after one week.
How long will my facelift last?
Since Dr. Howard's facelifts do not involve artificial "threads," you facelift should last as long as you maintain proper skincare. Dr. Howard's facelifts are not a "skin only" face lift. However, no surgical procedure can prevent or stop the aging process. Maintaining an ideal weight, staying healthy, and daily attention to skincare can help your facelift last for years to come.
Can facelift cause hair loss?
Hair loss from facelift surgery usually occurs when the incisions are placed in the hairline either above the ear or in the area behind the ear. The most disappointing hairloss is in the side-burn area in front of and just above the ear. Dr. Howard does NOT make incisions in this area in order to avoid this issue, unless the patient has an unusal situation and specifically requests and agrees to this extended facelift incision. Dr. Howard does, however, have a procedure to help patients regain their side-burns should they fall victim of this surgical incision by other surgeons.
Can facelift cause nerve damage?
Permanent nerve damage is a very rare complication from facelift. Dr. Howard has never had a patient suffer from any kind of permanent nerve damage from facelift. During facelift recovery nerve sensation can take a up to a few months for sensation to regain. In cases of patients who use tobacco or nicotine products, this nerve sensation recovery can take longer in conjunction with delayed healing in general.
Can facelift help smokers lines?
Facelift can help, but very little in regards to the mouth area. Facelift helps with the rhytides outside of the mouth, but for the lips lines, Dr. Howard prefers to inject fat grafts to help restore the volume lost with aging. This doesn't mean he's going to give you big Lisa Rhinna lips. No, Dr. Howard doesn't want his name on those kind of lips. Instead, Dr. Howard injects fat to plump the lips, restore the white roll, and micro injections into the lips themselves. Sometimes with extensivem, deep lip lines, a secondary fat grafting procedure may need to be performed.
Can facelift remove acne scars?
In many cases, facelift can help with the appearance of acne scars. Tightening the skin helps by putting that skin under tension, but not too much tension. In conjunction with facelift, undermining the acne scar and injecting fat into each scar is recommended since the scar is not only scar tissue, but loss of volume.
Can fillers replace facelift?
Fillers only help with replacing lost volume from aging, but do not tighten the skin. Facial fillers do not actually "lift" the skin. Fillers give the appearance of "tightening" to a small degree, but never replace the results of a facelift. Most facelifts today are performed with fat grafting to replace that lost volume from aging. Fat grafting is the most prefered facial filler as it is your own natural fat, it lasts, and more can always be added. Artificial fillers are temporary and can cause complications the more they are done. FPatients with minor rhytides can do facial filler to fill-in those wrinkles to improve the appearance without needing a facelift.
How long does a facelift last?
Facelift results last as long as you don't continue to age. Unfortunately, facelifts do not slow down or stop the aging process. Facial volume loss continues as we age, and weight loss or weight gain after a facelift can affect facelift results. Most facelift patients return for a "tuck-up" or mini-facelift procedure at about 8-12 years after their first facelift.
Will facelift help the neck?
Dr. Howard has a philosophy when performing facelift: address the neck too. Dr. Howard believes it's pointless for a patient to go through with a faceift and not get results with the neck as well.
Do you perform the LifeStyle Lift™ ?
The Lifestyle Lift™ is a registered trademark not an actual "revolutionary" surgical procedure. It is a company that markets a name to the general public, instead of the surgeon's credentials or surgical ability. Dr. Howard has performed facelifts, mid-facelifts, mini-facelifts for over 20 years. Dr. Howard has been performing short-scar, minimal incision face lift procedures under local anesthesia with "twilight" for over 15 years. He is not a physician employed by the Lifestyle Lift™ company. Instead, Dr. Howard offers his exclusive "One Facelift a Day Promise" where is patient's are truly special!
The Life Style Lift company filed for bankruptcy many years ago. As a result, hundreds of patients were abandoned. Dr. Howard has never been affliated with this company. Dr. Howard would like to assist these patients any way he can. If you are a LSL patient, please call our office to learn more about Dr. Howard's offer.
To read more of Dr. Howard's wonderful articles about facial rejuvenation, follow his Faceliftology Blog