Many factors contribute to the appearance of an aging face. As time passes, the inherent elasticity of your skin diminishes. Below the skin’s surface, your facial muscles and fat gradually lose their intrinsic support and begin to relax and descend. Compounding the problem, facial volume is lost in an intricate pattern that affects the skin, subcutaneous tissues and even the bones. These natural processes, along with the influence of heredity and sun damage, lead to soft tissue laxity in the lower face and neck. The result is the formation of jowls, deep folds in the cheeks and redundant skin beneath the chin.
Facelifts have long been regarded as the gold standard of anti-aging procedures. At Daines Plastic Surgery, double board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Steven Daines and his staff of anti-aging specialists are proud to offer several different types of facelift procedures to his patients. If the effects of genetics, sun damage and time have been unkind to your skin and appearance, Daines Plastic Surgery will work with you to develop a customized treatment plan that aligns with your aesthetic goals.
What is a Facelift?
A facelift, or rhytidectomy, is a surgical cosmetic procedure performed to lift soft facial tissues that have dropped from their youthful position. With a facelift, Dr. Daines can help his patients to improve or even eliminate mild to prominent signs of aging, such as jowls, sagging cheeks, deep nasolabial folds, a double chin and wrinkled neck skin to restore a vibrant, rejuvenated appearance. Facelifts are commonly performed alongside a neck lift, which removes loose skin and sagging tissues from the neck for a more refined and youthful neck contour.
Contrary to popular belief, a facelift repositions and secures the muscles beneath the skin, not the skin itself. While excess skin is removed during the procedure, the most important adjustments are made below the skin to the underlying muscles. During facelift surgery, soft tissues of the face are lifted and tightened for long-lasting and satisfying results that take years off of your complexion. When performed with a neck lift, the results are a comprehensive and transformative facial rejuvenation that lasts for years to come.
Who is a Good Candidate for a Facelift?
Many different types of patients can benefit from a facelift due to the procedure’s customizable nature. While all facelifts follow a similar blueprint in what they can address and how they are performed, each procedure is adjusted according to the unique needs of the patient. Facelifts are designed to address concerns with sagging facial skin, excess skin along the jawline, under-chin fat, deep lines and folds and volume loss in varying degrees. To be an ideal candidate for a facelift, patients should be interested in correcting one or more of these moderate signs of aging in the lower third of the face.
While there are no age limitations or requirements for undergoing a facelift, the average patient will be middle-aged or older. Younger patients who are beginning to display signs of aging and who are interested in the benefits of a facelift procedure may be better candidates for a mini facelift or other types of minimally-invasive facial treatments, such as Botox, fillers or skin resurfacing. Ideal facelift candidates will be non-smokers who are in good health and have realistic expectations about the results they can expect from their procedure. Dr. Daines will determine if a facelift is right for your specific needs following an in-person consultation.
Types of Facelifts
Dr. Daines performs several variations of the traditional facelift to provide targeted solutions that accommodate each patient’s unique needs and anatomy. In addition to neck lifts, facelift procedures are frequently paired with other restorative facial procedures such as brow lifts, blepharoplasty, facial fat transfer, skin resurfacing treatments or Botox and fillers for superior anti-aging outcomes. Facelift procedures are performed in an outpatient surgery center under general anesthesia or twilight anesthesia, depending on your needs and preferences. Dr. Daines offers the following types of facelifts to his patients:
During a traditional or full facelift, Dr. Daines will create discreet incisions that start at the temples within the hairline and extend along the front of the ears until wrapping around the back of the ears. Once the necessary incisions have been made, Dr. Daines will begin adjusting the muscle and fat beneath the skin. Some patients may require a small amount of liposuction to reduce excess fat beneath the chin for a taut and smooth final contour.
The underlying muscles of the lower face are then lifted and tightened. After adjusting these tissues beneath the skin, Dr. Daines will trim away any excess, loose facial skin and re-drape the skin over the tightened muscles. Finally, the incisions are sutured closed using advanced stitching techniques that heal quickly and minimize scarring. A full facelift procedure can last for two to four hours, depending on the extent of correction needed.
A mini facelift is an increasingly popular, less invasive version of a facelift that works to correct mild to moderate signs of aging on the lower portion of the face. Also known as the limited incision facelift, a mini facelift can address wrinkles and skin laxity in the lower third of the face with smaller incisions than the full facelift, but a more limited scope of treatment. A mini facelift will not target significant skin laxity, heavy jowls or deep-set wrinkles, making it more appropriate for those with limited aging symptoms.
During a mini facelift procedure, Dr. Daines will make small incisions along the bottom of the ears, keeping all incisions well hidden within natural creases and folds of the skin. Through these limited incisions, Dr. Daines tightens the underlying facial muscles and repositions or removes small pockets of fat. The excess skin is then trimmed away, and sutures are used to close the incisions.
A mini facelift results in a quicker recovery process and less scarring while still creating more youthful contours and smoother skin. Patients who make good candidates for mini facelifts are those who are younger than the traditional facelift patient but are still interested in the benefits of facelift surgery. Dr. Daines can help you determine if you are an ideal candidate for this less invasive option or if you would benefit more from a full facelift during your one-on-one consultation.
Submentoplasty is a neck rejuvenation procedure designed for patients who require extra attention beneath the chin than a traditional facelift or mini facelift can provide. Submentoplasty may be combined with a facelift procedure or performed on its own, depending on your needs. During a submentoplasty, Dr. Daines will make a small incision just below the chin in the submental region. He will then remove fatty tissues, adjust any prominent muscle bands in the neck and close the incision using advanced suturing techniques.
Patients best suited for submentoplasty are those who lack jawline definition due to excess fat beneath the chin, loose neck muscles and excess, hanging neck skin. Submentoplasty is not commonly performed on its own, though it does make an excellent add-on to a facelift as a minimally-invasive neck lift alternative.
Recovering From Your Facelift Surgery
Advancements in facelift techniques have made for a much quicker and more comfortable recovery period than techniques utilized in the past. Following your facelift procedure, you will need to take some time away from your usual activities while your body heals from the surgery. The exact length of your recovery will depend on the type of facelift performed; the mini facelift yields a quicker recovery than a traditional facelift.
Any surgical dressings are removed after a couple of days, while sutures are removed after about one week. If desired, makeup can be worn to camouflage any residual bruising or incisions lines after your stitches have been removed. Common side effects include mild to moderate swelling, bruising, tightness, numbness and some discomfort, but over-the-counter pain medication can be used to minimize any pain experienced if needed. The majority of swelling and bruising will subside within one to two weeks, though residual swelling, numbness and tightness can persist for several months.
The recovery process will typically take two to four weeks for full facelift surgery, with most patients going out in public again after seven to 10 days. Patients should plan on taking at least one week off from work and at least two weeks off from strenuous activities. Dr. Daines will provide you with an accurate recovery timeline for your unique case ahead of your procedure so that you know what to expect.
Your Facelift Results
Visible results after your facelift procedure will start to become apparent once side effects have diminished, typically in one to two weeks. Residual swelling will continue to impact the appearance of your results for about three months, after which most patients can begin to enjoy their final results. Incision lines will heal quickly and become less visible over time. Most facelift scars can take up to 18 months to mature fully but will fade into barely visible, thin white lines that are hidden within the hairline.
To best maintain your youthful new look, patients should adopt a high-quality skincare routine that incorporates advanced anti-aging treatments. Botox injections, dermal fillers, fat transfers and skin resurfacing treatments are all common skincare options if you are interested in maximizing the longevity of your results. In general, the benefits of a facelift can last for 10 years or more with proper sun protection and care.
Choosing a Surgeon for Your Facelift
Your face represents your unique identity and deserves only the most experienced and qualified plastic surgeon. Dr. Daines is board-certified in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery and is highly qualified to perform your desired facelift procedure. With highly advanced surgical techniques at his disposal, Dr. Daines can help you to reveal a customized, natural and lasting facelift result that matches your expectations the first time.
The first step to enjoying the transformative and dramatic results of a facelift is choosing the right plastic surgeon to work with. Dr. Daines is a double board-certified surgeon with years of experience performing facelifts in Newport Beach. With board certification in both facial plastic surgery and otolaryngology, Dr. Daines’ is uniquely qualified to address your aging-related concerns while maintaining the distinct natural beauty of your face.
Schedule Your Facelift Consultation at Daines Plastic Surgery
A facelift continues to be the top surgical solution for addressing advanced signs of aging in the mid and lower face. Dr. Daines is honored to serve patients throughout the Orange County area with his life-altering facelift procedures and natural-looking results. Contact Daines Plastic Surgery today at 949-209-1622 to schedule your consultation at our office. We look forward to partnering with you on your anti-aging journey.
*Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon Dr. Steven M Daines has written information about Facelift that has been carefully reviewed. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us using our form below.
"Thank you, Dr. Daines for making me look fabulous!" -Marilyn M.