Over time, gravity, sun exposure, and daily stresses can take their toll on your face. You may see deep creases develop between the nose and mouth (called the nasolabial folds); the jaw line grows slack and jowly; folds and fat deposits appear around the neck.
Although no one can stop this natural aging process, a face lift can “turn back the hands of time,” diminishing the visible signs of aging by elevating your facial fat, tightening underlying muscles, and re-draping the skin of your face and neck.
You are a good candidate for a facelift if:
- Your face and neck have begun to sag, but your skin still has some elasticity and you have a strong and well-defined bone structure.
- You are in your in your forties to sixties or even seventies or eighties.
A facelift can make you look younger and rejuvenated, and it may enhance your self-confidence in the process.
The subtropical climate in Houston, Texas can accelerate the changes mentioned above, and face lift surgeon Dr R. Lee Steely is an expert in reversing those changes.
How is Face Lift Surgery Performed?
Face lift surgery encompasses a wide variety of procedures, everything from less invasive “mini tuck” procedures to more intensive full facial rejuvenation procedures. Dr. Steely and his team at Steely Plastic Surgery use the latest techniques and formulate a custom plan to fit your particular needs and desires.
Some less invasive procedures require only oral sedation and local anesthesia, while more invasive face lifting procedures require anesthesia.
Your Face Lift Consultation
At your face lift surgery consultation, Dr. Steely will examine and evaluate your face, the elasticity of your skin, and your bone structure. Dr. Steely will also check for medical conditions that could cause problems during or after the procedure, such as uncontrolled high blood pressure, blood clotting issues, or any tendency you may have in forming excessive scars. Be sure to tell Dr. Steely if you smoke or are taking medications, especially aspirin or other drugs that affect clotting. Dr Stely may require some bloodwork or a preoperative clearance from your family physician to help insure a trouble free recovery.
He will discuss your goals and propose a surgical solution that will come as close to meeting them as is possible. In addition to the face lift, Dr. Steely may also recommend a combination with other procedures such as a brow lift, neck lift, eyelid surgery, or laser resurfacing procedures to achieve the best overall proportional balance.
Dr. Steely will explain in detail all the techniques he will use, the anesthesia, the surgery facility, and the risks and costs. Make sure to ask him any questions you may have, and voice your expectations and concerns about the final results.
Preparing for Your Face Lift Surgery
Dr. Steely will give you complete instructions on how you should prepare for your face lift surgery. These will include guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications. By carefully following these instructions, you will help your surgery go more smoothly.
If your hair is very short, you might want to let it grow out before surgery, so that it’s long enough to hide the incisions while they heal.
You should arrange transportation after surgery and have someone help you out for a day or two at home, if needed.Many patients choose to spend the night in our facility with nursing care.
Your Face Lift Surgery
Face lift surgery usually takes several hours-or somewhat longer if you’re having multiple procedures. For extensive procedures, Dr. Steely may schedule two separate sessions.
Where Dr. Steely places the incisions and the sequence of steps followed depends on the cosmetic procedures performed and your facial structure.
Dr. Steely begins with incisions above the hairline at the temples, extends them in a natural line in front of the ear (or just inside the cartilage at the front of the ear), and continues behind the earlobe to the lower scalp. If undergoing neck rejuvenation, he may make a small incision under the chin. Many times, Dr. Steely incorporates Neck Lift Surgery and usually Eyelid lift and brow lift surgery to your face lift procedure to further enhance your result.
In general, Dr. Steely separates the skin from the fat and muscle below. He may trim fat or suction it from around the neck and chin to improve the contour. Dr. Steely then tightens, elevates, and suspends the underlying muscle and tissue, elevates the skin into a more youthful vector, and removes the excess. He will use stitches to secure the layers of tissue and close the incisions.
Dr. Steely may place a temporary drainage tube under the skin behind your ear to drain any fluid that generally stays about 24 hours, and he may also wrap your head loosely in bandages to minimize swelling and bruising.
After Your Face Lift Surgery
- Postoperative discomfort after facelift surgery is surprisingly minimal- most patients tend to describe it as pressure and tightness, not pain.
- Expect some numbness of the skin that will disappear in a few weeks or months.
- You should keep your head elevated for a couple of days after surgery; this will speed your recovery.
- If you have a drainage tube inserted, it will be removed one or two days after surgery.
- If Dr. Steely has used any bandages, he will usually remove them after one to three days.
- Dr. Steely will remove some stitches after about five days.
- Your scalp may take longer to heal so Dr. Steely may leave the hairline stitches in for a few days longer.
- You should be up and about after a day, but plan to relax and get plenty of rest for the first week post surgery.
- Avoid strenuous activity for at least three weeks (walking and mild stretching are fine)
- Since your skin will be tender and numb, be very gentle with your face and hair.
- Most patients are back at work about ten days to two weeks after surgery.
- If needed, you can use special camouflage makeup to mask most bruising that remains.
Dr. Steely will keep you informed and as comfortable as possible at every step of your face lift surgery, from consultation to the final new you.
Face Lift Surgery FAQ
Does Face Lift Surgery Hurt?
Despite what it may seem with having surgery on your face, there is really very little discomfort with facelifting surgery. Most patients describe a tightness or swelling feeling for several days, but not pain.
Am I Too Old For A Face Lift?
As long as your are in good health, age is not a contraindication for face lift surgery. Dr. Steely may require a preoperative check up by your family doctor prior to surgery to insure your safety.
Will Face Lift Surgery Make Me Look Fake or Operated On?
A properly performed face lift does not make you look “fake”. It does make you look rested, rejuvenated, younger, and more energetic. Houston face lift surgeon Dr. Lee Steely is an expert in performing the procedure to give you a natural look without the stigmata of surgery.
Does a Face Lift Last Forever?
Face lift surgery does not stop time- it only “rolls back the odometer.” Once surgery is completed, you will always look better than you would have without having surgery, but the aging process continues forward despite surgery.
When Can I Go Back To Work After Face Lift Surgery?
Recovery time is usually not determined by discomfort, but by the amount of swelling and bruising you may encounter, which is variable depending on the procedure performed and your tissue characteristics. How comfortable you personally feel about having co-workers see swelling or bruising will determine when you can return to work. For those wishing to be discrete, ten days to two weeks would be ideal before returning to work when having full facial rejuvenation procedures, and a full 6 weeks should pass before a major social event ( such as your daughter’s wedding). Smaller procedures can take much less time to recover.
Why Should I Pick Dr. Steely As My Face Lift Surgeon in Houston?
Dr. Steely is one of the most knowledgeable and respected surgeons in Texas. His eye for proportion, his attention to detail, and his meticulous surgical technique all contribute to his extremely high patient satisfaction rate and popularity. We invite you for a complimentary consult with Dr. Steely to see what a plastic surgery experience should be.
How Much Does Face Lift Surgery Cost?
Fees for face lifting surgery vary widely depending on procedures performed, but costs for small procedures can be as little as $3,000 dollars up to over $20,000 for fuller rejuvenative procedures.
A great resource for additional face lifting information is the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons: ASAPS Facelifting webpage
Call 713-622-6500 or email Dr. Steely for a complimentary initial appointment or for more information relating to the facelift procedure.