The disappearance of youthful contours from the face can be attributed to a variety of reasons. They include thinning of the skin, gravity, sun damage, loss of facial fat, heredity, smoking and stress. Aging is an inevitable process of nature that we can’t stop. But even as you age, restoring your once vibrant natural appearance from yesteryears is possible. By visiting a certified cosmetic surgeon, you can reverse the effects of time and gravity through a facelift procedure.

What is a facelift?
A facelift is technically referred to as rhytidectomy. It is a surgical procedure that aims at reversing the visible signs of aging appearing on your face and neck. They can include sagging of the face as a result of skin relaxation, deepening of the fold lines that appear between the nose and the corner of your mouth, disappearing or falling of fat, jowls and excess fat in the neck that lead to “turkey neck” or what people call double chin.

Why have a facelift?
As you continue to age, your skin loses its elasticity. Eventually, you will develop deep wrinkles as your skin becomes loose. While this is a natural process which everyone must go through when growing up, it is also normal to feel bothered about these signs and to, therefore, consider getting a facelift.

It is okay to feel self-conscious about your sagging skin. Some people wear scarfs and turtlenecks not to fight the cold but to hide their aging neck. If you feel younger than you look in the mirror or are concerned that your aging appearance is affecting your personal relationship and career, you should be a candidate for a facelift procedure.

After going through a facelift procedure, patients become more confident about themselves. They no longer feel like there is a mismatch between their appearance and the healthy and energetic vibe they seem to exhibit.

Are there age restrictions for facelift surgery?
Age will not play a significant role in qualifying or disqualifying your candidacy for getting a facelift surgery. Other factors that have a more bearing on your ability to undergo the procedure are the elasticity of your skin and your overall health.

Majority of patients who get facelifts are between 40 and 70 years of age. It is, however, not uncommon for people over the age of 70 to undergo the procedure. A qualified plastic surgeon should make the final determination about someone’s candidacy after evaluating their skin’s texture and condition.

Choosing a cosmetic surgeon
Facelift surgery is a rather complicated procedure that should only be performed by a well-qualified plastic surgeon. They need to have extensive knowledge of facial anatomy and must possess a particular set of surgical skills. They should also have a highly-developed eye for aesthetic detail. Not all physicians who perform cosmetic surgery have the requisite training in the discipline. You should do your homework before selecting the right surgeon.

When speaking to potential cosmetic surgeons, make specific inquiries about their training and experience. How many successful procedures have they done before? Do they have before and after pictures to this effect? You should study the photos to get a feel of their aesthetic style. Men who want facelift surgery should first confirm whether the surgeon has any experience working on other men. The facial anatomy of man is very different from that of a woman.

Types of facelift procedures

Candidates for a mini-facelift are those dealing with mild degrees of sagging skin and jowls. The procedure is less invasive, and the surgeon can tighten deep facial tissues by making short incisions. They make the incisions along the hairline above the ears and/or in the creases that surround the ear. The surgeon lifts the structural tissues around the cheeks and tightens them to refine the jaw, correct jawline and rejuvenate the patient’s appearance.

Standard Facelift
Patients dealing with moderate to advanced aging undergo a standard facelift. The surgery calls for more extensive work compared to the mini-facelift. The results are more dramatic and much more time is required for the recovery process. The surgeon makes the incisions just behind the hairline, beginning close to the temples, and passing around the front of the ear, hiding it in the natural folds.

The facelift surgeon will reposition the deeper tissues under the skin and smooth the crease by removing excess skin. It will eliminate the sagging skin under the chin to restore a youthful contour to the face and neck.

The recovery process
Although a facelift is a complicated procedure that calls for exceptional surgical skills, most patients can recover quickly. After two weeks or thereabouts, you will be able to return to your normal daily activities. You may have to wait for two more weeks to do strenuous exercise though. The timelines are even shorter for mini-facelift patients.

Patients are usually concerned about how they will look soon after undergoing the procedure. It is a valid concern since you can’t cover the face as you would breasts or the body. Bruising and swelling will appear after the facelift procedure. But after two days, they will start disappearing gradually. After 10 to 14 days, people will barely notice. If you need to wear camouflage makeup, you should ask the cosmetic surgeon when it is safe to do so.

If performed by an experienced certified cosmetic surgeon, a facelift is expected to not only look natural now but also age naturally. However, you will need to do certain things to keep the good look. One of them is to maintain a healthy, stable weight. Significant fluctuations in your weight will make the skin stretch again. A regular skincare regimen is also recommended to keep the skin healthy and to prevent unnecessary aging.

About the author:
Dr. Robert Tornambe is a board certified plastic surgeon practicing in New York City. His wealth of knowledge on the discipline coupled with his many years of experience make him one of the leading cosmetic surgeons around.

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