As people grow older, the skin of the face begins to wrinkle and sag, with the help of gravity and time. Exposure to the sun, genetic influences and other factors can contribute to the effects of aging. A facelift can correct these conditions and give people a more youthful appearance. This procedure typically involves the tightening of facial and neck skin and muscles, as well as the removal of excess skin. Facelift incisions are placed in areas where they are minimally visible. The objective is to elevate the underlying structures and re-drape the skin on the face in order to give a more youthful, healthy and rested appearance.
The surgery is performed on an outpatient basis. The discomfort associated with a facelift is usually minimal to moderate. Bruising and swelling are expected, but this will resolve in two to three weeks following the surgery. As with any plastic surgery procedure, the healing process with a facelift is gradual and final results may not be apparent for several weeks, but the benefits from the surgery will last for years.
Over time, I have come to realize that merely removing excess skin and fat and then suturing the tissue tighter does not always give the best rejuvenation. It can lead to a “pulled tight” unnatural appearance. In many patients the loss of volume can be as much a sign of aging as excess skin. For this reason, I almost always perform fat injection at the same time as face lifting. This “autologous fat transplantation” helps to restore the natural youthful curves of the aging face in a way that pulling never can.There is even some evidence that “stem cells” in the transplanted fat have effects above and beyond volume restoration. They have been hypothesized to thicken the overlying skin collagen and help reverse the effects of time, gravity and sun exposure.
The patient in the pictures to the side of this text (bottom case) came to see me at my Cleveland West side office to ask about facial rejuvenation. After careful consultation, it was decided to perform a Face Lift, Brow lift, Upper and Lower Lid Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), Fat injection to the cheeks, naso-labial fold and lips and a Mouth Corner Lift. This was a big operation and a second round of fat injection was performed at a later date to minimize the extent of swelling. After the surgery was complete the patient was completely satisfied with her new look.
For more of Dr. Medalie’s facelift patient photos, please visit his photo gallery.
*Plastic surgery results can vary from patient to patient and are not guaranteed.