When you look in the mirror, the face staring back at you may not reflect how you feel or see yourself. Genetics, the environment, lifestyle all play a factor in how we age. If you look tired, older or more wrinkled than you’d like, a facelift can match up the image in the mirror with the image in your mind. A facelift gives your face a firm, fresh appearance by doing three things:
It smoothes out loose skin on your face and neck
It tightens the tissues under your skin
It removes excess fat
The surgery will yield better results if you have a strong, well-defined bone structure and some elasticity left in your skin. A facelift can get rid of jowls and re-define a weak jawline. It can also get rid of a turkey neck. If you have deep creases that run from the corner of your nose to the corner of your mouth, a facelift can soften them. If you have loose, sagging skin or excess fat in your neck, a facelift can get rid of it. If you have wrinkles or sagging skin in your cheeks, a facelift can bring you a more youthful appearance.
Many times, other procedures are done along with the facelift to help you meet your goals. A forehead lift can get rid of a furrowed brow. Eyelid surgery can get rid of bags under your eyes or correct drooping eyelids. Laser resurfacing and chemical peels minimize wrinkles. And if you’ve always been unsatisfied with your nose it can be reshaped. You can discuss what you think is necessary when you meet for your initial consultation with Dr. Krummen.
The consultation is your first chance to talk to Dr. Krummen about how you’d like to change your appearance. Dr. Krummen will assess both your emotional health as well as your physical health before addressing your goals. Since both your physical and emotional health have a tremendous impact on the outcome of your surgery, it’s important to be honest with Dr. Krummen about your health history – past surgeries, medical conditions, treatments and any medications you may be taking.
Before arriving for this appointment, know what kind of outcome you expect from this surgery. Your goals will be an important part of your evaluation. If necessary, write down your questions so you will have all your concerns addressed during this meeting. Dr. Krummen will listen carefully to your concerns and tell you which surgical option she thinks would work best for you. She will also explain the risks and likely results of the procedure. Every person is different and your operation will be individualized to your specific needs.
As we age, the tissues under the skin in our faces begin to sag. As a result, the skin sags too. A facelift tightens up everything. After your consultation, Dr. Krummen will determine which surgical technique would work best for you. You should expect incisions to start above your hairline near your temples. They continue down along the front of your ears and back into your hairline behind your ears. These eventually can be hidden by hair and makeup.
Once the incisions are made, the facial skin is separated from the tissue underneath it. This gives Dr. Krummen access to the underlying tissues so she can tighten them. Then the skin is pulled up and back and sutured back into place. Any excess skin is trimmed. If there is fatty tissue in the chin or neck, it can be suctioned to reveal a smoother appearance (Fig. 1 - 4).
Immediately after surgery, your face will be bandaged to control swelling and bruising. Any pain can be controlled with medication. Some numbness is not uncommon. For the first week after surgery, you will need to sleep with your head elevated. After a week, your stitches can be removed. After two weeks you can return to light activity.
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