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Dallas Facelift - Plano Rhytidectomy
A face-lift is actually a group of procedures which are designed to readjust the skin, underlying fatty tissues and muscles of the face and neck. As an individual ages, the fatty tissues beneath the skin diminish in some areas and become exaggerated in others, and the skin itself loses much of its elasticity. These changes become evident in the lower portion of the face, producing “smile lines” around the mouth, the “turkey gobbler” appearance from sagging neck skin, and the development of jowl fullness along the border of the lower jaw. These conditions appear as a natural result of the aging process and the skin’s loss of tone.
A facelift redrapes the skin of the lower portion of the face, softening the creases and tightening the skin. The lower jaw regains its smoother contour and angular definition is returned to the area of the chin and neck. Incisions are made near the ears and extend into the hairline. Every effort is made to place the incisions in the skin’s natural creases to conceal any scars.
Many other procedures may be combined with the face-lift. Those include eyelid contouring operations to readjust the tissues around the eyes, a brow-lift to readjust the position of the brows and reduce the vertical or horizontal wrinkles of the fore head, and a chemical peel to improve the fine wrinkles which radiate from the mouth.
Intravenous sedation and/or general anesthesia will be performed for minimal discomfort and to insure that no movement occurs during delicate portions of the procedure. Through the incisions around the ears and a small incision under the chin, the skin of the cheeks and neck is separated from the underlying muscles and the excess skin is removed. The layer of firm tissue surrounding the facial muscles (called the SMAS) is elevated in the lower portion of the face and neck, and is repositioned upwards and backwards to take most of the pull in the rejuvenation of the facial soft tissue. The remaining skin is gently tightened giving a relaxed, more youthful appearance. Great care is taken to avoid an over-tightened look.
The operation usually lasts approximately five hours. Following the surgery, a large facial dressing is applied to help the skin retain its new contour. Within the first several days, the dressing is changed and many of the sutures can be removed. Sutures within the hairline are typically not removed until 7 to 10 days following surgery.
Ice packs during the first 24-36 hours following surgery will help reduce swelling. The head is kept elevated on pillows during the night, and the recommended daytime positioning is to sit in an upright chair during the early postoperative days. This will reduce swelling. Oral pain medicine is prescribed that minimizes any discomfort.
Following surgery, there is moderate swelling, most of which will resolve over the first two to three weeks. Bruising may also be present and will recede within several weeks. A feeling of numbness in the cheek area and tension on the neck will be present after surgery, but will disappear over the first several weeks.
All incisions produce scars. Scars are hidden in natural folds as much as possible. Scare look their worst at about two weeks; thereafter, they continually improve over several months. Their final appearance is not evident for six to twelve months.
As with any type of surgical procedure, there are possible complications: bleeding, postoperative infection, excess scarring, slight asymmetry and prolonged swelling or discoloration. Each individual will vary greatly in his or her physical reactions and healing abilities.