Scientists have not yet discovered a way to prevent the effects the aging process has on our facial features. Luckily, there are effective procedures to reverse those effects temporarily. At Hanna Facial Cosmetic Surgery in Hinsdale, IL, we offer a face lift to help our clients tighten loose skin and eliminate wrinkles around the lower face. Today, we are looking at everything you need to know about the process, including how it works.
How Does a Face Lift Work?
A face lift is a way to restore the visage you had when you were younger. There is nothing wrong with wanting to restore the visage of your youth and look as young as you feel. The appropriate method to restore your desired countenance will depend on the specific concerns you have. If you are concerned about the appearance of your lower face, you need to lift your lower face with a procedure known formally as rhytidectomy.
Rhytidectomy makes you look years younger by lifting the deep facial tissues that support your skin. Areas targeted during this procedure include the cheeks, chin, and jawline. Depending on your unique case, we may also remove excess skin during this procedure. The overall results of this procedure should last roughly a decade but the results of the excess skin removal will last forever if your weight remains relatively stable.
What Results Can I Expect From This Procedure?
As time passes, the look and shape of our faces change. This is a natural result of getting older, but you don’t have to live with these changes. If you’re wondering what results you can expect from rhytidectomy, you’re not alone. Some of the benefits you can expect include:
- Lifted cheeks
- Wrinkle-free skin
- The elimination of deep nasolabial folds
- A stronger, younger, jawline
- The elimination of excess skin
A lot of people think people get a face lift because they want to turn back the hands of time. This is sometimes true, but people don’t always opt for this procedure because of vanity. A substantial number of people are less interested in looking younger and more interested in looking better. Sagging skin and deep wrinkles make them feel so self-conscious that personal relationships and careers are affected.
What To Expect During Your Initial Consultation
An initial consultation is required before you commit to a cosmetic procedure. It is important to understand what a lift can do for you to ensure it is the best solution for your concerns. It is also essential to ensure you are healthy enough for a cosmetic procedure. Here is what you should expect during your initial consultation:
A Review of Your Medical History
Before we can determine whether a lift of the lower face is right for you, we need to review your medical history thoroughly. We strongly recommend writing down your medical history, including other procedures or treatments you have received in the past. Additionally, we need to know about any medical conditions you are currently diagnosed with or have had. Furthermore, you should be prepared to talk about your use of tobacco products, alcohol and prescription and OTC medications.
Be advised, you should not consume tobacco products, like cigarettes, cigars or chewing tobacco, for two weeks before or after your procedure. Tobacco products contain chemicals, such as nicotine, that constrict your blood vessels. Narrow blood vessels impede ideal circulation and result in less nutrients being delivered to the skin. This delays healing. Also, be advised you may need tests to evaluate the health of your heart and lungs before we can determine if you are a good candidate.
A Review of Your Medications
As noted above, we will discuss your use of prescription and over-the-counter medications. Knowing what you are taking is crucial because some drugs may affect your procedure. We recommend bringing in a list of all pharmaceuticals you take regularly including the dosages and frequency of use. Please note, you should also note any nutritional supplements, like daily multivitamins or herbal products, you take. Certain vitamins and supplements thin the blood and should be avoided temporarily before and after your procedure.
An Examination of Your Facial Features
We will also examine your facial features thoroughly. We will assess your skin health and examine your bone structure, facial fat distribution and the shape of your face. This allows us to determine the best methods to help you achieve your goals.
A Discussion About Your Expectations
Once we examine your facial features, we will discuss your aesthetic goals. We need to know what you want to get out of this procedure to ensure this is the right procedure for you. We will also talk to you about the results you can expect realistically. It is important to understand what this procedure can’t do for you, like correct asymmetry caused by your bone structure, so your expectations about the results are realistic.
It is also important to note this procedure may not address fine lines caused by collagen loss even though it is perfect for the treatment of deep wrinkles and folds. If you have fine lines caused by collagen loss, we offer several injectables designed to restore collagen to different parts of the face.
How To Prepare for Rhytidectomy
There are several steps you need to take to prepare for rhytidectomy. Some steps must be taken weeks in advance and others are necessary shortly before your scheduled procedure.
Make Changes to Your Medications
Remember, during your initial consultation, we will ask you for a list of all the medications and supplements you are currently taking. Depending on the medications you take regularly, you may need to stop taking certain drugs temporarily. We will advise you on whether you may continue taking your medications as you usually do or whether you should adjust the dosages of the medications you are taking or stop taking certain drugs altogether.
For example, you should stop taking any drugs or supplements that can thin your blood for at least 14 days before your procedure, like ibuprofen or garlic supplements. It is of the utmost importance that you follow all instructions related to your medications. If necessary, talk to your primary care physician about alternative medications you can take in the weeks leading up to and following your procedure.
Rhytidectomy is performed on an outpatient basis, so you are free to go home after your procedure is complete and we have reviewed post-op care steps with you. That said, due to the anesthesia used to keep you comfortable during your procedure, you will need someone to drive you home. If possible, have someone stay with you for at least the first 24 hours post-op. You may be too tired to make yourself a nutritious meal after your procedure.
Stock Your Home
Before your procedure, we recommend ensuring you have everything you need at home. Make sure you have plenty of food, entertainment, medication and personal hygiene items so you don’t have to leave the house during the first few days post-op. You may find you are too tired to go shopping.
Keep in mind, you must stop taking blood thinners for several days post-op. We recommend having analgesics in your home that do not thin the blood in case you do not want to take prescription analgesics. We also recommend keeping plenty of bottled water on hand.
Depending on the type of anesthesia used during your procedure, you may be asked to fast. You may drink water before your procedure but, if advised to fast, you should stop eating at midnight. Your body adapts very quickly to intermittent fasting. You may want to practice intermittent fasting for a few days before your procedure so your body is used to it and you are not hungry on the day of your procedure.
If you must fast due to the anesthesia that will be administered, we will advise you on whether you may take any medications on the day of your procedure.
What You Can Expect Throughout the Process
Again, this procedure is performed on an outpatient basis. It can take between two and four hours depending on the severity of your cosmetic concerns and how many cosmetic concerns are being addressed. Additionally, it is possible for your lift to take up to six hours if it is being combined with another lift. Regardless of the scope of your rhytidectomy, the process will involve three steps.
General anesthesia is usually recommended for clients who need significant results. This type of anesthesia numbs your entire body and keeps you asleep throughout the procedure. If you are receiving general anesthesia, you’ll need to fast in the hours leading up to your procedure. Depending on your health and the scope of your procedure, we may recommend a combination of local anesthesia to numb the lower portion of your face and intravenous sedation to keep you asleep throughout the procedure.
Once you are numb and asleep, we will make tiny incisions so we can lift and tighten the muscles supporting your skin. These incisions are made discreetly so they will not be visible as they heal. Once the muscles and deep facial tissues are lifted and tightened, we may redistribute or sculpt some of your facial fat. If necessary, excess skin will be excised. Once your corrections are complete, your incisions will be closed.
Roughly 10 to 14 days after your procedure, you will be able to see your results. You should be back to most of your usual routine at this time, but you should refrain from strenuous physical activities until roughly a month has passed since your procedure.
Tips for the Days Following Your Procedure
In the days following your procedure, you should listen to your body carefully. You will be tired as your skin recovers from the incisions, and you should rest whenever you feel rest is necessary. However, it is very important that you walk as much as possible during the first two weeks following your rhytidectomy. Walking supports your circulatory system and facilitates the delivery of extra nutrients to your skin that are necessary for healing.
Reverse the Signs of Aging
A face lift doesn’t just help you look younger now. It also helps you age more gracefully in the future. If you opt for rhytidectomy to correct cosmetic concerns, you will be back to your usual routine in just a few weeks. Contact us today at Hanna Facial Cosmetic Surgery in Hinsdale, IL to schedule your initial consultation and discover if rhytidectomy is the best way for you to reverse the signs of aging for the next 10 to 15 years.