Dr. Elizabeth Whitaker

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Eight Things You Should Know Before Considering a Facelift

Woman Holding Face After Facelift

Cosmetic surgery for both men and women is enjoying more popularity than ever before. With time, jowls and loose face and neck skin can start to show our age. But there are ways of turning back the clock!

Everyone deserves to feel beautiful – and look as youthful and energetic on the outside as they feel on the inside. It is no longer necessary to “just put up with it” if you have a feature which you would like to have improved.

Over recent years cosmetic surgeries such as facelifts have become simpler, safer, and more affordable. A facelift has the power to not only alter and refresh a person’s physical appearance. The renewed confidence which is gained after a facelift procedure is a definite bonus and one which many patients consider to be irreplaceable.

Many years ago a facelift was a very obvious procedure, often resulting in a fake or “plastic” appearance. Improved technologies mean that modern day facelifts are more subtle with a focus on enhancement rather than drastic change. The end result should be a fresher and more youthful version of the face you already have.

If you are considering a facelift procedure you probably have a lot of questions. Here we look at seven facts about facelifts which may help you with your decision making.

What is a Facelift?

Before undergoing any medical or surgical procedure it’s important to understand exactly what it is.

A facelift is a surgical procedure that reverses some signs of aging. This is performed by tightening the layers of the face that descend and removing some excess skin, to restore a natural contour and create a tighter look to face and neck skin.  With an experienced surgeon, a very natural looking result can be achieved.

There are many factors that cause the skin on your face to appear wrinkled or loose including loss of volume that supports the face, tissue descent with deepening of folds and development of jowls, and loss of collagen contributing to loose skin in the neck area.

Lifestyle choices such as increased sun exposure, smoking and stress can also play a role in your skin’s appearance, and there are many options to improve the skin and complexion as well.

What Type of Surgery Is Right for Me?

Importantly, there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ formula when it comes to facelifts. There are actually different types for different needs. Your choice will be determined by the specific “problem areas” you want to address.  This approach customizes the procedure for your specific needs.

We offer a variety of Facial Contouring and Facelift procedures, which are explained below.

ProfileLift Facelift 

Looking for a more defined jawline or neck? The ProfileLift Facelift™ is a minimally invasive approach with a quick recovery and big results.

No one wants a double-chin and these fat collections can be hereditary and contrary to popular belief have nothing to do with your weight. If you’re suffering from fullness under your chin and a poorly defined jawline, a Profile Lift might be right for you.  A Profile Lift type of facelift contours the jawline and neck by using an essentially incisionless approach to remove excess fat and to stimulate new collagen formation. This helps tighten the skin and provide the more defined jawline and neck you’ve always wanted, even for younger people with more contour concerns that aging issues.

PrecisionLift Facelift

Signs of aging can start as early as your 30’s or 40’s with deep folds around the corners of your mouth as well as sagging in the face, jowls, and neck.

Looking for a less invasive approach with a quick recovery? We offer a facelift contouring that reduces and tightens the jowl area while contouring a sculpted jawline and neck. We call this the PrecisionLift Facelift™, which tightens your skin’s elasticity and is perfect for younger candidates with earlier aging changes.

Signature MiniLift Facelift

If you are feeling that you have some aging changes, but don’t need a facelift yet, a Signature MiniLift Facelift may be perfect for you.  People are seeking procedures at a younger age before severe jowling, sagging, and neck laxity occur.  A Signature MiniLift lifts the jowls and tightens neck skin while minimizing incisions and recovery.  For people in their 40’s or 50’s with earlier aging changes, this can be a great less invasive option.

Signature NeckLift Facelift

One of the first areas skin can loosen over time is the neck. This is due to natural aging and doesn’t always relate to a person’s weight. Are you in need of a facelift focused on the neck without much of an issue with jowling or facial sagging? Our Signature Neck Lift™ Facelift maybe right for you. This facelift uses minimal incisions behind the ear and under the chin that allow our doctor to address aging issues in the neck. This procedure takes slightly over an hour and full recovery is expected within weeks!

Signature Facelift

Facelifts are traditionally sought by older women, but over the last several years, more women under age 50 have been requesting the procedure. Men, more conscious of staying competitive, also increasing seek out this procedure.  Facelifts are focused on both the face and neck, where aging is seen as jowling, face and neck laxity, and vertical folds appearing at the neck. Ready to look younger and feel better?  Customized by our surgeon based on her experience with thousands of patients, the Signature Facelift™ is done using minimal incisions while delivering a youthful, natural look. Full recovery is expected within weeks of procedure!

How Much Does a Facelift Cost?

The biggest question on your mind might be how much will the surgery cost? Because the types of procedures available vary so greatly, so does the price.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average surgery fee for a facelift is a little over $7,000 with additional costs for anesthesia and the facility.  Consumer date from Real Self, shows an average cost of $12,100.  The experience of the surgeon you choose may also factor into the cost.

Remember, this is the face you show the world and the results are long-lasting.  You should select based on the experience and results of your surgeon, not just price.

Our practice offers multiple other procedures including some of those discussed in this article, that can make improving your appearance extremely affordable.  Since most medical insurance companies will not cover the cost of a cosmetic surgery, our practice also offers multiple finance options to achieve the results you want today.

Do I Have to Undergo General Anesthesia?

“Going to sleep” can be a fear factor for a lot of people, particularly for an elective surgery.  The good news is with a surgeon experienced with local anesthesia you can usually achieve the result you want with relaxation and gentle numbing.  This not only maximizes your safety but minimizes your recovery potentially as well.  However, there are people who prefer to be completely unaware and “twilight” anesthesia like that used for endoscopy procedures can be a great option as well.  Avoid practices with a ‘one size fits all’ formula, and look for someone experienced with local anesthesia but the flexibility to offer other anesthesia options if needed or appropriate.

Is Recovery Painful?

With any surgery, of course you want to know the length and intensity of the recovery process beforehand. However, this depends not just on your procedure and surgeon, but your body.

The average initial recovery for a facelift is anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks. This is the amount of time it takes for most swelling and bruising to subside. Most patients can return to work in 1-2 weeks.

However, healing continues, with tissue softening and contouring over weeks and even months.  The initial tightness and numbness in your skin can feel a little “mask-like” in the beginning, but this improves with time.

Your surgeon may request follow-up visits in the next couple of weeks and months to monitor your progress and discuss any further treatment options.

Perhaps surprisingly, most people do not experience severe pain following their procedure – more a sensation of tightness and some discomfort from the initial swelling. These are all normal side-effects and will subside over time.

Am I a Candidate for a Facelift?

One of the most important factors to consider before having a facelift is do you have realistic expectations?

This procedure will most definitely improve the overall appearance of the laxity on your face and neck.  The results are long-lasting, but while we have turned  back the clock, we haven’t stopped it.  Wrinkles in the skin can be addressed with complimentary procedures such as laser resurfacing.  We want you to happy with your outcome, and understanding what a facelift does and doesn’t, but perhaps other procedures can do to complement your results is a key part of that.

Most individual’s seeking a facelift are between the ages of 40 and 80.

How Long Will My Results Last?

As noted above, while your results are long-lasting, we can only turn back the hands of time, but not stop the aging process altogether.  Still, you will generally always look younger for your age than you otherwise would have, so the benefits are potentially ongoing.

A major factor in the longevity of your facelift is the proper care afterward. By continuing a healthy lifestyle, proper skin care and lack of sun exposure, you can help maintain your youthful appearance.

It also depends on the age at which you undergo surgery. Younger can potentially be better in this instance. As you age and your skin begins to lose its elasticity, your facelift will help maintain tighter, more youthful appearance.

What Should I Expect?

Having realistic expectations of the entire process will play a major role in your recovery.

A facelift is meant to create a natural appearance. It should result in an improved, younger version of YOU.  No one wants to look like a different person completely or have a stretched “done” appearance.  This is why selecting an experienced surgeon is so important.

It’s important to note that everyone’s skin is different and will potentially react differently. Some individuals may require complimentary procedures to achieve the desired result.

Don’t get discouraged. You and your surgeon can work together to create a procedure plan that works best for you.

Undergoing facelift surgery can help you not only restore the natural beauty of your face but also your confidence.  If you don’t like what you see in the mirror, and the reflection doesn’t match how you feel, now may be the time to learn more about your options.  Need more information?

Schedule a consultation today.

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Upcoming Events

Fri 24

Faces of Fall Sales Event

September 1September 30

It’s all about those fabulous faces this month at Atlanta Face & Body! As we welcome cooler temperatures, colorful leaves, and, of course, pumpkin spice, we’ve decided to offer some incredible Faces of Fall Packages to help you flaunt a new look as you usher in a new season! Just take a look at these […]