“Think of surgery as artwork; not all artists are the same.”
Facial aging is slow and steady over time, but almost everybody can tell when they are ready to have something done about it. The signs of facial aging are familiar—the skin loses its elasticity and begins to sag, the underlying layer of fat in the face changes, and the muscles in the neck become more prominent
Although gravity plays a part in the aging process, osteoporosis in the facial bones,and changes in the underlying fat of the face also are responsible for drooping jowls and "the look of aging,” a look that happens most noticeably around the time of menopause for women. Aging changes in men are similar, but occur more gradually. These aging changes of the face can be corrected or improved with a surgical procedure called a facelift, or rhytidectomy, at the Edina, Minnesota practice of Dr. Edward Szachowicz, a facial plastic surgeon. If you reside in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area and are interested in a facelift, contact our practice today.
The goals of facelift surgery are to:
- re-suspend the sagging muscles of the face;
- reposition and re-contour the underlying fatty tissues;
- tighten and support the neck muscles; and
- remove the excess lax skin of the face and neck.
At Facial Plastic Surgery, Dr. Szachowicz has made a career of mastering the artistry and surgical craft of facelifts by,simply understanding the uniqueness of each person's face and applying surgical techniques with appropriate variations and subtlety. To learn more about facelifts or to schedule a consultation, contact our Edina practice today.
“The ideal timing of facelift surgery is determined by how you look, not by your specific age.”
Your Facelift Consultation
Women, and increasingly men, most commonly consider facelift surgery when the first signs of facial aging begin to show: from the late forties for women to the mid-fifties for men. However, if one is in good health, the procedure can be done for patients into their eighties. The ideal timing follows a strategy of maintaining your appearance rather than losing it and then trying to recapture it.
During your consultation, Dr. Szachowicz will be evaluating several factors which are important for all candidates for a facelift:
- Good skin quality, the resting tone of the skin (elasticity);
- The overall volume of facial fat (not too full nor very thin);
- Strong facial bone structure; and
- Contour of the neck (long & thin or short & full).
Dr. Szachowicz will discuss with you the understanding of the nuances of your face, which become key to achieving consistent, high - quality results. Additional procedures can be added to the facelift procedure if you are lacking in good skin-tone or strong bony features.
Surgical Procedure for the Facelift
The great sculptors of history - like Michelangelo - took years to master their craft through the appreciation of natural beauty and persistent attention to detail. The surgeon's attention to detail is important in facelift surgery in order to minimize any tell-tale signs of a surgery. The procedure is performed either under general anesthesia or sedation, in a same-day surgical center. Most often, a facelift is combined with other rejuvenating procedures such as brow lift, surgery on the eyelids, chin implant, or a procedure to transfer fat to restore facial volume. Modern facelift surgery has progressed from “stretch and pull” to a more natural “lift and fill” procedure. Dr. Szachowicz maintains these goals for everyone undergoing a facelift:
- An artistic, high-quality, and consistent result;
- A natural appearance (not stretched or pulled);
- Maintenance of a long-lasting outcome; and
- Minimal complications.
Key features of your facelift are:
- Incisions - Preserving the existing hairline is key to a natural result. Whenever possible, Dr. Szachowicz plans his incisions to hide them within the natural curvatures of the ear. In the front part of the incision, the incision follows the shape of the ear and goes behind the prominence in front of the ear canal, called the tragus. Behind the ear, the incision is tucked into the crease of the ear and then winds along the posterior hairline behind the ear. This allows for the maximum removal of excess lax skin of the neck, without removing hair. In addition, Fraxel laser resurfacing is done on all the facelift incisions to further improve the healing results.
- Tightening of tissues - Dr. Szachowicz performs a "facelift under a facelift." By tightening the deeper fibrous and muscular layers under the fat, Dr. Szachowicz re-suspends the facial fat and achieves better muscle-tone in the face, without distortion. This restores the youthful understructure to the face prior to re-draping the overlying skin, resulting in less pull being placed on the skin.
- Closure of incisions - Paying particular attention to the delicate closure around the ears and in the hairline is time well spent, as these are the finer details that make a big difference in the overall quality of a facelift. Dr. Szachowicz often spends as much time on closure of the skin as he does on the deeper structures, just to maximize the healing and to make residual scars look the best they can.
- Dressings and aftercare - Small drains are placed behind the ears to wick away any fluid after the surgery, and a gentle com- pression dressing is placed overnight. Arnica Montana (a homeopathic herbal) is used before and after the surgery to decrease bruising and swelling. Red diode light therapy and ultrasound are used after surgery to augment the healing process.
Recovery from Facelift Surgery
The recovery period is an important time to recuperate and heal. Frequent visits to the surgical office ensure that your healing progresses rapidly. All sutures are removed by ten days, and most people return to regular activities by ten days to two weeks. Every effort is made to speed your healing, but not at the expense of the long-term quality of your result. Homeopathic arnica Montana pellets and gel are supplied to optimize healing. Learn more about about preparation for surgery, read the recovery timetable and review information in this link to the Frequently Asked Questions About Facelift Surgery section.
Minimal surgery and short-scar procedures may decrease the time needed for recovery, but often they also decrease your long-term result. As with any artistic pursuit, an enduring outcome is the goal.
Learn More about Facelift Surgery at Facial Plastic Surgery
If you want more information about advanced facial rejuvenation surgery, contact our Edina office to learn more and schedule a computerized video-imaging session to simulate your result. We are proud to offer facelift surgery for residents throughout the Greater Minneapolis-St. Paul area, and we encourage you to take actions today to improve your appearance and self-confidence.