As you get older, your skin loses some of its supportive scaffolding of collagen and elastin. As a result, you start to notice wrinkles, drooping skin, particularly along the jaw line, and deepening furrows around the mouth and chin. Your neck may start to develop excess fatty tissue due to stretched supportive muscles and loose skin.
A facelift reverses these signs of ageing by tightening muscle, removing fat, and trimming excess skin, giving your face a fresher, youthful look. After surgery, some patients look up to 10-15 years younger.
A facelift involves a very fine incision that starts in the hairline of the temple, continues along the edge of the ear in front, and then around to the back of the ear into the hairline.
Once your incision has healed you will be left with a faint scar.
Are You a Good Candidate?
You are a good candidate if you have:
- Deep creases between the nose and mouth (nasolabial folds)
- Deep furrows in the chin (marionette lines)
- Jowls due to loss of muscle tone
- Sagging skin and fat under the chin and jaw
- Loose wrinkled facial skin
Your first step will be to have a detailed consultation with Dr MacDonald where she will listen to your goals and concerns and complete a careful examination. Then, Dr. MacDonald will discuss the treatment options that best address your concerns and particular situation.
Dr. MacDonald and her staff will:
- Give you detail information about the surgery and what you can expect before, during, and after the procedure
- Discuss any concerns or questions that you may have
- Discuss potential risks of the procedure
A facelift requires a general anesthetic, so you will complete a pre-operative questionnaire to ensure you are ready for surgery. You will be given instructions on what time to arrive for your surgery and reminded not to eat or drink anything the night before.
A facelift takes approximately 3-4 hours and you will then spend approximately 3 hours in the recovery room, so set the whole day aside for the surgery. You will be given a prescription for pain medication before leaving the hospital.
You will need someone to drive you home from the hospital and stay with you for the first 24 hours. You cannot shower for 48 hours after surgery.
You will receive an ointment that must be applied daily with a Q-tip. You will also receive a wrap on the day of surgery which must be worn full-time for 4-6 weeks until the healing is complete.
Dr. MacDonald will meet with you 5-7 days after the surgery to ensure that you are healing well. The stitches will dissolve on their own after a few weeks, so they do not need to be removed.
If you have a very physical job, it is recommended that you plan a minimum of 4 weeks healing time before returning to work. If you have a more sedentary job, it could be possible for you to return as early as after 2 weeks.
You need to avoid activities that may increase your blood pressure, such as running or lifting weights, until 4-6 weeks after surgery. However, you are encouraged to go out walking as soon after surgery as is possible.
As with any surgery, there are risks. These include the normal surgical risks of infection, scarring, delayed wound healing, bruising, or bleeding. Complications specific to this surgery are asymmetry, numb skin, and contour irregularities. However, all risks in this procedure are rare. They will all be discussed further during your consultation.
The surgery suited best for you will be discussed at the time of consultation and Dr MacDonald’s assistant will e-mail you a detailed cost breakdown.