Some of the most visible signs of aging appear on the face. Although the changes appear gradually, there may come a day when you look in the mirror and decide that the face you see doesn’t reflect the way you feel about yourself. If you’d like to look as good as you feel, one of these facial procedures may be the answer for you.
During your consultation Dr. Pledger will discuss the many options available to determine the procedure, or procedures, that will benefit you the most. Please take a moment to read over these different procedures, and write down any questions you may have for Dr. Pledger at the time of your consultation.
Facelift or Necklift
Also known as rhytidectomy, a facelift smooths the loose skin on your face and neck, tightens underlying tissues and removes excess fat. A necklift only addresses these problems in the neck area. These procedures are most commonly performed on patients in the 40-60 age range, but can also produce good results for people in their 60′s, 70′s and 80′s as well.
You may be a good candidate for facelift or necklift if you have one or more of the following conditions:
- A deep line that runs from the corner of your nose to the corner of your mouth
- Loss of a well-defined jawline or jowl formation
- Deep wrinkles in the cheeks and sagging skin near the cheekbones
- Loose skin, wrinkles or excess fatty tissue in the neck
During your consultation Dr. Pledger will assess your bone structure and the underlying tissues of the face. The thickness, texture, and elasticity of your skin and the severity of the wrinkles and folds will also be considered. Your hairline will be examined to determine where incisions can be discreetly placed. A facelift or necklift is frequently combined with other facial procedures such as eyelid surgery and forehead lift to achieve the best result possible. These procedures will be discussed in further detail along with the risks and complications of surgery.
A facelift or necklift is done at a surgical center, and in most cases is done on an outpatient basis. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia. The incision begins in the hair above the ear, extends down in front of the ear and then around the earlobe to the back of the ear and into the hairline behind the ear. There may also be a small incision hidden beneath your chin. Working through these incisions, Dr. Pledger frees the facial skin from its underlying tissues and pulls it upward and back. The excess skin is then removed. The deeper tissues are also repositioned to restore a more youthful contour to your face. If necessary, an incision under the chin allows Dr. Pledger to remove fatty tissue in that area and smooth the cord-like structures of the underlying muscle in the neck. If only the necklift is being performed, the incisions will be made behind the earlobe and under the chin. The excess skin is removed, the neck muscles are smoothed and tightened, and fatty tissue is removed. When surgery is complete you will be taken to the recovery area. A bandage will be wrapped around your face and a small drainage tube will be placed beneath the skin to drain away fluid that might accumulate.
Dr. Pledger will give you a prescription for pain medication, and this should help with any pain you may experience. For the first few weeks you should rest with your head elevated to help reduce swelling. Within the first week swelling should reach its peak, and then begin to subside. The bandages will be removed and any stitches that do not dissolve will be removed. Once the bandages and drain are removed you may shower and wash your hair. After one week you may begin wearing makeup to conceal any discoloration. At this point you may also return to light activity and after two weeks you can return to normal activities. You will experience numbness in the facial and neck area, but this should diminish within a few weeks. Throughout the healing period you should avoid exposure to direct sunlight and use a sun block. You will be given a detailed list of postoperative instructions prior to surgery.