Age, gravity, heredity, stress, and environmental exposures can affect one’s appearance over time. With the skin’s loss of elasticity, wrinkles and sagging of the face may occur. A facelift, or rhytidectomy, is performed to improve one’s appearance and restore youthful contours. Excess skin and sagging of the mid and lower face, as well as deep creases, are addressed.
This procedure is often combined with a neck lift, which targets the excess fat under the chin, jowls, neck skin laxity, and the bothersome “turkey wattle.” A facelift and/or neck lift can help one’s outward appearance match their inner youth. Dr. Jessica Belz in San Antonio, TX specializes in facelift and neck lift surgery. Call today to schedule a consultation.
What Issues Can a Facelift Fix?
These are specific problems that these procedures with Dr. Belz can target. Pure neck lifts can also eliminate neck banding beyond what a facelift can address.
- Mid-face sagging
- Deep creases under the eyes
- Deep nasolabial folds
- Jawline jowls
- Sagging, fatty areas below the cheekbones
- Loose skin, wrinkles, vertical cords, and fatty tissue on the upper neck
What are the Benefits of Facelift Surgery?
Who doesn’t want to look as young as they feel? As we age, we experience descent of our soft tissue and lose midfacial volume. Facelift surgery targets both the underlying musculature and removes excess skin, rejuvenating your appearance. Facelift surgery can vary between individuals depending on one’s facial structure and the areas affected by the aging process. Most people feel that facelift surgery takes approximately ten to fifteen years off the person’s facial age.
"Dr. Belz and her associates are so, so wonderful. I’ve never felt so taken care of and important by any of my doctors in the past. The process leading up to my surgery was simple and laid out effectively, the surgery itself was facilitated flawlessly, and the results of Dr. Belz’s work left me feeling beyond happy. I would recommend Dr. Belz to absolutely anyone and everyone!" - C.P.
Who is an ideal candidate for a facelift?
An ideal candidate for a facelift is a healthy, non-smoking individual with realistic expectations, who desires a refreshed, more youthful appearance.
Who Isn’t A Good Candidate For Facelift Surgery?
Patients with uncontrolled high blood pressure and those who are on blood thinners are not good candidates for these procedures. Neither are smokers, or those who use nicotine in other forms. Non-surgical facial rejuvenation may be a better option.
How Is A Facelift Performed?
The facelift is one of the original cosmetic surgeries, with the first documented facelift performed in Berlin in 1901. Up until recently, where technological advances have added options, most facelifts would be called “traditional” facelifts. Today, there are various methods that Dr. Belz uses depending on the individual needs of each patient. Here are some descriptions of three basic techniques for our facelifts:
- Traditional facelift — This is the “full” facelift for rejuvenating the face, jowls, and neck. A full facelift involves lifting and repositioning the muscles and deeper tissues and removing certain attachments. Unless the patient has a lot of excess fat, Dr. Belz usually sculpts the fat to avoid creating a hollow look. Excess skin is trimmed and then re-draped. The incisions with a traditional lift start at the temples, run downward in front of the ear, wrap around the earlobe, and terminate in the hairline of the lower scalp. If the patient has particular issues in the neck area, a second incision is made under the chin to lift, tighten, and trim excess skin on the upper neck.
- Limited-incision/mini-facelift — As the name implies, the goals of this facelift aren’t as widespread, instead providing limited rejuvenation around the eyes and mouth, including nasolabial folds and other deep creases. Shorter incisions are made at the temples, around the ears, and if needed, in the lower eyelids and/or under the upper lip. These mini lifts have become popular as younger patients seek to stem the tide of aging earlier, but with a less dramatic procedure.
- Mid-facelift — This lift has more specific goals. It focuses on the mid-face, lifting the cheeks and removing lines. This is important, as many people feel their flattened cheeks age their face the most. Mid-face lifts can reduce puffiness under the eyes, correct nasolabial folds, and improve the cheeks. Incisions are small, usually made in the lower eyelids or the mouth.
"Dr. Belz is extremely knowledgeable and her training is impressive! Her bedside manner is wonderful and her office staff is friendly as well. I would recommend using her for a procedure!" - G.M.
What is the Recovery from a Facelift Procedure?
After your procedure, Dr. Belz will have wrapped your face in bandages, and there will probably be a few drainage tubes to minimize fluid accumulation. Your first week or so you’ll need to sleep with your head elevated. The first few days will be the most difficult, but then you’ll feel better quickly. As you recover, there will may be numbness in areas. The bruising and swelling may last 2-3 weeks. Most patients are able to return to work by the third week after surgery. Strenuous activity and heavy lifting will need to be avoided for six weeks.
How Is A Neck Lift Performed?
Dr. Belz uses two basic methods for neck lifts. Neck lifts are a part of most facelifts, but sometimes patients have more serious neck aging and they need more targeted surgery to address it.
- Traditional neck lift — A traditional neck lift incision originates in the sideburn area and continues down below the ear, terminating in the hair at the back of the scalp. The skin is pulled away and the fat is usually re-sculpted or redistributed, particularly from the jowls. Usually the platysma muscle (which runs from the upper parts of the pectoral and deltoid muscles all the way up onto the jaw) is tightened. The skin is then pulled up and re-draped, and the excess skin is trimmed away. If there is a good deal of fat under the chin, Dr. Belz may opt for a second incision there. She can tighten the muscles and use liposuction to remove excess fat.
- Limited incision neck lift — As the name implies, here small incisions are made only around the ears. As you would expect, more extensive tightening and skin removal cannot be accomplished with the limited neck lift.
What is the Recovery from a Neck Lift Procedure?
Like a facelift, recovery from neck lift surgery will take time. You will have elastic bandages around your lower face and neck when you return home. This will help minimize swelling and bruising. It is important to keep your head elevated and avoid excess twisting or bending of your neck.
Most patients can return to work in 10 to 14 days. Your results will be fully visible when the swelling has completely dissipated. Sports and strenuous exercises will need to be avoided for at least six weeks.
Are There Risks to a Facelift or Necklift Procedure?
Like anything in life, surgery has risks. Risks of facelift surgery include: bleeding, infection, poor wound healing, skin or hair loss, numbness, facial nerve injury, unfavorable scarring, asymmetries, cardiopulmonary complications, and anesthesia risks. Dr. Belz will address these risks and all of your questions in your personalized consultation.
"Dr. Belz did such an amazing job! Her and her amazing staff made me feel so comfortable! They also really listened to what I wanted and made me feel heard! I definitely will be going back!!!" - A.J.
Which facial rejuvenation procedure is right for me?
At your personalized consultation, Dr. Belz will help you determine which type of facial rejuvenation procedure best suits your needs. Incisions for a face and neck lift are typically disguised in the hairline or along the natural creases of your face and neck.