No matter how many wrinkle creams we use or how careful we are about protecting our skin from the sun, the effects of aging are bound to catch up with us sometime. When that does happen, the good news is there are many effective ways to turn back the clock today. While non-surgical treatments can effectively catch those lines and wrinkles before they get to deep, some patients find that the only way to truly reverse the aging process is with plastic surgery. Introducing the facelift, a surgical solution that comes in different shapes and sizes so we can customize your surgery to your specific needs.

Explaining the Facelift

A facelift is a surgical procedure that removes sagging skin from the face, firming and toning the mid and lower face for a more youthful facial profile overall. This procedure has evolved considerably, now offering much more natural results than ever before. With a variety of techniques to choose from, you can rest assured Dr. Sherman can tailor your surgery to your specific concerns and desired outcome.

A facelift may be performed alone, but is often combined with other procedures to enhance the results in a single surgical session. Procedures frequently performed in conjunction with a facelift include eyelid surgery, a brow lift or a neck lift.

Best Candidates for a Facelift

Most of Dr. Sherman’s facelift patients are between the ages of 40 and 70. This procedure offers the best results for:

  • Non-smokers in relatively good health
  • Individuals with significant skin laxity and pronounced facial creases
  • Patients with signs of aging around the cheeks and mid-face
  • Those with skin laxity around the jawline, giving the appearance of jowls or a double chin
  • People with facial fat and tissue that has displaced, contributing to an aged appearance

Types of Facelift Procedures

Dr. Sherman offers two different techniques in facelifts. The proper technique for you will be determined by how much correction you need and other factors. Dr. Sherman will discuss your medical history, concerns and aesthetic goals to help you choose the best procedure for you. Options include:

Traditional Facelift

This procedure is generally performed under IV sedation and local anesthesia to avoid the risks associated with general anesthesia. Most patients can have this surgery as an outpatient procedures, although there may be situations where an overnight in a hospital is preferred. Incisions for a traditional facelift typically run along the hairline and around the ears, with care taken to ensure all visible post-procedural scarring is minimal.

Through the incisions, Dr. Sherman removes excess skin and repositions the underlying muscles and tissue to ensure a natural result. As the skin is redraped over the face, facial creases are smoothed away and the facial profile becomes firmer and more youthful.

Short Scar Facelift

This procedure is considered less invasive than a traditional facelift, featuring smaller scars and a shorter recovery period. The short scar facelift technique has been utilized by Dr. Sherman since 2000, so he has ample experience in this procedure. This is a good option for patients that require slightly less correction and do not want the scarring and extended recovery period of a traditional procedure. Short scar facelifts can be performed on an outpatient basis using anesthesia and IV sedation.

Incisions for a short scar facelift tend to be limited to the inside of the ear and the area behind the ear. In patients that require additional correction, Dr. Sherman may extend the scar to the side-burn area and behind the ear. Through the incisions, Dr. Sherman is able to remove sagging skin and firm up the entire facial profile.

What You can Expect after Surgery

After facelift surgery, you can expect to have some bruising and swelling around the incision sites. These side effects will resolve on their own with a few days to a week. Oral pain medication can be used to manage any post-operative discomfort for the first few days. Ice packs may also be recommended to limit swelling and bruising. You may be advised to sleep with your head in an elevated position to reduce swelling as well.

Most patients are back to regular activities within 2-3 weeks after a traditional facelift. A short scar procedure may get you back in action a bit sooner. The recovery time allows for healing of the area so that when you venture out into public, you don’t have the telltale signs that you had surgery performed.

Some patients wonder if they need a surgical facelift or if they can achieve satisfactory results with less invasive injectable treatments. A careful combination of dermal fillers and neuromodulators like Botox, known by some as a liquid facelift, can offer dramatic results with less discomfort and downtime than a surgical procedure. At the hands of an experienced plastic surgeon, these injections can smooth and firm the skin, while restoring youthful volume to areas like the cheeks, jawline and under the eyes.

While an injectable treatment might fit the bill with patients with earlier signs of aging, those with more pronounced skin laxity and facial creases will likely obtain better results with a surgical lift procedure. In addition, injectable treatments only last for a few months before touch-up procedures are required. A surgical lift may last as many as 10 years before age and gravity take their toll and require additional procedures.

Only you and your plastic surgeon can determine whether a surgical facelift is right for you. Your surgeon will take into consideration your overall health, medical history and other factors that could indicate surgery might not be the best option. If you determine that a surgical facelift is the best choice, your surgeon will advise you on the best procedure for you, based on the amount of correction you need and the results you are hoping to achieve.

When it comes to surgical facelifts, Dr. Sherman is one of the best in the Manhattan area to offer this procedure. To learn more or find out if a facelift is right for you, contact Dr. Sherman’s office today at (212) 535-2300.