Facelift surgery is one of the most popular cosmetic facial surgery procedures today. A facelift performed by experienced San Francisco cosmetic surgeons like Dr. Liu and his team can turn back the hands of time and reduce many of the most visible signs of aging on your face.
When you look in the mirror, what do you think of the face looking back at you? Is it truly you? For many, they no longer recognize their own face as being "them" and seek out a way to restore a more youthful appearance. A facelift is a time-tested, extraordinary surgical procedure that has the ability to reduce signs of age and help you feel more like yourself.
What is a Facelift?
A facelift is a cosmetic procedure that specifically targets common facial signs of aging, including:
- Sagging skin
- Creases between the nose and the corners of the mouth
- Creases around and under the eyelids
- Double chin
Benefits of a Facelift
Benefits of a facelift in San Francisco include:
- Long-lasting results
- Tightens sagging skin
- Imrpoves the contour of your neck and jawline
- Minimizes wrinkles and fine lines
- Removes excess fat
Details of the facelift procedure
Thanks to today’s exciting advances in cosmetic science, there are many types of facelifts to choose from. These vary as to the position of the incisions, the amount of downtime required, the skin layers adjusted, and the region of the face that is addressed. Dr. Liu will discuss your options with you during your private consultation, helping to select the best approach based on your needs, age and facial structure.
The full facelift is often suggested for those with more significant aging concerns, and for those who are seeking a long-term solution to sagging skin. On average, results from a full facelift will extend 10-15 years into the future. In a full facelift procedure, our San Francisco plastic surgeons make an inconspicuous incision, typically along the hairline at the temples.
If they wish to address laxity in the neck area, an additional incision may be made underneath the chin. They then carefully removes and reshapes excess fat, skin, and other tissue that is contributing to your aesthetic issues, and they may also reposition certain muscles as needed.
During the full facelift, your surgeon is able to adjust the skin’s deeper SMAS layer, which envelops muscles responsible for our facial expressions. This leads to a truly graceful and youthful outcome that also appears completely natural. Finally, they tighten the skin and re-drape it across the face before closing the incisions back up.
Short scar facelifts
If you do not need or want a full facelift, you may want to consider our short scar facelifts, which are less invasive and require less downtime, but are still very effective for certain conditions. These types of facelifts are best for clients ages 40-55 who suffer from mild to moderate sagging with little to no skin laxity in the neck, and for whom concealing scars is a priority. They are performed under local anesthesia. Incisions are generally placed at the temples or in front of the ears.
An endoscope is a tiny camera at the end of a slender tube. When inserted through small, well-hidden incisions, it offers the doctor a much higher degree of accuracy and confidence, as magnified images relayed from the camera appear on a monitor during surgery. While endoscopic facelifts present certain benefits, such as less downtime and less invasiveness, there are some drawbacks. An endoscopic facelift cannot address problems in the neck, and it tends to be only effective in the cheek areas.
For those patients who tend to manifest their advancing years through drooping cheeks, midface sagging and exaggerated nasolabial folds, the cheek lift offers a minimally-taxing alternative to the full facelift, with lower risks and less post-op discomfort.
Incisions are sometimes hidden inside the mouth, just as when a cheek implant is placed. If the client is also undergoing a blepharoplasty, the doctor can use the incisions made along the lower lids.
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What is facial fat grafting?
While some clients suffer from sagging, drooping skin and excess fatty tissue in the face, others experience a depletion of facial volume as they age, resulting in a hollowed look, especially in the cheeks, midface, chin, lips, forehead, laugh lines and underneath the eyes. Facial fat grafting can dramatically improve these compromised facial contours, plumping the skin to achieve a more rejuvenated, youthful aesthetic.
During the procedure, fat cells are retrieved from a donor site such as the hips, belly or buttocks, refined and purified, and then reintroduced to their new home. Because the fat cells are taken from the patient’s own body, they are easily accepted and integrated into the facial regions. Note that facial fat grafting is only possible when the patient has the necessary fat stores to donate from.
Are there non-surgical alternatives to a facelift?
You may have heard the term “liquid facelift.” This refers to the myriad of wonderful new facial fillers and injectables on the market that can temporarily achieve some of the same objectives as a surgical facelift, but without the anesthesia, incisions or downtime. However, it is not uncommon for the doctor to use fillers in tandem with a surgical lift, and the two approaches often lead to a superior outcome that neither method could achieve on its own.
The most common injectables used are BOTOX, Juvederm, Radiesse, Restylane and Kybella. These can target wrinkles, fine lines, crow’s feet, laugh lines, forehead furrows, marionette lines, double chins, and many other telltale signs of aging. Injectables typically take less than 30 minutes to administer and require only very mild topical numbing.
Where will my facelift be performed?
Our team of surgeons perform all treatments at the AAAASF-accredited San Mateo Surgery Center, where you will enjoy outstanding, personalized patient care, state-of-the-art equipment and technology, elegant reception areas and tranquil recovery suites, along with concierge service from our courteous, outgoing staff. Your privacy, comfort and safety are of paramount importance to our team of experienced, board-certified nurses, anesthesiologists, surgical technicians and medical assistants.
The Facelift Recovery
Like any surgery, a facelift in San Francisco will require a period of recovery in which to heal and ensure the best possible results. Most patients go home with a bandage wrapped around their faces to keep bruising and swelling to a minimum. Depending upon the specifics of your procedure, your surgeon may leave small plastic tubes in place to permit draining of excess fluid that accumulates near the incision sites.
The first 24 to 48 hours after surgery, you should plan to take it easy at home, but most patients are able to get up and move around within a couple of days. You will probably be able to go back to work within a couple of weeks, and it is not unusual for patients to resume normal physical activities, including exercise, in about 4 to 6 weeks.
If you would like to look more youthful and boost your self-confidence, it is a great time to learn more about a facelift. Please call Bay Area Aesthetic Surgery today at 650-249-3169 to schedule your confidential consultation at our greater San Francisco office.