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Face Lift

We all want to make a good first impression. And for all of us, our face is the first thing that people see, and remember. Because of this, facelifts are an extremely popular plastic surgery option which helps lift the sagging skin around the eyes, cheeks and jawline. Facelifts can be done in conjunction with several other procedures such as eyelid surgery, brow lifts and rhinoplasty to achieve the overall effect that you desire. Dr. Bitner recommends that almost all patients that receive a facelift also receive a browlift in order to achieve a fully balanced result. The cost for a facelift alone versus a facelift/browlift is the same.

We all age, and as we do, sometimes things don’t tend to stay where we want them. If BOTOX and dermal fillers are not enough to minimize the effects of time and sun damage, then a facelift is an ideal solution for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

At what age should I consider a facelift?
Where are the incisions for a facelift?
Will you be able to tell that I had the procedure done?
What is the difference between a full face lift and a mini face lift?
How much younger does a facelift actually make someone look?
How long will the results of a facelift and browlift last?
How long does it take to recover from a face lift and browlift?
What are the risks of face lift and browlift surgery?

At what age should I consider a facelift?

40 is usually the minimum age the Dr. Bitner would recommend considering a face lift as a solution for sagging skin. Usually if this surgery is performed at a younger age, the results are not long-lived and the patient will elect to have the procedure done again in their 40’s.

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Where are the incisions for a facelift?

Incisions used in our practice are specifically designed to be almost invisible and do not distort the ear (see photo). The incision starts behind the hairline in the temple area, crosses the junction of the upper ear with the cheek, wraps behind the notch of cartilage in front of the ear canal, goes through the ear lobe crease and back up behind the ear. Many patients will also require an extension of the incision into the hairline behind the ear. Again, over time the incisions will virtually disappear.

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Will you be able to tell that I had the procedure done?

No. Dr. Bitner is a trained facial plastic surgeon. This is all he does and he is an expert at it. His approach is to never be too aggressive with his procedures. Instead he ensures that he takes ample time communicating with his clients upfront to understand exactly what you want to achieve. We all want to look natural, like we’ve never had anything done and Dr. Bitner understands that and works to accomplish that.

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What is the difference between a full face lift and a mini face lift?

Dr. Bitner has studied and learned the many different types of face lifts. He has broken it down to two types of lifts, the full lift and the mini-lift. The full lift involves SMAS elevation and imbrication. This produces maximum benefits and will last for a decade or more. The mini-lift is designed for sagging in the cheek, jowl and some of the upper part of the neck. The incisions are shorter, the undermining less extensive with a shorter recovery period. During your consultation Dr. Bitner will take the time to discuss the goals and benefits of all the face lift options.

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How much younger does a facelift actually make someone look?

This is probably the first and most often asked question. Everyone is different and the amount of aging that results from the appearance of the jowls and extra tissue below the chin varies. However, as a general rule, most people will appear 5-15 years younger after their surgery, averaging about 10 years.

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How long will the results of a facelift and browlift last?

To some degree, the effects of a facelift will last forever. After the operation, the person will continue to age, but they will always look better than had they not had anything done. In generally, we tell clients that they may consider additional procedures after 10-15 years.

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How long does it take to recover from a face lift and browlift?

Plan on about 10-14 days to recover from this operation. All sutures and staples are removed at one week. Moderate bruising will be obvious for the first week, the bruising gradually fades to an olive green color during the second week and is completely gone by 14 days. Mild to moderate swelling is noted right after surgery and will worsen for the first 24 to 48 hours. The majority of the swelling will resolve by 10-14 days with minor swelling persisting for several weeks and sometimes several months. Some patients, within a day after suture removal are ready to put makeup on and get back to work. Others need 14 days or more before they are comfortable going out.

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What are the risks of face lift and browlift surgery?

Overall, these operations are very safe and complications are few and far between. The most common complication is bleeding underneath the skin after the wound is closed. This presents as swelling and pain usually underneath the ear. This happens less than 5% of the time. Other risks include infection, abnormal scarring, unacceptable cosmetic appearance, temporary and/or permanent injury to the facial motor nerve. Other common or almost expected effects of the operation is numbness around the ears and on the forehead. This is very common and usually resolves within 3-6 months.

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