Faceliftwith Dr. Thomassen
What is a Facelift?
A Facelift or Rhitidectomy is a surgical procedure used to address signs of aging in the face and neck. These signs include cheek descent or ptosis, deep nasolabial folds, jowls and marionette lines, and neck rhytids or wrinkles and bands.
Dr. Thomassen has specialized in face and neck lifts and has over 17 years of experience. He performs a variety of facelifts in our Fort Lauderdale Office/Surgical Center.
A facelift procedure rejuvenates the face by lifting and contouring the soft tissues under the skin as well as removing excess skin. This is done using strategically placed incisions that are hidden in the contour of the ear and hairline.
What causes our faces to age?
A myriad of congenital and environmental factors affect how our faces age with time. Loss of volume occurs as we age including both due to changes in our bony structure and the size and position of fat pads in our face. Loss of skin elasticity and its ability to repair itself also occurs with time. Rapid weight loss, as well as exposure to toxins and even excess sunlight, can accelerate these changes. Some of these changes occur even in younger patients due to exposure to these damaging environmental factors.
The Benefits of a Facelift with Dr. Thomassen
Dr. Thomassen offers the most current procedures tailored to your goals. In addition, we tailor the anesthetic approach to ensure you feel most comfortable with the procedure. From local anesthesia only to intravenous sedation, you have options we can discuss that will ensure your safety and comfort. In addition, we perform this surgery in the privacy of our Office Surgical Center with a board certified Anesthesiologist.
Our philosophy is that a natural yet more youthful look is important. We also value a quick recovery and long-lasting results. Dr. Thomassen will find the combination of treatments that will reach these goals.
What are the different types of facelifts?
A mini facelift is designed to correct midface ptosis or droop, jowls and the neck. This is done with only partial dissection into the neck to correct neck wrinkles and bands. The skin is elevated as a flap. Under the skin is the SMAS (Superficial Musculoaponeurotic System). It is treated as a flap or with suture plication to create the lift. The skin is then redraped and excess skin removed. A mini facelift can be comfortably done under local anesthesia. Dr. Thomassen recommends this procedure for the younger patient that needs facial rejuvenation and does not have excessive neck rhytids or fullness. It is also a good option for the older patient that wants a quicker procedure and recovery and for patients that have had prior facial rejuvenation procedures and need to improve on these results.
Face and Neck Lift
A face and neck lift, or a full facelift, uses the same incisions as a mini lift, adding a small incision under the neck to more thoroughly address the neck. The SMAS layer of tissue (Superficial Musculoaponeurotic System) is then plicated or elevated as a flap and sutured to effect the lift. The platysma is plicated in the midline and also elevated and sutured back to the mastoid fascias for a consolidated neck. This can be performed under local anesthesia as well as local with sedation.
What is a Deep Plane Face Lift?
A deep plane facelift lifts the skin together with the SMAS tissue in one composite flap. There are varying schools of thought regarding the benefits of this technique. Dr. Thomassen believes a SMAS flap technique gives a surgeon more control over the final result because the skin and SMAS flaps are separate and can be sutured along different vectors. The deep plane does not afford this freedom and can look unnatural in the early healing stages and beyond.
Can I have a neck lift without a facelift?
An isolated neck lift can be done using only incisions under the chin and behind the ear. However, it is always beneficial to address the neck as well as the face at the same time for a more congruent result. Nonetheless, in some patients, mostly men, an isolated neck lift treats the bothersome excess neck skin without addressing other areas which may not be of concern.
Who is a Good Candidate for a facelift?
Good candidates for a facelift are men and women of any age that are concerned about significant signs of aging like deep nasolabial folds, jowls, and neck bands. Most commonly this is seen in patients from late 40s to later in life. However, even younger patients may exhibit premature signs of aging due to effects of weight loss, smoking, sun exposure, etc.
Also in men and women with prior facial rejuvenation procedures, a facelift may help improve results that have relapsed over time.
Preparing for your facelift procedure
Days before Surgery
- Avoid strenuous exercise in the days leading up to your surgery. You should be well rested leading up to your surgery date. Also avoid excessive sun exposure.
- Refrain from alcohol the week before surgery.
- Stop using skin irritants on your face 1 week before surgery, including light peels, acne medication, and retinoic acid.
- Pick up your prescriptions with plenty of time before your procedure. Set up a comfortable recovery area at home and plan your meals including a light clear liquid meal for the first night.
- Plan for someone to be with you for 24 hours after surgery.
- You will receive a call from our Operating Room Nurse a few days before your procedure to go over the consent and any preoperative details and instructions to make sure you are ready for surgery.
- You will recieve a call from our Anesthesia Provider the day before surgery to go over your medications and discuss details about your anesthesia.
- Use antibacterial soap when showering the day before surgery.
- Remove any piercings or jewelry you may have before coming in for the procedure.
What to expect the day of surgery
The day of surgery you will arrive at our office at the appointed time. Wear something loose and comfortable that you can easily remove and put back on after the procedure. A button down shirt and loose pajama bottoms are ideal.
You will meet the surgical team, including a preop nurse and anesthesia provider. Dr. Thomassen will answer any final questions you may have regarding the procedure and do some markings.
What Anesthesia is Used for a Facelift Procedure?
How long does a Facelift take?
What is the Recovery like for a breast augmenation
Your first follow up with Dr. Thomassen will be the next day after surgery. Dr. Thomassen will remove your dressings and the drains. A comfortable facial garment will be placed. You will be able to shower the next day and wash your hair. You will receive further instructions on how to care of your incisions and speed up your recovery.
You should not plan to undertake any strenuous exercise for at least 4 weeks after surgery. Light walking is fine the first week and you can gradually increase excercise as you feel better.
At the 1 week visit, your sutures will start to be removed. At that point your swelling will be mostly resolved. You can start to wear makeup after this visit.
At 2 weeks, you will have any remaining sutures removed and be able to be around people without any evident signs of having had surgery.