Dr. Butler, Dr. Leveque and Dr. Patterson have performed many facelift procedures over the years with excellent results. They pride themselves on giving patients a natural result. You will look like you, only younger and fresher! In many cases, facelifts can be performed in the office.
Many patients tell us that they are worried that they will look “pulled too tight” like some celebrities they’ve seen. Drs. Leveque, Patterson and Butler have the skill and experience to make sure this won’t happen. Fat grafting may be used to help add volume to the face. We also offer non-surgical treatments such as Ultherapy that can be done a year or two after a facelift to maintain the results.
Facelift by Dr. Butler
Understanding Facial Aging
Facial aging is multifactorial. Facial aging can be broken down into three basic problems: ptosis (falling or sagging of tissues), atrophy (decreased volume and loss of tissue) and decreased skin quality.
A facelift only corrects one of those problems – “ptosis (falling or sagging of tissues).” The addition of fat grafting to treat areas of volume loss and skin resurfacing to improve skin quality can dramatically improve the final result after a “facelift.”
The facelift portion of a facial rejuvenation serves to move the facial soft tissues back into a higher and more aesthetically pleasing location thereby treating jowls and improving facial contour.
Over 50 years old.
A facelift was the most common cosmetic surgery procedure among people over the age of 65.*
The Facelift Procedure
Drs. Butler, Leveque and Patterson perform most facelifts in four layers (two on each side). The deep layer is called the “SMAS” it is a stronger, more supportive layer than the skin and its movement can be more vertical in nature, typically parallel to the smile muscle of the face (zygomaticus major). The most superficial layer is the skin.
Using the SMAS layer to “lift” the face leaves the skin free to do its job as a “covering” layer, not a supporting/lifting layer. Drs. Butler, Leveque and Patterson believe this technique prevents creating a flattened, tight, windblown appearance, reduces wound-healing complications and improves scar quality – since there is less stress on the skin layer.
The procedure is done through facelift incisions in front of and around each ear. After the incisions are made, the skin is carefully elevated from the SMAS layer below. Once the skin layer had been appropriately elevated, the deeper SMAS layer is elevated from the facial muscles underneath it.
Once the SMAS layer has been adequately elevated on each side the SMAS is lifted parallel to the smile muscle (zygomaticis major) to achieve the desired amount of lift. The SMAS is then held in place with sutures. The skin is then re-draped and any excess or redundant skin is removed from the facelift incisions in front of and around the ears.
Facelift by Dr. Patterson
To improve the appearance of the face and jawline.
Office/Clinic, Surgery Center or Hospital
Patients should have well-controlled blood pressure, be at a stable weight and should not be using any nicotine containing products.
Local anesthesia in the office/clinic; or general anesthesia at a surgery center or hospital.
This is out-patient surgery and no hospital stay is required.
After a facelift you should sleep with your neck extended (head tilted back) for 2 weeks. This means no pillows. You may roll up a small towel and place it behind your neck (not your head).
You will be able to walk around, feed and bathe yourself. Depending on your pain medication requirements, you may not be able to drive or care for others. You will not be allowed to drive until you can quickly move your head without pain.
You are encouraged to walk around as much as possible to help reduce the risk of DVT and thromboembolism.
Most patients shower 1-2 days after surgery.
Do not lift anything heavier than the Sunday paper for 2 weeks after surgery. Light exercise such as jogging at 3 weeks. No restrictions after 6 weeks.
Wait 2 weeks because you don’t want to increase your blood pressure during the early healing period.
Light office work and casual social events by 10 days. Wait 6 weeks before any major events. 3 months before any important photographs.
Swelling is usually worst around 3 days and then subsides. May take about 9 months for the numbness and firm sensation to go away. 9-12 months for “full” healing.
Usually subsides by 1-2 weeks.
Risks & Complications
Hematoma, contour irregularities, infection, prolonged swelling, delayed wound healing poor scarring, hairline irregularity, nerve injury, need for revision, complications related to anesthesia.
Schedule a Consultation
Contact Gulf Coast Plastic Surgery in Pensacola, FL today to schedule a consultation for your facelift. Our expert team can answer any questions you may have about the procedure and can provide you with the beautiful results you are looking for.
Performed by: Dr. Butler, Dr. Leveque, Dr. Patterson
*Cosmetic Surgery National Data Bank: Statistics 2013. (2014). Aesthetic Surgery Journal / the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 34(1 suppl), 1S-22S.doi:10.1177/1090820X14542571
Facelift by Dr. Leveque
The Face and Neck Lift Process
During a facelift, your doctor will tighten your facial skin and underlying tissue to smooth out wrinkles and correct deep creases. An adjoining neck lift enhances the definition of your jawline and improves the contour of your chin.
Planning Your Face and Neck Lift Surgery
The first step in planning your face and neck lift surgery is a consultation with Dr. Butler, Dr. Leveque, or Dr. Patterson. The timing of the surgery can be important since there is some recovery time involved. Discuss your lifestyle and obligations with your doctor to determine the best way to achieve a peaceful surgery and an optimum recovery.
Preparing For Your Face and Neck Lift Surgery
Preparation for a face and neck lift procedure may take as long as a couple of weeks, depending on a patient’s current lifestyle. Your doctor will need to see a complete list of current medications, including herbal supplements, before the surgery. Some of these medications, for example, aspirin may need to be discontinued for a few days to a week prior to the surgery. Patients who smoke are strongly encouraged to stop smoking prior to a face and neck lift procedure.
The Face and Neck Lift Procedure
The facelift procedure typically takes several hours with the neck lift procedure taking 1-2 hours. You will go home the same day as your surgery. The face and neck lift procedure is done by redraping skin in the neck while removing excess skin and tightening muscles in order to improve loose skin.
Face and Neck Lift Recovery
Sutures are normally removed within 4-10 days (unless dissolvable). Most patients return to non-strenuous work 7-10 days following surgery. Swelling, bruising, and soreness are typically gone within 2-3 weeks. Strenuous activities can be resumed at approximately 6-8 weeks postop.
Exercise After Face and Neck Lift Surgery
After a face and neck lift, vigorous exercise should be completely avoided for 4 weeks. Moderate exercise should be avoided for a minimum of 7 days postop.
Face and Neck Lift Aftercare
Follow up appointments will be made to oversee your progress and your doctor and his staff are always available to you to discuss your recovery or questions you may have. Here are some important notes for your postoperative care:
- After the dressings are removed, clean suture lines with hydrogen peroxide and a cotton swab once a day until the sutures are removed. Keeping the suture lines clean will make suture removal easier and less uncomfortable.
- Apply a small amount of antibiotic ointment to the suture lines following cleaning.
- Use artificial tears (Refresh, GenTeal, etc.) in your eyes at least four times a day if they feel dry or irritated.
- Use petrolatum (Lacri-Lube, Refresh PM) In your eyes at bedtime for the first few nights if they feel dry or irritated.
- Do not wear contact lenses as long as they feel dry or irritated.
- Continue intermittent cold compresses over the face and neck for at least one week.
- Expect significant bruising and swelling in the face and neck for at least 14 days. Swelling, lumpiness, tightness, and numbness will gradually diminish over the next several months.
- Elevation of your head even while sleeping will help to minimize postoperative swelling and discomfort.
- Avoidance of vigorous activity will help to minimize postoperative swelling and discomfort.
- You can reduce the risk of postoperative bleeding by avoiding blood thinners such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, prescription anticoagulants, or other NSAIDs for about 10 days prior to and several days after the procedure.
- Do not apply make up to the face for the first week.
- Do not shave your face for the first week.
- It is acceptable to shower and wash your hair once the dressings are removed. Use a gentle soap such as Cetaphil.
- Do not resume the use of tretinoin (Retin-A, Renova, etc.) for two weeks postop.
- Use at least SPF 15 sunscreen over the healed incisions if sun exposure is expected for at least two months postop.
- Redevelopment of skin laxity is an unavoidable result of aging and loss of tissue elasticity. Although every effort is made to optimize the outcome of your surgery, please understand that some skin laxity is inevitable.
Still have some questions, or want to find out more? The next step is easy, schedule a consult with your doctor. Our staff will be happy to discuss a face and neck lift with you further. At Gulf Coast Plastic Surgery, we want to be your partner in achieving the appearance you’ve always wanted! At Gulf Coast Plastic Surgery, the face and neck lift surgery performed by Dr. Peter Butler, Dr. Jocelyn Leveque, Dr. Nathan Patterson, a Board Certified Plastic Surgeons. As members of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the Florida Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Medical Association, and a Fellows of the American College of Surgeons (FACS,) your doctor is uniquely suited to perform this surgery. This superior level of expertise, coupled with an innate ability to understand and relate to patients, makes Gulf Coast Plastic Surgery the premier center for cosmetic, plastic, and reconstructive surgery in the Gulf Coast area.
Frequently Asked Questions
A facelift is a surgical procedure that can revitalize the lower part of the face as well as the upper part of the neck. The goal with a facelift is to create a more youthful look. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about facelifts today.
Am I a good candidate?
Good facelift candidates are in excellent overall health, with no cardiac issues and no bleeding disorders. If you’re troubled by sagging or loose skin in the lower skin and upper neck, you might be a good candidate for this surgery. One of the most important considerations when it comes to a facelift is expectations. Patients who are looking for or expecting a dramatic overall change in their entire face and neck area may not be ideal candidates for a facelift. However, you can be a good candidate as long as you understand that other procedures may be necessary if you want to achieve a whole face and neck rejuvenation.
What type of scarring should I expect?
The scars from a facelift are in the hairline, around the ears, behind the ears, and in some cases under the chin. Because your doctor meticulously makes the incisions in the most unobtrusive way possible, they’re very well concealed. Once the scars heal, they’ll usually be nearly invisible.
Are there any areas of the face that a facelift might not help?
A facelift is specifically designed to address issues in the lower part of the face. It’s not a solution for the upper face, the middle face, or the neck areas. If you’re looking for whole face rejuvenation, you may benefit from other procedures as well. These can include:
- A brow lift can resolve wrinkles and sag in the forehead area
- Blepharoplasty can correct eyelid sagging and under-eye bags
- Neck lift rejuvenates the neck area
- Dermal fillers can eliminate or greatly minimize the nasolabial folds (the deep folds surrounding the nose and mouth.)
- Botox can smooth away lines in the forehead and eye area, and it can help preserve the results of surgical procedures.
How much time off of work do I need?
Your doctor typically removes your sutures 7 days after your facelift, unless dissolvable sutures were used. Most patients are able to return to work at that point. Most light activity is fine about a week after a facelift, but more strenuous physical activity must wait for 6-8 weeks.
Should I have a neck lift done at the same time?
Many patients do opt for a neck lift at the same time, as a combination of these two procedures can ensure an attractive and uniform looking result. By doing a neck lift at the same time as the facelift, your doctor can emphasize your jaw definition and create an improved contour for your chin. Not sure whether you’d benefit from doing both procedures? At your consultation with your doctor, you can get a thorough evaluation and find out whether these procedures would work for you. Considering facelift, but need to know more? Dr. Nathan Patterson, Dr. Jocelyn Leveque, Dr. Peter Butler, and the whole Gulf Coast Plastic Surgery team are glad to help. Contact us anytime to arrange a facelift consultation where we can discuss your needs and appearance goals. We love to help patients create more beautiful versions of themselves!
Performed by: Dr. Butler, Dr. Leveque, Dr. Patterson