A face lift, while it will create smoother, more pleasing contours to your face and neck, is intended to give a “refreshed” appearance rather than address specific conditions such as sagging eyebrows, fatty deposits in the eyelids, or wrinkles around the mouth. Conditions such as these can be dealt with individually using other surgical means such a brow lift, eye lift and skin resurfacing. Your plastic surgeon will assess the thickness, texture and elasticity of your skin, and the severity of wrinkles and folds. Your hairline will be examined to determine where incisions can be placed.
The structure of your face will be considered to tailor surgery to you. If your hair is short you may want to let it grow to cover your incisions while they heal. If you are overweight and have a desire to lose more than 15 pounds, discuss this with your surgeon.
An incision follows the contour of your ear, then extends around the earlobe and back into the hairline. Incisions are made in areas which are most easily concealed by your hair or with make- up. There may also be a small incision hidden underneath your chin. After the skin has been pulled up and back, the excess is removed. In some cases, deeper tissues may be repositioned. A small incision beneath the chin may be used to aid the removal of fatty tissue in that area and smoothing of the cord-like structures of the underlying muscle in the neck.
Hematoma (an accumulation of blood under the skin), infection and reactions to anesthesia are possible though infrequent. Facelift incisions are most often inconspicuous though this cannot be entirely predicted due to individual patterns in healing. Most people return to normal activities within two weeks. Since the healing process is gradual, you should expect to wait at least several weeks for an accurate picture of the way you will look.
Unlike a standard facelift which primarily addresses sagging in the lower face and neck, the mid facelift is beneficial for those who have early signs of facial aging in the area of the cheek below the eyes. However, midface lifting can be performed as part of a conventional facelift.
One approach is similar to a lower eyelid lift. Small incisions are made in the lower eyelid and the underlying tissue of the mid face is gently raised, about 90 % vertically and 10 % back. Any resulting excess skin is then removed. Another method of performing a mid facelift involves making a small incision in the temple area. These small incisions are typical of those used for a browlift. Indeed, a mid facelift performed in this manner can be done in conjunction with a browlift.
The mid face is re-positioned in the subperiosteal pane and the sagging cheek fat pad is lifted together with underlying muscles. This results particularly in correction of hollowing below the eyes, sagging around the mouth as well as improvement of the naso-labial folds. Like a standard facelift, you should expect to wait at least several weeks until swelling has subsided for an accurate picture of how you will look.