The objective of a face or neck lift is to restore a youthful appearance by sculpting deeper tissues and re-draping the skin of the face and neck.
General anesthesia is administered by a physician anesthesiologist specializing in facial procedures. Under anesthesia there is no pain and no awareness. An intravenous is started and you “drift off to sleep.”
Approximately 5 hours in the operating room.
Usually 1 to 2 hours in a fully monitored state of the art recovery room at the surgery center.
We recommend 2 nights at a “recovery retreat” or at home with the attendance of an experienced nurse (we can make appropriate referrals). More than any other procedures in our specialty, this operation requires an element of professional observation and care. To minimize postoperative swelling and bruising and hence to speed recovery, we place small suction drains into a hidden portion of the incision. These are best monitored and maintained by an experienced professional. Discomfort is generally minimal throughout the entire immediate postoperative period, but pain pills are included in your postoperative “care package” to be taken if necessary. Our precise instructions and direction sheets will guide you in proper care of incisions, etc.
The First Two Weeks After Surgery:
Patient checks herself out with a hand mirror before leaving the surgery center. Her face and neck lift began at 8:00 a.m. It is 2:30 p.m. and she is ready to leave.
Day 1 – Surgery.
Day 2 – Brief office visit and dressing change; you can already appreciate “the new you.”
Day 3 – Office visit. Dressings changed, suction drains removed. Return home.
Day 4 – At home. You remove the dressings and you may shower and shampoo.
Day 5, 6 or 7 – An office visit begins with stitch removal about the ears and chin. You are generally able to be more active; swelling is minimal and bruising, if present, is resolving rapidly. Make-up can be applied. You may now drive your car. Walking is an excellent exercise at this point; nothing strenuous such as tennis or swimming, however.
Day 9 or 10 – Office visit with further stitch removal from the “hidden areas” (incisions within the hairline). Generally, all bruising has cleared by now. You should feel quite good. Some patients may even be “ready” to return to work (see “Return to Work, Normal Activities, Etc,” below).
Day 14 – Brief office visit. Any remaining stitches are removed. You are generally looking quite good and are now “ready-to-go!”
Return To Work, Normal Activities, Etc:
From the above, you can understand why we recommend that patients “block out” 14 days before returning to routine social and work obligations. Some may be ready a few days sooner and others may take a few days longer. Factors influencing speed of healing include age, general physical fitness, history of smoking and yes, attitude. By 14 days, hair can be colored and styled, etc. Make-up can be used and there are no restrictions except that strenuous exercise, e.g., running, tennis, racquetball, wrestling, etc., is still prohibited until 3 weeks after surgery.
Two days after face and neck lift
Suction drains just removed
Return To Full Activities:
Generally, by 21 days afterneck surgery, you should be enjoying your younger appearance without any inhibitions. While your neck may still feel “tight” and some areas particularly about the neck and behind the ears may still feel “numb,” you should be doing quite well. If there has been a period of “blues,” which is not unusual in the second and third week, it should have lifted by the fourth week after surgery. The only totally unhidden incisions, those about the ears and under the chin, mature to near invisibility within the first 2 to 3 months. We see you weekly only in the first month after surgery; infrequently thereafter until about 3 months after surgery, at which time “after” photos are taken.
Will I Need This Procedure Again?:
Probably not. Until development of our current more aggressive technique (not only re-draping the skin but sculpting the neck and tightening the muscles), the results were not always long lasting. But since this technique has proven itself over the past 25 years, we feel that only a limited “tuck” procedure may be needed, long after the surgery, to keep the face and neck structure looking youthful!
3 weeks postoperative face and neck lift
4 days postoperative face and neck with tissue glue