We have already covered the basics of facelifts, including the risks and the recovery process. These posts will give you an excellent understanding of what a facelift entails, and what your recovery will be like. Lets take it a little further with a more detailed discussion of the customizability of a facelift procedure.
First of all, no two facelifts will be alike because each person has different needs, different desired outcomes, and different facial contours. For example, there are a number of incision sites you can choose from with your surgeon, though the most common incision for a tradition facelift is in the natural contour of the ear and extending into the hairline. What follows after that depends on the patient.
What can a facelift not correct? Excess skin or fat in the eyelids, deep wrinkles around the mouth, and sagging eyebrows will not be corrected with a traditional facelift. You can further customize your surgery by adding laser resurfacing, eyelid surgery, or a brow lift to correct these issues.
While each surgery will include an incision, a tightening of underlying tissues, and the removal of excess skin (and maybe fat), the final result will depend on how much of those things are done during the surgery. Your surgeon will be able to modify each step to give you the results you want after recovery- whether youre after dramatic results or something more subtle.
Once the incision is made, the skin and the fatty tissue underneath it are separated from the muscles and connective tissue. Excess fat is removed via liposuction or it is cut away. The muscles and fascia (called the superficial musculoaponeurotic system) underneath the skin/fatty layer are tightened with folding if desired. The folding of this layer tightens the tissues, giving a more defined look to the jaw and cheeks.
This is followed by the tightening of the skin. The incision is then closed and a drain may or may not be inserted. Because the surgery offers each patient a high level of customization, it takes a different time with each person. Most facelifts last between two to four hours, with the surgeries requiring muscle work taking the longest.