What is a Facelift?
Board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Donaldson, has quickly earned a reputation in the Midwest for natural results and hidden incisions that are often very difficult to find. If you have lost skin elasticity and muscle tone of the face and neck, appear to have jowls and deep creases between the base of the nose and the corners of the mouth or have developed facial and neck wrinkles that make you look tired, you may be a candidate for a facelift. Dr. Donaldson is trained in the latest SMAS, volumetric and fat transfer techniques that convey a more rested and youthful appearance without looking tight or “over-operated.”
Much of the current discussion in facial aesthetic surgery is about restoring volume, or fullness of the cheeks, lips and eyelids. A youthful face has soft curves and exuberant, full features; in contrast, an aged face is deflated, harsh, hollowed.
About the Procedure
Dr. Donaldson will closely examine each area of your face, from your hairline and forehead, to your eyebrows and eyelids, to your nose, cheeks, lips, chin and neck. Each area will be considered independently, then as a whole. Your surgeon should be especially interested in the subtle blending of one aesthetic subunit into the next: is there a sharp line between lower eyelid bags and your cheek that could be smoothed? Are there deep folds between your nose and the corners of your mouth that could be filled? Have your cheeks descended to your jawline such that they could now be lifted?
There are many varieties of facelifts, ranging from quick sutures to full facial rejuvenation that includes upper, mid and lower facelift. In general, a shorter procedure yields less lasting results. Contour Threads are an example of less invasive technologies that created fleeting results, and they have been discontinued.
Often, the best solution for facial rejuvenation is a combination of modalities that appropriately addresses each area of your face. This might include facelift surgery for your jowls, Botox for your forehead wrinkles, fat injections to give you more plump cheeks, a filler such as Restylane or Juvéderm for your deep creases and laser to the wrinkles beside your eyes. Dr. Donaldson will help you to fully understand the risks, benefits, advantages and disadvantages of each approach, then he will give you as much time as you need to make an informed decision.
The facelift is an outpatient operation that is usually performed under general anesthesia. While many surgeons make an obvious incision on the face in front of the ear, Dr. Donaldson discreetly places his incisions within the hair and inside the ear so they are almost completely hidden from view. The tissue beneath the skin is lifted into a more youthful position, then the facial skin is gently re-draped without wrinkles. Fat injections and surface treatments are performed last if necessary.
After a facelift by Dr. Donaldson, you will wear a light headwrap overnight. He will likely remove it in the office the following day, then ask you to continue its use for one week. Pain medicine is given before, during and after the operation, and you will go home with a prescription so that you are always comfortable. Usually, all of the sutures are dissolvable under the skin so that no stitch removal is necessary. Bruising and swelling is often very mild; when present, it usually fades within a week or two. The final result of a facelift procedure is evident within 4 to 6 weeks, and improvements may continue for several months as the facial tissues readjust.
Your specific risks during facelift (rhytidectomy) can only be determined through a personal consultation, but Dr. Donaldson has a stellar track record of avoiding complications.
Additional procedures that might enhance the result of a facelift are: Eyelid Lift, Brow Lift, Chemical Peel, Facial Sanding (dermabrasion), Chin Enlargement, Nose Reshaping (rhinoplasty), Fat Suction, and Laser Skin Resurfacing.
A facelift is considered cosmetic and therefore is not covered by insurance. Our office will show you various financing options and work with you to determine the best payment plan.