Facelift surgery is an art form dedicated to correcting age-related imperfections of the neck, jawline, lower face, and the cheeks. A facelift is a general term for a surgical procedure that works to restore a youthful appearance in these areas. Dr. Richard Rand is an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon who is known as one of the top facelift specialists in the greater Seattle area.
Dr. Rand considers the facelift to be the highest art form of all plastic surgery procedures. He and his expert staff at the Northwest Center for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery are committed to patient education, ultimate safety, completely natural looking results, and to ensure the most positive cosmetic surgery experience from consultation through recovery.
If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of facelift surgery, please don’t hesitate to contact our office in Bellevue today for more details.
More Resources on Facelifts
- How to Avoid a Facelift Fail
- 6 Tips to Get Your Money’s Worth from a Facelift [Infographic]
- 4 Facts You Should Know before Planning Your Facelift
Branded Facelifts: Do They Get Predictable Results?
You may have heard about or seen advertising for a branded facelift such as the Lifestyle Lift®, SmartLift®, and countless others. Although it is very tempting to assume that a designed procedure such as this would give you more predictable results, unfortunately, this is not the case.
These branded facelifts are not the same as what Dr. Rand performs. They also are typically rated on national sites such as RealSelf with only 38% satisfaction rates. Facelift surgery has no standardized technique. Experienced surgeons perform facelifts differently for each patient because each patient presents different anatomical variations. It is therefore always up to the surgeon to interpret each procedure and each patient in a customized way that allows for the best facelift results possible.
At the Northwest Center for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, we carefully plan out every facelift surgery based on the goals and physical needs of each patient. We have no single standardized facelift. We will measure your face, evaluate your skin condition, and take photos to craft a facelift that helps you achieve the look you want.
How to Know If a Face Lift Is Right for You
There are many different facelift surgery techniques and the potential results will vary widely by the technique. Dr. Rand places his highest priority on the following goals:
- The restoration of a beautiful, angular neck with no excess fat or loose skin
- Creating a smooth, youthful jawline with no jowls
- Enhanced cheek volume restoring the fullness of youth
- The complete absence of an “operated on” look
With the right plastic surgeon and patient, these goals are achievable. So how do you know if you’re a good candidate for facial plastic surgery? If you are concerned about loose skin and fat in your neck and jowls along the jawline, you have moved beyond what can be done with simple skin care, dermal fillers and BOTOX® Cosmetic. Surgery is your best treatment option at this point.
Additionally, sagging tissues in the cheeks and deep folds around the nose and mouth will also make you a good candidate for a facelift. Being a person in good health overall who does not smoke is also required. You should also be sure that you are getting a facelift for yourself, not because you feel pressured or want to impress anyone else. To get the best results possible, Dr. Rand advises patients to prepare for surgery by maintaining their ideal body weight and using high-quality skin care products to promote skin elasticity.
As you prepare for facelift surgery, we will examine and measure your face. We will also take photos to help assist in customizing the procedure for you. We will evaluate your general health and talk about your goals, as well as answer any questions you may have. We understand that getting a facelift can be a big decision. Our goal is to make you comfortable with the procedure. Our facility is highly professional and is held to the highest standards of health and safety.
The Procedure: How Facelift Surgery Is Performed
A general anesthetic as administered by a board-certified anesthesiologist is safe and effective for the proper performance of a facelift. The procedure takes time, roughly 3.5 to 4 hours, and most patients have a better experience of being asleep for a facelift.
Local anesthesia is also occasionally an option, combined with a sedative to make you drowsy. You would be awake but relaxed, and your face would not be sensitive to pain. It is possible to feel some sensations or slight discomfort. Ask Dr. Rand what the major differences are between general and local anesthesia.
Basic procedural steps
- 1. Incisions are carefully crafted around the ear to make them virtually invisible, and along the sideburn and lower scalp to prevent hair loss, following the natural contour of the areas to remain well hidden regardless of your preferred hairstyle.
- 2. Separation of skin, subcutaneous tissue and muscle of the neck and face is performed. Fat can be removed or repositioned and underlying muscles are tightened. The SMAS is the deep tissue of the cheek which is carefully lifted to restore youthful cheek volume.
- 3. Deep tissues are repositioned and tightened and excess skin is trimmed or removed.
- 4. Stitches are placed to maintain the new form and fixate the results during healing.
- 5. Bandages will be placed around the face to minimize swelling and bruising.
Every facelift is customized for your goals and facial structure. You should plan on keeping your calendar clear on the day of the surgery as well as 2 weeks after for a thorough recovery.
Facelift Incisions and Techniques
The incisions will vary: most are placed along the hairline and some stop right at the top of the ear. Quality facelift surgery requires an ability to create inconspicuous scars around the ears. Dr. Rand uses meticulous pre-surgical design customized to each patient. Gentle handling of the tissue and incision closure under no tension produces rapid healing, 2 weeks for most patients before being very presentable publicly.
Dr. Rand has a unique eye for addressing the “aesthetic units” of the area. He believes that a multi-plane technique such as a SMAS lift gives the best facelift results without producing an operated upon appearance. We want your facelift to create a natural look.
After Your Facelift Surgery: What to Expect
You should plan to relax for your recovery period and arrange for someone to help you for the first few days. Recovery time is approximately 10 days and you should be presentable in about 2 weeks. Pain is generally minimal and specific postoperative instructions will be provided to help you expedite the recovery process. Medications will be prescribed to help manage discomfort, but Tylenol usually suffices. All stitches are removed at the end of the first week of recovery. It will take about 3 months for your face to feel back to normal with a regular sense of texture, sensitivity, and tightness.
You will have bandages for a few days after facelift surgery. Dr. Rand will provide instructions on caring for your incisions. Following recovery procedures is very important and we will schedule follow-up appointments during your recovery period to check on your progress. Be sure to ask any questions you might have about your progress and let us know how you feel. Every patient’s recovery is a bit different and your face will feel strange.
If you start running a fever of 100 degrees or higher, experience abnormal discharge or bleeding, or feel extreme pain, you should contact us immediately. While redness and swelling are a normal part of recovery, more extreme redness and swelling can also indicate an issue. Evaluating these aspects is an important part of the follow-up visits.
After your recovery period, it’s important to keep taking care of your skin to get the most out of your facelift. Apply sunblock when you go outside and keep using high-quality facial products to help your skin stay healthy. Facelifts do not stop your skin from aging, though they do help patients look much younger. Taking care of your skin will make the effects of your facelift last longer.
Facelift Surgery FAQs
Will I have any scars from getting a facelift?
Every cosmetic surgery procedure results in some degree of surgical scarring. Dr. Rand will customize your facelift operation to your needs and body. There will be small, inconspicuous scars in areas near the ears and the hairline. Our goal is to make sure that every patient has a natural look, not an ‘operated-on’ appearance. If there is any need to reduce the scars, we will provide scar treatment. Scars may look more severe early on in the recovery period, but they will be less noticeable over time.
How long does facelift recovery take?
Facelift recovery typically takes around a month. There will be bruising and swelling for the first few days. You should expect to feel better within a week and to be presentable in about 2 weeks. There is usually very little pain during the recovery period and it is usually manageable using over-the-counter pain medications. The swelling of the early recovery period may cause some issues with facial mobility but that should quickly go away. We will carefully evaluate the swelling, bruising, and facial mobility at every follow-up visits to ensure your recovery is going well.
Is there anything I need to do to prepare for a facelift?
You may need to adjust any medications you are taking. You should start using high-quality skin products on your face for several weeks to help your skin be more elastic. If you smoke, you will need to stop before surgery and until recovery is complete afterward (for the best and most lasting results, quit smoking altogether). Avoid taking any anti-inflammatory drugs to avoid increased bleeding and bruising. We will do some medical testing and evaluation to see if you need to do anything else.
It’s also important that you have someone else bring you to and from facelift surgery, as well have someone to take care of you for the first few days and nights after surgery. You will also want to clear out your calendar for the whole day of your surgery and two weeks after to help make sure your recovery is smooth. You may have drains temporarily embedded in the skin to help reduce swelling, which will limit how you can bathe and will be removed after a few days.
We want to make your facelift surgery as comfortable an experience as possible, with the best results possible. We will provide you with a thorough preparation procedure and answer any questions you might have.
Are there any risks to facelift surgery?
As with any surgery, there are risks for facelift surgery. Complications may include bleeding, infection, skin loss, facial nerve injury, temporary or permanent hair loss at incision areas, fluid accumulation, changes in skin sensation, numbness, skin irregularities, skin discoloration, and anesthesia risks. Your health and safety are our number one concern. Dr. Rand plans each surgery for maximum effectiveness and minimal discomfort for every patient, customizing the procedure for your goals and needs. There will also be a board-certified anesthesiologist present before, during, and immediately following your facelift surgery to ensure the process is as safe as possible. We will discuss the potential risks and complications before you undergo surgery.
How long do the effects of a facelift last?
The results of a facelift often last between 7 and 10 years before the aging process begins to cause noticeable sagging and wrinkling. Facelifts do not halt aging, but you can look up to younger for many years to come. Taking care of your skin, not smoking, and minimizing sun exposure can help these effects last longer. High-quality face products do make a difference in the health and appearance of your skin.
A facelift can help you feel restored and years younger. You can look as energized as you feel. Please take a look at our photo gallery to see the before and after photos of dozens of our satisfied patients. Our professional and friendly staff would be delighted to answer any questions you might have about facelift surgery. Contact our office in Bellevue, Washington today area for more information about facelift surgery.