The Healing Process: Setting Clear Expectations for Your Facelift Recovery
The natural aging process has kicked in. As you are passing by the mirror, you realize that, over the years, your face has lost its youthful contour. While age is the main contributor to these changes, different factors, either genetic (heredity) or external (gravity, sun damage, smoking, irregular sleep schedule, etc.), play their part in creating an older facial appearance.
For more than a hundred years, the medical field strived to perfect the facelift procedure into the ultimate facial rejuvenation treatment for patients who want to rediscover a younger version of themselves. The Vinyard Institute of Plastic Surgery recommends the facelift as the most effective and long-lasting facial rejuvenation treatment.
For that reason, we want our would-be patients to understand the postprocedural healing process and learn how to set clear expectations about the facelift procedure concerning both the results and the recovery process. Without further ado, let us dive deeper into the world of facial rejuvenation and help you better understand your future facelift procedure!
What is a Facelift?
Scientifically known as a rhytidectomy, a facelift is a cosmetic surgical procedure that corrects visible signs of aging and restores a younger look in the face. Through this procedure, our medical team, led by Dr. William J. Vinyard, MD, FACS, aims at recreating a more tapered facial contour by accessing the facial fat pads located under the skin. With age, these facial fat pads become displaced, causing the appearance of saggy skin.
Incisions will be made from the hairline near the temples to the lower scalp behind the ears, around the earlobe, to access these fat pads. Aside from repositioning the facial fat pads, Dr. Vinyard will tighten the connective tissues and remove excess fat and loose skin.
After the surgical procedure, stitches, dissolvable sutures, or staples will be employed to close the incisions (the practitioner personally removes the stitches during a routine check). We know that the thought of incisions being detrimental to the aesthetic aspect of the facial rejuvenation treatment can make would-be patients uncomfortable. However, we have wonderful news – our medical team will use both the hairline and facial structure to conceal these incisions adequately!
Aside from closing the incisions, our medical team will wrap the patient’s face with bandages and employ a surgical drainage tube to both assist the healing process and remove excess blood and fluid from the treated area.
Relax, refresh, and rejuvenate your skin!
The Right Candidate for a Facelift Procedure
As in the case of other cosmetic surgery procedures, the facelift is not a one-size-fits-all procedure. For that reason, if a patient does not meet specific criteria, the results might not be as dramatic as one would expect. In that case, our medical team could recommend facial rejuvenation alternatives towards achieving your aesthetic goals.
As a rule of thumb, the ideal candidates for a facelift are:
- Individuals whose health record will not impair thorough healing.
- Would-be patients who abstain from smoking, excessive drinking, and other noxious habits.
- People who live a balanced life, based upon proper diet and exercise.
- Individuals whose expectations from a facelift procedure are realistic.
Setting Clear Expectations for Your Facelift Procedure
While the facelift reputation sets this surgical procedure at the top of facial rejuvenation treatments, some patients, due to exaggerated expectations, end up dissatisfied with their facelift experience, because of either the recovery period or the results. To avoid such an unpleasant outcome, let us better define what the facelift can and cannot do for the patients’ aesthetic goals.
Reasons for Undergoing a Facelift Procedure
The first thing to have in mind is that the facelift works better when treating specific aging signs, such as:
- Displacement of the facial fat pads causing changes to the facial contour.
- Development of jowls in the jaw line.
- Uneven distribution of fat across the face.
- Deepening of the fold lines between the nose and mouth corners.
- Sagging of the skin on the face and neck due to skin relaxation.
Look younger, longer!
The Limits of a Facelift Procedure
Once you set your mind on this procedure, it is essential to know that a facelift is not a miracle-worker. While it can be delayed, the natural aging process cannot be stopped.
Furthermore, your results are directly correlated to the face’s bone structure, cartilage, and skin tissue. Because of that, achieving the look of your favorite movie star or singer is not realistic. A facelift should make you look like yourself, only a more youthful, rested version of you.
Finally, the facelift procedure does involve between 7 to 10 days of recovery, during which the swelling and bruising will gradually subside. For the first few days of recovery, you will experience fatigue and feel slight discomfort; however, you will quickly recover your strength and return to your work in no time.
What to Expect after Your Facelift Procedure
Once the facelift surgery is over, our medical team will transfer you to a recovery room. Because this is a surgical procedure, it will take a few hours to complete your initial recovery. We will provide you with bandages and medication to help you with swelling, bruising, and other discomforts.
For the first few days, you will experience normal feelings of fatigue and facial fullness caused by the procedure. During that time (ideally, a week to 10 days), give yourself enough sleep and rest. Make sure that your friends and family members are ready to assist you and take over your responsibilities for a short while.
After two weeks, most of the swelling and bruising will have disappeared, making it possible for you to resume your work (intense physical activities are excluded). You may start a light exercise routine after about a month of healing. While some swelling and bruising might persist for up to three months, the general feeling of discomfort will be a thing of the past.
After the first month of recovery, besides the residual swelling and bruising, you will feel ready to return to your day-to-day activities (as well as intense physical work) without people noticing anything but positive changes. Keep in mind that the healing process is highly individualized, which means that the results will begin to show sooner if you follow Dr. Vinyard’s instructions to the letter, protect your face from the sun, and live a healthy lifestyle.
Achieve a healthy and glowing skin
Here at the Vinyard Institute of Plastic Surgery, our medical team specializes in creating a healthy, positive atmosphere with its patients, necessary for delivering outstanding, long-lasting results. An essential aspect of our work is being honest with our patients, which is why we make a top priority out of keeping our would-be patients informed at all times.
Are you looking for more information concerning the facelift procedure? Contact us and book your complimentary consultation with Dr. Vinyard today!
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