As cosmetic procedures become more common, you may be wondering if now is the right time to get a facelift (rhytidectomy). Good news – long gone are the days of too-tight skin and over-altered appearances. Surgeons have become so proficient in facelift procedures that the surgery is much quicker and more painless than it once was.
Still, before you have any surgical procedure, you want to make sure that you will get the results you want with minimal risk to your health. Here are the qualities that make someone a good candidate for facelift surgery.
During a facelift, your surgeon makes an incision around the ears and hairline and manipulates the skin and muscles underneath to give you a more youthful appearance. Any excess skin, which contributes to sagging, drooping and wrinkles, is removed, giving skin a tighter, livelier look.
Facelifts can be done on the whole face or portions of the face, depending on your problem areas. You may be a good candidate for a facelift if you struggle with:
Facelifts mostly fix issues in the lower half of the face and the neck. Many of our patients also choose to pair their facelift procedure with a neck lift (platysmaplasty) for optimal results. If you are looking to fix puffiness and bags around the eyes, you may be more suited for an eye lift (blepharoplasty), and if you’re more concerned about crow’s feet and forehead wrinkles, a forehead/brow lift is your best bet.
There is no right or wrong age to get a facelift. Most facelift patients are women between their 40s and 70s, but that doesn’t mean someone younger or older cannot benefit from the procedure. For example, younger patients may prefer a mini-facelift that targets their most concerning issues, whereas older patients may have to work around health issues that could interfere with surgery.
Your general state of health will ultimately dictate whether you’re a good candidate for a facelift. Although it may seem relatively “surface level,” a facelift is an outpatient surgical procedure that requires IV sedation. Patients will also need a few weeks to heal and allow the swelling to go down.
Any of the following conditions may slow the healing process or pose a surgical risk:
If you have one of these conditions, it doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be able to get a facelift. Instead, it’s best to discuss your specific scenario with a surgeon. For example, if you are a smoker, it may be an option to quit smoking for several weeks before and after surgery to mitigate the risks.
If you work with a reputable surgeon, such as Dr. Sergio Vendetti at Virginia Surgical Arts, they will inform you of your options and suggest the optimal solution to help you attain your desired appearance.
Facelifts work by enhancing the features you already have. Supple skin is always going to work best for a facelift because it is more flexible, bounces back more quickly after surgery and looks younger.
The success of your facelift is also somewhat dependent on your underlying bone structure. When the surgeon pulls the muscles and tightens the skin, it will accentuate your natural cheekbones, chin, and jawline. This may be a huge plus for patients who feel their natural beauty has been masked by drooping skin and other signs of aging.
Anyone seriously considering a facelift should have realistic expectations going into the surgery. Most facelifts can make you look as you did when you were younger, but they cannot entirely undo the aging process, nor can they prevent additional aging from taking place. Your new skin is still subject to gravity and wrinkles, which are formed through facial expressions and muscle movements.
You can expect a mini-facelift to last two to five years and a full facelift to last a decade or even longer, depending on how old you were when you got the procedure. In general, the younger you are when you get the facelift, the longer your results will last.
If you are hoping to look like an entirely different person, a facelift is not the right solution. Facelifts are more geared toward eliminating loose skin and reversing signs of aging. A more dramatic makeover would require additional procedures, such as fat grafts, implants and nose, and chin sculpting.
If you think you’d be a good candidate for a facelift, consider scheduling a consultation with Dr. Sergio Vendetti at Virginia Surgical Arts. Dr. Vendetti has backgrounds in dental and cosmetic surgery and understands the intricacies of altering someone’s appearance. He also tailors his process to each patient to ensure you get the results you desire.
Call (757) 430-7690 today to schedule your first appointment with Dr. Vendetti and discuss your options.