What is a Facelift?
The effects of age and environment on the face (lines, wrinkles, loose muscles, sagging tissue, and excess skin) begin to appear for most people in their 30’s. A facelift (also known as rhytidectomy or face lift surgery) will smooth out wrinkles, lift sagging jowls, and refresh facial tissues through the neck, jaw, cheeks and eyes, which gives the face a more youthful appearance. Double board-certified facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Eugene "Gene" Alford in Houston, TX uses the most advanced surgical techniques to tighten and elevate the skin, deep muscles and fatty tissues of the face and neck. Each operation is tailored to not only match your individual facial structure, but also your goals and desires. At Alford Facial Plastic Surgery, Dr. Gene performs facelift surgery that aims to make you appear more youthful and refreshed, without that operated-on look. With many techniques, from a mini-facelift to a modified, limited-incision, or a traditional facelift, each patient’s surgery will be tailored to achieve their best results.
"Women in my Late 50's Who Wanted a Fresher Look and a New Neck. Houston, TX - All my interaction have been fabulous. He so cares about you as a person. He is not in it only for the money but the love of the practice to helping people. He respects women and it shows .I feel so good about myself and ready for my 60's"- M. / RealSelf / Sep 12, 2015
The length of facelift surgery will depend on the technique used, but most facelift surgeries last 4 – 6 hours. A traditional facelift makes incisions that start in the hairline and curve under the ears to the lower hairline. The limited-incision technique uses smaller incisions from the earlobe and around to a small section of the hairline, plus a small incision under the chin. A mini-facelift uses small incisions as needed. After the incisions are made, the surgeon will tighten and lift the muscles of the face, remove pockets of fat, and then re-drape the skin. Once the facial layers are in the correct place, the plastic surgeon will set the new structure with stitches or clips before closing the surgical incisions.
Once the surgery is over, you will have an overnight stay in the hospital so you will be properly cared for and you can be monitored for any concerns. A pressure dressing will be applied immediately after surgery. It is to remain in place until the following morning and should not be adjusted or removed by anyone except Dr. Gene or his nurse. You should be as quiet as possible during this time. A great deal of talking or too many visitors is discouraged. If your dressing begins to feel excessively tight or uncomfortable, ask the nurse to report it. Dr. Gene will perform a follow-up appointment before the patient is able to leave the hospital and recover in the comfort of their home. A light facial wrap will be placed before the patient leaves the hospital and should be worn at all times, except when bathing, for 7 days after your surgery. Use of this wrap is important in achieving an excellent result from your procedure. Most patients need about 2 – 4 weeks for recovery before they can return to their normal activities. Dr. Gene will go over instructions for your facelift recovery, including ways to minimize swelling, discoloration, and pain, as well as signs to watch for during healing.
When asked the age old question: "How long will this facelift last?" Dr. Gene has this to say: "If the facelift I perform makes you look 10 years younger, you will always look 10 years younger than you would if you’d never had a facelift. Aging continues, but it never catches back up." Other factors such as genetics, smoking, sun exposure, stress, and diet will impact both the outcome and longevity of any facelift. Patients are urged to discuss these issues with Dr. Gene as part of their decision-making process. Dr. Gene can also perform touch-up procedures and use injectable wrinkle treatments to refresh your results.
What Does a Facelift Cost?
The estimated cost of your facelift will be discussed during your initial consultation with Dr. Gene. There may be additional expenses including hospital fees, anesthesia, your overnight hospital stay, and more that will also be talked about during your consultation.
Plan Your Procedure
- Recovery Time
- 2 - 4 Weeks
- Average Procedure Time
- 4 - 6 Hours
- Post-op Follow-up
- 1 Day
- Procedure Recovery Location
- Overnight Stay in Hospital
- Facial features that appear older than you feel
- Deep creases (nasolabial folds)
- Displaced facial fat
- Double chin
- Dynamic wrinkles
- Etched lines (marionette lines)
- Facial asymmetry
- Lost muscle tone
- Sagging or loose skin
- Static wrinkles
While age is not as important as the specific appearance of the individual, there are traditionally 2 groups of patients who derive the greatest benefit from facelift surgery: a) the younger man or woman who wishes to forestall the signs of aging and maintain a youthful appearance, and b) older individuals who want to turn back the clock. Although more enduring results can be obtained in younger patients, since their underlying tissues are more elastic, the benefits of a facelift at any age are significant.
Incisions and Scars?
Dr. Gene takes extra time to hide these incisions as much as possible either in or along the hairline, and behind the ears while preserving the hair in front and behind the ears. These incisions become almost invisible within several weeks of surgery, and most patients return to normal social, and business activities within 3 – 4 weeks. If bruising or discoloration occurs, in the first few weeks after surgery it is easily camoflauged with makeup. Do not apply makeup over the incisions themselves until a day after the sutures have been removed. You may apply makeup up to the line of the incisions.
To maximize the results of facelift surgery, Dr. Gene may talk to you during the consultation about complementary procedures such as eyelid surgery, facial implants (chin and/cheek), fat transfer or face and neck liposuction. Dr. Gene will talk to you about your needs, concerns, and goals, then perform a physical examination before making any recommendations. Using Mirror Imaging software, Dr. Gene can help you visualize the potential results of a facelift and other procedures.