FAQ: Facelift & Neck Lift Surgery


Bay Area – Facelift and Neck Lift Surgery

Facelifts have been used to reverse the signs of aging for more than 70 years. Modern techniques deliver natural, long-lasting results. Considerable wrinkling and sagging can be erased, resulting in an attractive, vibrant look. If you think the right procedure for you may be a facelift, San Francisco, with its premier surgeons and access to leading-edge technology, is the place to start!

What is the specific procedure for a facelift?

Facelifts relocate sagging skin and muscle caused by aging and gravity, and remove surplus stretched skin. Both skin and underskin tissue is surgically treated. Fat deposits in the lower jaw and neck are also removed.

Back to top ^

What is a “two-layer” facelift and how are the results different from a traditional facelift?

In the distant past, facelifts involved simply lifting the skin, pulling it back and removing the excess. This produced unnecessary support tension in skin, resulting in a rigid, unnatural, too-tight look. In addition, skin stretched out again, and the results did not last long.

In the mid-1970’s, plastic surgeons developed the innovative new two-layer facelift. The skin is still lifted, but in this case, a secondary layer of muscle, called the SMAS-Platysma, is raised. Primary tension for supporting the face is placed on this deeper layer, allowing surface skin to drape naturally over a smooth, strong base. This technique is ideal for improving tone in the lower face and neck.

Back to top ^

Where are the incisions made during facelift surgery?

Incisions begin above the ear, behind the hairline, and continue in a natural fold on top of the ear. They may then stretch in front of or inside the ear, around the lobe, behind the ear and into the hairline. I place incisions where they are least visible. Sometimes, an additional incision must be placed under the chin.

Back to top ^

What sort of pain should I expect during/after facelift surgery?

Anesthetic to keep you comfortable may be either local or general, in accordance with your wishes. Patients generally report very little pain, although most experience swelling afterward. Pain medication is made available to you, but most people require very little.

Back to top ^

What is the necklift procedure and how is it different from a facelift?

Neck muscles stretch from ear to ear, supporting the area like a hammock. With time, this hammock loses its youthful firmness, resulting in a double chin or “turkey gobble” neck. Fat may also collect under the chin. A necklift tightens the muscle hammock and removes excess fat. On a side note, many people have genetically ill-defined necklines they desire corrected before they embark on a full facelift to treat aging.

Back to top ^

What is the standard recovery time after facelift surgery?

Recovery time varies depending on your individual proclivity for healing. Bandages are generally applied for 1-3 days, and stitches removed after 5-10 days. For the most part, swelling and sometimes bruising lasts 7-10 days. Most patients recommence work in 1-2 weeks. The face and neck will feel tight for 1-3 months, and any numbness will be temporary.

Back to top ^

How long will the results of my facelift surgery last?

This depends largely on the individual, skin quality and your natural aging rate. The saying “We can turn back the clock, but we can’t prevent it from ticking on” is accurate; you will always appear younger than if you hadn’t had surgery, but aging resumes eventually. In general, patients want additional work after 8-10 years, though this varies.

Back to top ^

What are the risks and possible complications of facelift and necklift surgery?

As with all surgery, one risks bleeding, scarring and infection. Rarely, a small amount of blood called a hematoma collects under the skin and requires removal. Very occasionally, small parts of the skin flap may not heal well, and require a longer recovery. Cigarette smoking increases this likelihood as nicotine compromises circulation. Facial nerve damage may occur, though this is very rare, and generally self-healing. At your consultation, we will inform you of all risks, rare though they may be, so that you can enter surgery confident of a positive outcome.

Dr. Mosser is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon specializing in facelift or neck lift surgery in San Francisco. If you have any further questions about facelifts or wish to schedule a consultation, please contact us.