Many patients will choose to have a facelift operation (also known as a rhytidectomy) to reduce the visible effects of aging. This surgical procedure nips and tucks loose skin on the face while repositioning drooping facial structures for a refreshed, more youthful appearance. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, a facelift remains as one of the top five most popular aesthetic procedure in the U.S., with more than 128,000 facelift surgeries performed in the year 2014. The skilled plastic surgeon Dr. Paresi of InsideLookMD in Chicago performs facelifts that refresh the face while keeping a natural appearance. Choosing the most appropriate technique for the patient's concerns and cosmetic goals, Dr. Paresi will create their unique treatment plan.
"Pleased - Of course a little nervous at first, but I felt confident in Dr. Paresi. I was relaxed. I didn't feel any discomfort at all. I'm amazed at what a small incision can do to your profile. I feel motivated in myself and reassurance within myself. I have no regrets. I'm pleased with Doctor and staff."- B. / Vitals / Nov 18, 2015
""My experience Dr.Paresi and his staff was excellent. Friendly staff made me feel at ease. They always had a smile on their face and very professional. Dr. Paresi was very wonderful and professional. He explained the procedure and answered all of my question.He made me feel really relaxed the morning of surgery and re-explained procedure to me again. The whole experience was excellent. Dr. Paresi change my life and I could never repay him for what he did for me. To him and his staff thank you.""- B.B. / Yelp / Dec 09, 2015
"Dr Paresi is a talented plastic surgeon. He is honest about what is needed to have a great outcome and is not afraid to tell you. I interviewed 3 different plastic surgeons and the other 2 tried to sell me more procedures than I needed. Dr Paresi was honest and my results where so good it was hard to believe. This man knows what he is doing and interestingly he was the most reasonably priced. His staff is kind, caring and discrete. I am a year out and the results are still so great that I can hardly believe it when I look in the mirror!"- Anonymous / RateMDs / Mar 02, 2013
"My experience with Dr Paresi and his staff was fantastic from start to finish. I love my new younger fresh look. The procedure it's self was easier than I had pictured."- R. / Citysearch / Nov 05, 2015
"Very Good - I am very happy with my results. It is a process. The swelling didn't go down as fast as I hoped. I was able to go back to work after a week. The face numbness is still lingering after three mo., but there is no pain, some morning stiffness. All in all, it has been an experience and am happy I had it done. My doctor was very helpful and informative. I would highly recommend him and his facility ."- Anonymous / Vitals / Jan 20, 2015
There are various techniques used to complete a facelift. Facial anatomy, skin laxity and the end cosmetic desires of each patient will determine the optimal approach. Every procedure will be unique for the patient and will vary based on the type and location of the incision, the depth of the tissue layers involved, the axis of elevation and the level of impact.
Skin Only Facelift
The skin only facelift has been used since the early 1900s. Known as a cutaneous face lift, this method is less invasive due to its limited impact, effecting the skin alone - no underlying muscle. The final result of this surgical technique is subtler than a few of the newer muscle tightening procedures. On the other hand, it also offers a lower risk and involves a faster recovery time.
Traditional Facelift (SMAS)
The SMAS facelift is the most go to choice. This surgery, while more surgically advanced, creates results that are a step or two more impressive and have more staying power. The method involves manipulating a group of muscles below the skin known medically as the superficial musculo-aponeurotic system (SMAS). SMAS controls your expressions. An incision is made along the hairline from the temple to just behind the earlobe. The skin is then removed and lifted. The underlying muscles and tissue are tightened and secured so they maintain their new position.
Deep Plane Lift
The deep plane lift goes a step further than the traditional approach. It is better suited for those with severe sagging and drooping — usually reserved for older patients. In addition to the SMAS layer being adjusted, a deeper section, known as the deep plane, is also treated. While this procedure offers certain advantages over a traditional facelift, surgeons must be skilled and act with caution so facial nerves are not damaged during the surgical process.
A mini facelift is geared towards patients who want some of the benefits of a facelift, while at the same time minimizing the cost and invasive nature of the surgery. Some procedures that are considered “mini” include the “Quicklift” or “Lifestyle Lift”. Patients who wish to maximize the outcome of their surgery, resulting in the most dramatic results, will most likely need to turn to having a full facelift in order to meet these aesthetic goals.
All facelift procedures are performed under general anesthesia at an accredited surgical facility. The length of the surgery will vary, but it generally takes between 3-4 hours. This surgery is considered an outpatient procedure. However, some patients may be required to stay overnight in the hospital. After surgery, patients will be bruised and swollen and the face and neck will feel tight. This will gradually improve within a few days. It is common for patients to feel anxious about how their face will appear. Patients need to understand it can take several full months for the final results to appear.
Plan Your Procedure
BOTOX®, injectable fillers, microdermabrasion and chemical peels are examples of some non-surgical procedures that can assist in smoothing out wrinkles, improving fine lines and adding facial volume. These procedures also help to even out skin tone. However, these are treatments that will only affect the skin’s surface. Patients with loose skin, drooping jowls or a sagging neck will need to consider surgery if they want these features improved.
Will I Look Fake?
In the days immediately following facelift surgery, patients will feel tight and pulled. These are some short-term effects, but they will subside. It’s important to find a reputable surgeon skilled in facial surgery. Surgeons who know what they are doing will make every effort to work within the confines of the patient’s bone, skin and muscle structures so a younger, more natural look can result.
Facelift surgery does require a long incision. However, in almost all cases, these scars are well hidden as they fall just along the hairline and around the ears in the natural folds of the scalp. In most cases, the scars should be barely visible to the naked eye.
The common age range for patients who undergo a facelift is between 50-70. It is safe to say most patients will look 5-10 years younger following a facelift procedure. Younger patients (40-50 years old) generally have stronger skin elasticity so their results may last longer than those of someone older. However, older patients may have results that appear more dramatic and, for them, this can be very worthwhile. Patients should think of a facelift as a process to turn back the aging clock. You will still age, but you will appear a few years younger.