Facelift Miami (Rhytidectomy):
A Comprehensive Guide

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A facelift Miami is one of the most common cosmetic surgeries that patients undergo. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the facelift remains to be one of the top five most popular cosmetic procedures in the country even with the development of many other non-surgical alternatives.

But keep in mind that undergoing a Rhytidectomy requires you to be equipped with the proper information regarding this aesthetic treatment. After all, you will only be able to make informed decisions with your surgeon if you know what the procedure is all about.

Read on to learn more about the ins and outs of a facelift treatment.

About the Facelift Miami

Also known as rhytidectomy, this is a surgical procedure meant to improve the visible signs of aging in the face and neck. It seeks to solve facial problems such as sagging skin, deep creases below the lower eyelids and along the nose, jowls, and excess fat under the chin and jaw. It involves lifting and firming sagging facial tissues to restore a more naturally youthful facial appearance.

Being a restorative procedure, a facelift rejuvenates the youthful contours of the face. However, it does not change your fundamental appearance and does not stop the aging process, as many myths claim it to be.

To make it easier for you, we have come up with a short checklist of questions that you should ask your surgeon before a Facelift procedure.
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Benefits

One of the most obvious benefits of a facelift is its ability to give you a more youthful appearance. It firms up your muscle tone and smooths out your skin, hence restoring an attractive facial contour. Since it does not create any drastic modifications on your face, do not expect that you will look like someone else after the procedure. Instead, expect to look and feel years younger.

Another benefit is its ability to repair loose and sagging skin. By removing these extra tissues that are starting to droop with age, your cosmetic surgeon can address jowls, turkey wattles, sagging skin around the eyes, and an overall aged appearance.

A Rhytidectomy also helps improve facial contour by addressing the underlying structures of the face, which are called the Sub-Muscular Aponeurotic System or SMAS. Your cosmetic surgeon rearranges the SMAS into a more youthful configuration before addressing the concerns on the superficial layer of your face. This puts less tension on the skin and helps your facelift procedure results last longer.

Candidates

In general, you need to be in good overall health to become qualified to get a facelift. That means you should not have any underlying medical conditions, especially the ones that impair healing. You also need to have a positive attitude and realistic expectations regarding your surgery.

Some of the facial characteristics that make you an appropriate candidate include the presence of sagging skin in your mid face or jawline, deep creases from your nose to the corners of your mouth, lines from the corners of your mouth down to your chin, excess facial fat, loss of muscle tone in the lower face, creased skin on the neck, and a double chin.

It is also important that you have good skin elasticity before undergoing this procedure, as well as a strong bone structure to provide ample support to your facial muscles.

Types

There are many different types of a Rhytidectomy that you can choose from. The most comprehensive is the traditional full facelift, which targets almost all areas of the face and is thus recommended for patients already in their 50s and 60s.

Another type is the mid facelift, which tightens the tissues below the eyes and around the cheeks. Since it does not address all the signs of aging, this is the preferred procedure among patients in their 30s and 40s.

If you are looking for a minimally invasive treatments, then you can get the mini facelift , also known as the ‘weekend facelift.’ It targets a smaller area of the face and is often done with the help of endoscopes. An even less invasive version of this is the thread or ‘lunchtime facelift,’ wherein your cosmetic surgeon creates tiny stitches just below your skin’s surface to help lift the muscles underneath.

You can also receive this procedure for just a portion of your face. For instance, the upper facelift can subtly tighten the skin and underlying muscle tissues on the forehead, reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles between the eyes and across the brow. If your problem is in the lower third of your face, you can opt for the lower facelift, which tightens the underlying structures that form jowls and fleshy neck. It can reduce deep nasolabial folds, lift the sagging corners of the mouth, and enhance the appearance of the jaw.

There are also branded facelifts, like the Lifestyle Lift Miami and QuickLift, that provide less invasive variations.

Want more details about these types of procedure? Check out the 7 Types of Facelifts That You Can Choose From.

Procedure

Patients are given the option to choose between local or general anesthesia, depending on the intensity and length of the procedure and the recommendations of your surgeon.

The incision depends on the area of the face that you are targeting and the amount of change that you want. In most facelift surgery procedures the incision begins behind the hairline on the side of the head, down to the ear and running along the crease between the ear and the cheek. The incision then wraps around the earlobe and continues into the lower scalp under the hair.

After making the incisions, your surgeon will lift the facial skin from the underlying tissue, remove excess fat and skin, and tighten the surrounding muscles, improving the contours and appearance of your face. Finally, your skin is repositioned with stitches or staples and the treated area is wrapped in bandages.

Techniques

There are many different techniques that exist for traditional procedures. Each technique has its own advantage and disadvantage, which your surgeon can explain during your consultation. Keep in mind that the best technique depends on each person’s needs.

Endoscopic Facelift

One of the most popular techniques in Rhytidectomy is the use of endoscopic technology, which is best for patients who want to address drooping muscles and misplaced fat but do not have a large amount of excess skin. This is especially useful for mid and lower facelifts.

In this technique, your doctor creates three small incisions measuring an inch long at most and inserts an endoscope in one of the holes to obtain a clear view of the underlying facial structure. Through the other two incisions, your surgeon uses tiny surgical instruments to lift the muscles and remove excess tissue.

Cutaneous Facelift

As the oldest technique, the cutaneous facelift is used for solving problems related to sagging and excess skin. Your surgeon creates a long incision running along the hairline, then gently lifts the skin and sutures it higher in place.

It has a lower risk of nerve damage and other complications compared to other techniques, but the results also do not last long, as it does not affect the underlying muscular structure. Many experts also believe that the results of the cutaneous procedure are not natural-looking.

SMAS Facelift

The SMAS facelift is now the most common technique after the cutaneous facelift has been nearly eliminated. In this technique, your surgeon lifts and tightens the underlying muscle structure to improve your facial contours and help you achieve an overall youthful appearance. Your surgeon also eliminates extra skin, resulting in a more natural-looking appearance compared to older techniques.

S-Lift

This technique is named as such because your surgeon creates an S-shaped incision in front of the ears to carry out the facelift. The incisions made are small and inconspicuous, resulting in a shorter recovery time than the traditional facelift. The S-lift technique is best used for a lower lift.

Deep Plane Lift

This risky technique involves working on the tissues before the SMAS layer. Your doctor lifts the entire facial structure as a single unit instead of separating the muscles and lifting them separately. The deep plane lift is best for mid facelifts, as it effectively treats deep nasolabial folds. However, it also involves more risk to the facial nerves, which is why it is important to make sure that your surgeon has mastered the deep plane lift before he carries it out.

Subperiosteal Facelift

Also perfect for mid procedure, the subperiosteal facelift goes deeper than the deep plane lift and targets the tissues just above the facial bones through incisions below the lower lash line or inside the mouth. It is a highly specialized technique that requires expert cosmetic surgeons.

Results

A facelift will make you look a lot younger than your age, though not in an unnatural way. However, it is important to note that it may take a few months before the swelling completely dissipates and the incision lines fully mature.

As for the long term results, it depends on how you take care of your face afterward. Maintaining a healthy weight is important as significant weight fluctuations can cause your skin to stretch out again. You should also have a quality skin care regimen to keep your skin healthy. The natural aging process will take its toll, but a face that is well taken cared of will always look younger than its years.

Preparation

Patients who want to undergo a facelift should stop smoking at least two weeks before the procedure to allow good healing during recovery. Certain medications that could cause post-surgical complications also need to be stopped, such as aspirin, vitamin E, nutritional supplements, and blood thinners. A full laboratory workup or medical evaluation is also needed to make sure that you are in excellent health before attempting to undergo a Rhytidectomy.

As for the practical preparations, you should take a couple of weeks off from work to allow your face to heal. You also need to make arrangements for transportation and aftercare. Some of the things that you need to have on hand during your downtime include bandages, over-the-counter pain medications, prescription medications, pillows to keep your head elevated, and button-down clothes that do not have to go over your head. You can pack these things in your recovery kit to make sure that you do not miss a thing during your recovery.

Recovery

Right after your surgery, you might have bandages on your face and drainage tubes attached your incisions, though it depends on the extent of the procedure. Drainage is expected for at least 48 hours. Your surgeon will also give you over-the-counter pain medications.

Like any other invasive procedure, you are advised to avoid any strenuous activities during the first few weeks of your recovery. You might be asked to return a week later to have your stitches removed. Swelling and bruising might persist for several weeks after your surgery. During this time, you should strive to keep your head elevated at all times to prevent further swelling. You should also stay away from saunas and hot tubs and avoid wearing makeup until your doctor gives approval.

Learn more about the four stages of facelift recovery in this article.

Risks and Side Effects

The Rhytidectomy may be a safe procedure in general, but it is not without its risks. Some of the most common side effects of this treatment include anesthesia reactions, discomfort, bruising, swelling, scarring, temporary numbness, and slow healing. These side effects typically resolve themselves within a few weeks. You can also enhance the healing process by following a full and healthy diet.

Complications may also occur, such as poor reaction to anesthesia, infection, hematoma, nerve damage, and visible scarring. It is important to contact your doctor right away if you experience any of these unwanted complications.

Combining Facelift Miami with Other Treatments

A facelift cannot eliminate all the imperfections on your face. As such, you can enhance the results of your surgery by combining it with the following surgical or non-surgical treatments. For a more in-depth look at these treatments, check out these common procedures combined with a facelift.

Surgical Treatments

Facial liposuction, lip augmentation, eyelid surgery, and facial implants are just a few of the most commonly combined surgical procedures with a facelift.

Also known as liposculpture, facial liposuction involves removing fat that has accumulated on your cheeks and under your chin, thereby reshaping and contouring your face. Lip augmentation is great for those with thin lips, as this procedure can make those lips look plumper. Eyelid surgery can dramatically improve the appearance of tired and droopy eyes, as a Rhytidectomy can enhance the area around the eyes, but not the eyelids themselves. Facial implants are designed to enhance or augment the physical structure of your face, hence bringing it better balance and proportion.

Non-Surgical Treatments

The non-invasive procedures that patients love pairing with a facelift almost always have something to do with the texture of their facial skin. These include chemical peels, laser skin resurfacing, and microdermabrasion.

A chemical peel involves the application of a chemical solution on your old and damaged skin to make it peel off and eventually improve your appearance. Laser skin resurfacing has the same results as that of a chemical peel, only your plastic surgeon makes use of high-power beams of light to gently and accurately remove damaged skin one layer at a time. Microdermabrasion, on the other hand, lets your doctor direct a stream of tiny aluminum oxide crystals against the skin to exfoliate the skin. The mild suction created by the microdermabrasion system also helps remove the skin debris and crystals.

Cost

On average, a Rhytidectomy costs about $6,000, not including anesthesia, prescriptions, and laboratory tests. The total cost depends on the type of facelift you want to get, the anesthesia involved, the techniques used, any additional treatments, the skill and reputation of your surgeon, and the location of your surgery. The more comprehensive your procedure is, the higher the additional costs.

Since these surgeries are almost always elective procedures, they are typically not covered by insurance. However, many surgeons offer in-house financing options to cover the cost.

Facelift Alternatives

While there are several non-surgical alternatives, it is important to note that they cannot achieve the same results as a surgical facelift. Still, they can be beneficial for people who only show mild signs of aging.

Some of these non-surgical alternatives include the laser and liquid facelift, ultrasound and microcurrent facelift, and Pelleve. Learn more about these procedures in this article about the top 5 non-surgical facelift alternatives.

Still have questions? Learn more about this procedure by Scheduling a Free Consultation with one of our best board-certified and highly experienced plastic surgeons here on Face + Body Cosmetic Surgery.

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References:

http://www.docshop.com/education/cosmetic/face/face-lift

http://www.smartbeautyguide.com/procedures/head-face/facelift

http://www.americanboardcosmeticsurgery.org/procedure-learning-center/face/facelift-guide/

http://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/facelift.html

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