What is a Facelift?
A facelift is a procedure utilized to reposition the midface (cheeks) and lower face (jawline and melolabial fold). The incision begins in a crease in front of the ear, travels behind the ear, and then into the hairline behind the ear. The face is “elevated” by repositioning the deeper fascia, known as the SMAS (superficial musculoaponeurotic system), in a superior and lateral vector. Suspending this deep fascia layer allows for a natural result with minimal tension on the skin. The length of the incision depends on the amount of skin excess. In patients without much skin excess, a shorter incision can be utilized. This shorter incision is often referred to as a “mini-lift.”
The platysma is a broad thin muscle that covers the lateral neck and extends up onto the face. In a facelift, this muscle is accessed from the incision and resuspended. This provides some degree of a neck lift. A facelift is often combined with a neck lift. This involves an incision below the chin to modify the soft tissues of the central neck.
Dr. Namin’s Philosophy
The deep plane facelift has been well described for decades, but many excellent surgeons have modified the approach and taught the approach extensively at meetings worldwide. Using the deep plane approach to facelifting allows surgeons to resuspend the midface and melolabial folds in a natural, elegant, and lasting manner. The jawline also is redefined nicely. Facelift surgery is gaining popularity, particularly among younger patients. Dr. Namin feels that the time is right for a facelift procedure when the patient feels bothered by the appearance of the midface and lower face, and when he feels he can provide a significant improvement to the patient.
Facelift Postoperative Recovery
During the first day, you will have a dressing in place and drains in place. The first week you will have the most bruising and swelling. By the end of the first week, the drains are typically removed, and most of the sutures are removed. By the end of the second week, you are typically able to resume social events and work without obvious signs of surgery. The bruising will be resolved by this time. There may sometimes be some residual swelling at two weeks. Numbness over the cheek and sometimes the earlobe is expected after surgery. This typically resolves over the course of 1-2 months. The incision lines will still have some pink/ red pigmentation at 2 weeks, but you are typically able to wear makeup by the end of the first week to help cover this. Take the Arnica Montana as prescribed for the first 4 days after surgery, this will help minimize the bruising. Wear the elastic garment at night during the first two weeks after surgery. Gentle walking around the house and store is encouraged beginning the day of surgery. Avoid twisting your neck for the first three weeks after surgery. Avoid driving the first week after surgery, and preferably the second week after surgery as well. Light exercise can be resumed two weeks after surgery, and vigorous exercise can be resumed four weeks after surgery. Plan to sleep on your back with slight head elevation (1-2 pillows for comfort). Do not flex your neck or elevate your head excessively.
How Much Does a Facelift in St Louis Cost?
Estimate price range: $11,000 – $15,000
Facelift Postoperative Timeline
Day of Surgery: Dr. Namin will meet with your family or friend after the procedure is completed. You will wake up with a dressing around your face and two drains in place. You will typically spend 1-2 hours in the surgical facility after the procedure is completed. It is important that someone spends the first night after surgery with you.
Post Operative Day 1: Return to the clinic for Dr. Namin to see you. The facial dressing will be removed. The skin and incisions will be checked.
Post Operative Day 2-5: Bruising and swelling typically peak during these days. Cool packs can be applied to the face for up to 20 minutes at a time every few hours.
Post Operative Day 3: Return to the clinic for Dr. Namin to see you. The final drains are typically removed by this time.
Post Operative Day 7: Return to the clinic for Dr. Namin to see you. The sutures and staples will typically be removed at this visit.
Post Operative Day 10: Return to the clinic for Dr. Namin to check healing. If traveling from out of town, can plan to return home on this day.
Post Operative Weeks 2-3: The swelling will continue to decrease during this time. Avoid turning your head excessively. Resume gentle exercise in a graduated fashion.
Post Operative Week 4: Check up with Dr. Namin in the office or virtually. Vigorous exercise can be resumed in a graduated fashion, and excessive head turning is no longer an issue.