Physicians and patients have long recognized that smooth skin and an elegant neckline are associated with a youthful appearance. In contrast, the aging process is associated with changes that combine to project a "tired" countenance.
Alterations occur in the density of our facial muscles, facial bones, and fat deposits. Gravity causes sagging of soft tissues. Fine wrinkles and blemishes result from sun exposure, (accumulated before the harmful effects of ultraviolet light were appreciated). Still other traits are inherited (e.g., the double chin). Cumulatively, we recognize that our external appearance reflects all of this "wear and tear", but not our inner vitality. But why shouldn't the face shown to the world be in harmony with the way we feel? Today, more people are taking better care of themselves by exercising and eating right. We are more healthy and are living longer. Do we have any options to re-capture that youthful look? The answer is "Yes, we certainly do."
Facial rejuvenation procedures are unique among surgeries in that the result is one which the community will view and behold. With respect to appearance, most patients do not desire a "tight, operated look" or a dramatically different appearance. Rather, the facelift is intended to "freshen" the appearance, by restoring the more pleasing contours of your face and neck. During your initial office visit, Dr. Wall will then assess the thickness, texture and elasticity of your skin, the severity of wrinkles and folds, the tone of the facial muscles, the prominence of the cheek bones, and the shape of the jawline. Photographs will be taken from a number of vantage points to assist in explaining features unique to your anatomy.
Dr. Wall will review the options available for transforming your appearance. Should you decide upon a surgical procedure, Dr. Wall will review the aims of the procedure, the goals, and the limitations, of the surgery. For those patients undergoing a facelift, the incision is hidden in the hairline and along the contour of the ear. It then extends around the earlobe and back into the hairline. Following surgery, incisions are concealed by your hair or with make-up. There may also be a tiny incision hidden underneath your chin.
Since the healing process is gradual, you should expect to wait at least several weeks for an accurate picture of your surgical result to develop. Overall, patients are happy with their appearance for many years following the operation. Friends comment on their refreshed appearance, that they've "lost weight", or that they "never seem to age". Of course, with the passage of time, everyone continues to age. However, that five to ten year improvement in appearance will endure. You'll always look better than you would have (had you not undergone the procedure). And, most importantly, you'll be confident knowing that the face you show to the world looks as great as you feel inside.After the skin has been pulled up and back, the excess tissue is removed. In some instances, the deeper muscles may be re-positioned. A small incision beneath the chin may be used to remove fatty tissue and to smooth the cord-like structures in the anterior part of the neck (the "turkey gobbler deformity"). After the procedure, people commonly experience swelling and bruising that lasts for 10-14 days. Most people should allocate two weeks before returning to social engagements. The last remnants of swelling typically require a month to fully resolve. Most people return to normal physical activities within two weeks.