In time, gravity, sun exposure, and the stresses of daily life take their toll on our faces: deep creases appear beside the mouth, the jaw line slackens, and folds and fat deposits appear on the neck. Facelifts counteract these problems by removing fat and tightening skin and muscles, giving your face a fresher, youthful look. After surgery, some patients appear 10-15 years younger.
Incisions are made in inconspicuous places, behind the hairline and in natural folds of the face and ears, and scars fade to near invisibility in time. Results of a facelift do not last forever, but in another sense, the effects are permanent; years later, your face will continue to look better than if you had never had the procedure.
In general, Dr. Dufresne separates the skin from the fat and muscle below. Fat may be trimmed or suctioned from around the neck and chin to improve the contour. Dr. Dufresne then tightens the underlying muscle and membrane, pulls the skin back, and removes the excess. Stitches secure the layers of tissue and close the incisions; metal clips may be used on the scalp. Following surgery, a small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin behind your ear to drain any blood that might collect there. They may also wrap your head loosely in bandages to minimize bruising and swelling. You will need to keep your head elevated and as still as possible for a couple of days after surgery, to keep the swelling down. If you’ve had a drainage tube inserted, it will be removed one or two days after surgery. Bandages, when used, are usually removed after one to five days. Don’t be surprised at the pale, bruised, and puffy face you see. Just keep in mind that in a few weeks you’ll be looking normal. Most of your stitches will be removed after about five days. Your scalp may take longer to heal, and the stitches or metal clips in your hairline could be left in a few days longer. Avoid strenuous activity for at least two weeks.
For questions that are frequently asked about facial procedures, please click here.
Before and After images of actual patient
Craig R. Dufresne, M.D., F.A.C.S. is conveniently located to serve Arlington, Alexandria, and Fairfax County