Many men and women over 40 see it when they look in the mirror— faces with more fine lines and wrinkles. You might see it on your own face. Or, maybe your skin seems a bit looser, especially around your jaw, and maybe your laugh lines don’t seem so funny anymore.
Multiple factors can lead to changes on your face and neck, including aging, too much time in the sun without protection, stress, smoking and even genetics. You’re still young at heart, so shouldn’t your face and neck be young, too? A facelift can eradicate some of the visible signs of aging above your shoulders.
What is a facelift?
During a facelift, one of our board-certified surgeons removes the excess fat from your skin and neck. They tighten the underlying muscles and redrape the skin of your face and neck, pulling it over the newly tightened muscles, for tighter, smoother skin and a younger appearance, which should last for years.
A facelift can eradicate some of the visible signs of aging above your shoulders.
Your Annapolis Facelift Consultation
If you’re considering a facelift, your next step should be a consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons at our main office in Annapolis or one of our one satellite offices in Easton or Prince Frederick.
During the consultation in one of our comfortable exam rooms, the doctor will review your goals and your medical history to determine if you are a good candidate. The consultation typically includes a discussion of:
- Your goals: why do you want the surgery and what outcome are you hoping for?
- Your medical history and your lifestyle. You’ll talk about things like:
- Are you taking any prescription or nonprescription drugs and/or herbal supplements?
- Do you smoke?
- Have you had any previous surgeries?
- Your particular options and outcomes. The doctor will examine your face, neck and surrounding areas to evaluate your current signs of aging. He may photograph you and use computer imaging to show the results he believes he can achieve with a facelift.
- The procedure. You’ll have time to ask whatever you need. We recommend writing down your questions before the consultation, so you won’t forget anything important.
A facelift can be performed on its own or with other facial rejuvenation procedures. During your consultation, you can also discuss procedures you’re considering combining with a facelift, like:
- Brow lift (to remove wrinkles in the forehead)
- Eyelid lift, or Blepharoplasty (for wrinkles and/or bags around the eyes)
- Liposuction (for removal of fat under the chin)
- Laser surgery (for skin rejuvenation)
- Non-surgical procedures like BOTOX® Cosmetic injections or injectable fillers.
Understanding the Facelift Procedure
Your surgical facelift will be performed by one of our board-certified plastic surgeons, under general anesthesia in our fully accredited, state-of-the-art, ambulatory surgery center in Annapolis.
The surgeon makes incisions in the hairline above your ears, continuing down, around and behind your earlobes and back into your hair, which doesn’t need to be shaved for the procedure. Through these incisions, the muscles are tightened, and the excess skin removed.
We make every effort to make any incisions as inconspicuous as possible. Most scars will be at your hairline and not visible. The scars are usually well-hidden once you have completely healed.
Dr. Paul Buhrer discusses facial cosmetic procedures.
Dr. Buhrer Talks Cosmetic Facial Procedures
I’m Dr. Paul Buhrer I’m one of the two board-certified plastic surgeons here at Plastic Surgery Specialists in Annapolis Maryland. Talking today about facial cosmetic procedures. We do the entire gamut of facial procedures here in our fully accredited ambulatory surgical center facility. We do facelifts, forehead lifts, upper and lower eyelid surgery, liposuction of this sub metal or underneath the chin area all again here in our office. Recovery after a facelift typically is in the order of two to three weeks. I tell patients they can sometimes be back at work as early as 7 to 10 days after procedure obviously using a little bit of makeup. Formal party sometimes into three to four week timeframe. Feel free to give us a call here at Plastic Surgery Specialists to schedule a complimentary consultation.
After your Facelift: Recovery and Results
Following a facelift, you’ll go home with your head wrapped in dressings. Most patients are seen in our office the next day to remove the dressing and for post-op evaluations. You may have some minimal discomfort, which can be controlled by prescription medication provided by your doctor.
You may experience initial swelling, numbness, discomfort and discoloration, which should subside within two to three weeks; you can resume your full activities in about a month.
Once you are fully healed, expect to look younger and more well-rested. You’ll see major improvements in the first two to three weeks and will continue to improve, with additional “smoothing out” of your skin over the next six to nine months.
Complimentary Pre- and Post-Facelift Skin Care
Proper skincare before and after a facelift is essential for successful long-term results. (As is diligent sun protection, including hats and sunscreen.) We encourage our facelift patients to visit the PSS MediSpa before and after their procedure. There’s no charge for these visits at one of our locations in Annapolis, Severna Park or Easton.
During your pre-facelift appointment, you’ll meet with one of our experienced estheticians. Then, you’ll have a skin care treatment and discuss how to care for your skin right before the surgery, and most importantly, in the first two weeks post-surgery.
You’ll have a follow up appointment with the esthetician 10 to 14 days after your facelift. We’ll remove any remaining sutures, and you’ll receive a complementary camouflage makeup kit with a lesson on applying the makeup to cover any residual bruising.
The only way to know for sure if you’re a candidate for a facelift is to speak to a board-certified plastic surgeon. Contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our surgeons, for the information you need to decide if a facelift will give you the results you want.
FAQs about Face Lifts in Annapolis
Like any surgery at our offices near Baltimore, a face lift is an intricate procedure that requires thorough preparation and the utmost surgical skill. It’s understandable that you may have questions or concerns regarding the consultation process, procedure, recovery or long-term results. We would like to address some of the most frequently asked questions to help you get started on your research and education about the facelift procedure.
About what age do people begin having face lifts?
There really isn’t a designated age to have a face lift. Most patients begin to consider seeing a plastic surgeon when they start to notice visible signs of facial aging, which can include a loss of skin elasticity and firmness in the face and neck, a double chin, and wrinkles. We advise our patients from around Annapolis, face lift at a younger age can be an advantage, as it is easier to set the clock back many years starting early.
What can I expect at my first consultation with the doctor?
A consultation with your plastic surgeon is the first step in determining how a facelift can improve the appearance of your face and neck. This initial dialogue is designed to fully educate you about the facelift process in a relaxed environment where you can talk openly and ask all the questions necessary.
Your first consultation will include a discussion of your goals and an evaluation of your current signs of aging, the options available to you for facial rejuvenation or a facelift, the likely outcomes of the procedure, and the potential risks and complications associated with this surgery.
Any of our board-certified plastic surgeons can answer your questions regarding a facelift and offer other options that might be helpful to accomplish your overall goals for improvement.
Will I be able to see a computer-generated image of my projected results?
During your initial consultation, one of our trained staff members may photograph you and use computer imaging to show you an “after” image of the results your plastic surgeon will strive to accomplish with a face lift. This process will provide the opportunity for our patients to see and discuss these projected results to determine a plan of treatment.
How do I know if I need a “mini” or “real” facelift?
The art of face lifting has developed over time. There are many lesser procedures now available and heavily advertised as a facelift. Lifestyle Lift®, “lunchtime lift,” and “thread lift” are some examples. These all claim great results with less recovery but, in reality, they are all just modifications and shortcuts to a proper facelift and they are usually almost as expensive. They are most effective in younger patients who need only a minimal correction and the results may not be as long lasting.
A proper facelift addresses the neck, jowls, and mid-face. To accomplish this variety of techniques are utilized, resulting in a natural youthful appearance. Patients can return to their daily routine in about 2 weeks.
Can I receive other procedures in conjunction with a facelift?
A facelift can be performed as a standalone surgery or in conjunction with other facial rejuvenation procedures. During your consultation, your plastic surgeon will offer a few of these options designed to help you achieve the ideal look you desire.
Procedures that may further enhance the outcome of a facelift include:
- Facial implants and autologous fat transfer to re-contour the facial structure. Face lifts can also include a combination of soft tissue augmentation.
- Microdermabrasionor chemical peels to improve the tone and texture of facial skin are performed at PSS MediSpa.
- BOTOX® Cosmeticto help reduce wrinkles and maintain results.
- Eyelid surgeryto correct drooping upper eyelids and puffy bags below the eyes.
- Brow liftto tighten and smooth wrinkles on the forehead.
What type of pre- and post-op skin care do you recommend?
Our PSS MediSpa, located in our Annapolis, Severna Park and Easton offices, is a crucial part of Plastic Surgery Specialists. All facelift candidates will be encouraged to visit our MediSpa for a consult with one of our experienced estheticians prior to a facelift procedure. There, they will be advised on the care of their skin both before and after surgery. An appointment will also be scheduled to see the esthetician 10 to 14 days after the procedure to follow up with the new look. These visits to our MediSpa for our face lift patients are complimentary.
What type of recovery should I expect?
Initial healing from this procedure includes swelling, some numbness and discomfort that can be controlled with medication. Most swelling and discoloration will subside within 2 to 3 weeks. A facelift procedure may also temporarily restrict facial movement. In about 2 weeks, you’ll be ready to return to work and normal activity can be resumed in about 2 to 3 weeks. Cosmetics can camouflage any bruising that remains.
Will I have scars from a facelift?
Facelift incisions are typically well healed within two weeks. Healing will continue for several more weeks as the swelling decreases and the incision lines continue to improve. Most of your scars will be placed within the hairline and will not be visible. Every effort will be made to make the scars as inconspicuous as possible. It’s important to note that patients need to practice diligent sun protection until the healing process is fully complete.
How long will a facelift last?
A facelift will last forever. You will of course continue to age but you should retain a 10- to 15-year advantage over your peers of the same age.