What is a facelift?
A facelift is a plastic surgery procedure that aims to correct and improve several areas of the face and neck. The procedure elevates the midface (the cheeks), improves the lower face jowls, and defines the neck. In the neck it specifically corrects the platysmal bands that develop and picks up the sagging skin. A facelift, per se, does not correct the upper face. A browlift is the procedure of choice for that area. Dr. Bustillo commonly uses fat transfer to help augment and fill certain areas that the facelift may not address. The facelift does not improve the quality or the texture of the skin. For these issues, Dr. Bustillo may recommend a skin resurfacing technique such as a medium depth peel.
Who is the best candidate for a facelift?
Because a facelift procedure is an elective procedure, candidates must be in optimum health. Dr. Bustillo requires that all patients undergoing a facelift procedure have medical clearance.
Dr. Bustillo believes that the ideal candidate is one who is beginning to show the signs of aging. The common question that patients ask Dr. Bustillo regarding a facelift is, “Is it better to have your facelift done younger or older?” Well, this is something that Dr. Bustillo has struggled with for some time. In the early days of his practice, Dr. Bustillo thought it was a better idea to have patients wait some years before having their facelifts performed. However, over time he has seen that patients that have their facelift done at a younger age, typically have better results. The reason is that younger patients have better skin quality. Their skin has more elasticity and conforms better to the underlying facial and neck muscles. While there is no magic number, most patients have significant signs of aging at age fifty.
Are there any limitations to what a facelift can achieve?
Unfortunately, a facelift cannot stop the aging process. A facelift does not change the quality or texture of the skin. A facelift, can, however, give the patient a more freshened and rested appearance. A common question that patients ask Dr.Bustillo about the facelift procedure is “How much younger will I look?” Dr. Bustillo believes that the facelift procedure may turn the clock back and allow the patient to look approximately ten years younger.
What happens during a consultation for a facelift?
Miami plastic surgeon, Dr. Bustillo will personally meet with you during the one-hour consultation. He will spend time getting to know you personally, and thus be able to offer the best plan for you. He will then examine you, paying close attention to your specific signs of facial aging. Dr. Bustillo will then show you a gallery of before and after pictures of his patients that have gone through the facelift procedure (these patients have given him permission to show their results of the facelift operation). He will give you his recommendation and explain in every detail what it is he recommends and the techniques he will use. Dr. Bustillo is a firm believer that the patient undergoing a facelift procedure should know exactly what is going to be done, how and why. Next, Dr. Bustillo will explain what type anesthesia the anesthesiologist will be using and describe the entire process from the pre-operative stage to the recovery. You will then meet with the Jessica, the patient care coordinator, who will guide you through the scheduling process.
Where is facelift surgery performed?
Dr. Bustillo performs the facelift procedure in an AAAASF-certified facility. Dr. Bustillo only works with board-certified anesthesiologists.
What type of anesthesia is used for a facelift?
Dr. Bustillo believes that only a board-certified anesthesiologist should provide anesthesia in an office-based setting. The facelift procedure can be performed with either IV sedation anesthesia or general anesthesia. The anesthesiologist will evaluate you and determine which is the safest anesthesia for you.
How is the actual facelift procedure performed?
The facelift that Dr. Bustillo performs is the deep plane facelift. The reason that he prefers this technique to others is because the deep plane produces a very smooth and taught neck and a very natural appearing result.
The facelift procedure begins with liposuction done through a tiny incision just behind the chin (some patients may not need liposuction). The incision is then made a tiny bit larger and the neck muscles are tightened. This produces a nice, taught, and contoured neck. The incisions are then made around the ear, in a post-tragal fashion. This means that the facelift incisions are hidden in specific areas, so that they become imperceptible when they are healed. The facial muscles are then tightened and elevated just the right amount. The skin is then draped over, trimmed and closed with very small stitches.
How long is the surgical time for a facelift?
Dr. Bustillo takes close to three hours to perform the facelift procedure.
Where are the incisions made for a facelift?
Dr. Bustillo takes great care to place the incisions in certain curves and corners, so that they become imperceptible once they are healed. In the area of the ear, he places the facelift incision “post-tragal” which means it goes behind the tiny cartilage that is just in front of the ear. Behind the ear, the incision is inside the crease and then into the hair. The advantage of doing it this way is that it does not end up in the hairline. A hairline incision can be visible when the hair is pulled up in a ponytail. For this reason, Dr. Bustillo does not use any hairline incisions in his facelifts.
Are there scars that result from a facelift?
Anytime an incision is made in the skin, there is a scar. That being said, there are visible scars and there are imperceptible scars. The scars that result from a facelift performed by Dr. Bustillo are imperceptible. This means they cannot be seen. There are three reasons why Dr. Bustillo’s facelift scars are almost invisible. First, Dr. Bustillo places these incisions in key places. Secondly, Dr. Bustillo does not place any tension on the skin. All of the “pulling” is done on the muscles. Third, Dr. Bustillo uses very small stitches to close the skin.
Is there much pain with a facelift?
Most patients that undergo a facelift procedure with Dr. Bustillo do not have much pain. As you may know, everyone is different, and there are some patients that will have some mild pain. Dr. Bustillo will prescribe pain medication to help with any discomfort you may have.
Will I need someone to help me out at home after the facelift procedure?
There should be someone with your for the first two days after a facelift. Dr. Bustillo recommends for patients to arrange for post-surgery help support from family members or friends.
What is the recovery like after a facelift?
The recovery for the facelift procedure is not as bad as most patients think it is going to be. Because the surgery is ambulatory, the patient is able to return home the same day of surgery. The first night is spent in bed, with two pillows to elevate the head. There will be a bandage dressing. In the morning of the day after the facelift, Dr. Bustillo will see you in his office. The dressing will be removed which will give instant relief. The patient will then return to the office five days later. On this visit, the small stitches underneath the chin and those in front of the ear will be removed. After this visit, you will see that a good deal of the swelling will subside and any bruising will begin to disappear. The next visit will be ten days later. At this visit, Dr. Bustillo will remove the stitches behind the ears. Most patients can return to normal activity, work, or school at fourteen days and are very presentable at this stage. Exercise can be resumed at three weeks after surgery.
When will I be able to return to work after my facelift?
Most patients that undergo a facelift with Dr. Bustillo can return to work at fourteen days.
How soon after my facelift will I be able to exercise?
Most patients that undergo a facelift with Dr. Bustillo can resume exercise at three weeks.
How soon after the facelift procedure are the stitches removed?
Dr. Bustillo will remove the stitches underneath the chin and in front of the ears five days after the facelift and then ones behind the ears ten days after the facelift.
What are the risks or complications associated with facelift surgery?
It is rare to have complications after a facelift performed by Dr. Bustillo. However, this is a surgical procedure and things can occur. Some of the potential complications associated with a facelift procedure are bleeding, scarring, infection, nerve injury, and poor healing. Dr. Bustillo will discuss these with you in consultation.
Will insurance cover the cost of a facelift?
Insurance will not cover facelift surgery. The average cost for a facelift is between $10,000-$11,000.
Are the results of a facelift permanent?
It depends on your definition of permanent! Yes, the results will stay with you forever. But, as you know, the aging process will not stop after a facelift. That being said, you will always look younger after your facelift than if you had never had one before. It is difficult to say how long the facelift will last, since everyone ages differently.