your face is one-of-a-kind, your facelift procedure needs
to be fully customized to address your unique needs. Dr.
Monteiro will create an individualized approach to correct
the effects of aging on your face. His techniques can refresh
your look and soften wrinkles without appearing tight or
Please ask Dr.
Monteiro about anything you don't understand.
you are considering a facelift...
people age, the effects of gravity, exposure to the
sun, and the stresses of daily life can be seen in
their faces. Deep creases form between the nose and
mouth; the jawline grows slack and jowly; folds and
fat deposits appear around the neck. It is now common
for both women and men to opt for facelifts.
A facelift (technically known as rhytidectomy) can't actually stop
the normal aging process. What it can do is "set back the clock," improving
the most visible signs of aging by removing excess fat, tightening
underlying muscles, and redraping the skin of your face and neck. A
facelift can be done alone, or in conjunction with other procedures
such as a forehead or brow lift, eyelid
surgery, or nose
best candidates for a facelift
The best candidate for a facelift
is a man or woman whose face and neck have begun to sag, but
whose skin still has some elasticity and whose bone structure
is strong and well-defined. Most patients are in their forties
to sixties, but facelifts can be done successfully on people
in their seventies or eighties as well.
A facelift will make you look younger and fresher, and it may enhance your self-
confidence in the process. But it can't give you a totally different look, nor
can it restore the health and vitality of your youth. Before you decide to have
surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with Dr.
facelift can improve the deep cheek folds, jowls and loose, sagging skin around
the neck that come with age.
Often your surgeon will suggest
that patients interested in a facelift also undergo
and lower eyelid-lift to inprove the overall
positive results of a well-done facelift.
surgery carries some uncertainty and risk.
a facelift is performed by a qualified plastic surgeon, complications
are infrequent and usually minor. Still, individuals vary greatly
in their anatomy, their physical reactions, and their healing
abilities, and the outcome is never completely predictable.
Complications that can occur include: hematoma (a collection of blood under the
skin that must be removed by the surgeon), injury to the nerves that control
facial muscles (usually temporary), infection, and reactions to the anesthesia.
Poor healing of the skin is most likely to affect smokers. You can reduce your
risks by closely following your surgeon's advice both before and after surgery.
are very individualized procedures. In your initial consultation
Dr. Monteiro will evaluate your face, including the skin and
underlying bone, and discuss your goals for the surgery.
The doctor will check for medical conditions that could cause problems during
or after surgery, such as uncontrolled high blood pressure, blood clotting problems,
or the tendency to form excessive scars. Be sure to tell Dr. Monteiro if you
smoke or are taking any drugs or medications - especially aspirin - or certain
vitamins, or other drugs that affect clotting.
If you decide to have a facelift, Dr.
Monteiro will explain the techniques and anesthesia he will use, the type
of facility where the surgery will be performed, and the risks and costs involved.
Don't hesitate to ask him any questions you may have, especially those regarding
your expectations and concerns about the results.
for your surgery...
doctor will give you specific instructions on how to prepare
for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking,
and taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications. Carefully
following these instructions will help your surgery go more
smoothly. If you smoke, it's especially important to stop at
least a week or two before and after surgery; smoking inhibits
blood flow to the skin, and can interfere with the healing
of your incision areas. If your hair is very short, you might
want to let it grow out before surgery, so that it's long enough
to hide the scars while they heal.
Whether your facelift is being done on an outpatient or inpatient basis, you
must arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery, and to help you
out for a day or two if needed.
your surgery will be performed?
facelift may be performed in a surgeon's office-based facility,
an outpatient surgery center, or a hospital. It's
usually done on an outpatient basis, but some surgeons may
hospitalize patients for a day when using general anesthesia.
Certain conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure
should be monitored after surgery, and may also require a short
facelifts are performed under local anesthesia, combined
with a sedative to make you drowsy. You'll be awake
but relaxed, and your face will be insensitive to pain.
(However, you may feel some tugging or occasional discomfort.) Dr.
Monteiro may choose to administer a general anesthesia.
In that case, you'll sleep through the operation.
facelift usually takes several hours-or somewhat longer if
you're having more than one procedure done. For extensive procedures,
some surgeons may schedule two separate sessions. The exact
placement of incisions and the sequence of events depends on
your facial structure and your discusions with Dr. Monteiro
and the technique that he feels is best for you.
Incisions usually begin above the hairline at the
temples, follow the natural line in front of the
ear, curve behind the earlobe into the crease behind
the ear, and into or along the
lower scalp. If
the neck needs work, a small incision may also be made under the
Facial, neck tissue and muscle may be separated;
fat may be trimmed or suctioned and underlying
muscle may be tightened. In
general, the surgeon 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.
The surgeon 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.
After deep tissues are tightened, the excess skin
is pulled up and back, trimmed and surured into
surgery, a small, thin tube may be temporarily
placed under the skin behind your ear to drain
any blood that might collect there. The surgeon
may also wrap your head loosely in bandages to
minimize bruising and swelling.
isn't usually significant discomfort after surgery; if there
is, it can be lessened with the pain medication prescribed
by Dr. Monteiro. (Severe or persistent pain or a sudden swelling
of your face should be reported to your surgeon immediately.)
Some numbness of the skin is quite normal; it will disappear
in a few weeks or months. The doctor may tell you 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.
Most of the scars will be hidden within you hair
and in the normal creases of your skin.
back to normal...!
should be up and about in a day or two, but plan on taking
it easy for the first week after surgery. Be especially gentle
with your face and hair, since your skin will be both tender
and numb, and may not respond normally at first. Dr.
Monteiro will give more specific guidelines for gradually
resuming your normal activities. They're likely to include
these suggestions: Avoid strenuous activity, including sex
and heavy housework, for at least two weeks (walking and mild
stretching are fine); avoid alcohol, steam baths, and saunas
for several months. Above all, get plenty of rest and allow
your body to spend its energy on healing.
At the beginning, your face may look and feel rather strange. Your features may
be distorted from the swelling, your facial movements may be slightly stiff and
you'll probably be self-conscious about your scars. Some bruising may persist
for two or three weeks, and you may tire easily. It's not surprising that some
patients are disappointed and depressed at first. By the third week, you'll look
and feel much better. Most patients are back at work about ten days to two weeks
after surgery. If you need it, special camouflage makeup can mask most bruising
chances are excellent that you'll be happy with your facelift
- especially if you realize that the results may not be immediately
apparent. Even after the swelling and bruises are gone, the
hair around your temples may be thin and your skin may feel
dry and rough for several months. Men may find they have to
shave in new places-behind the neck and ears-where areas of
beard- growing skin have been repositioned.
You'll have some scars from your facelift, but they're usually hidden
by your hair or in the natural creases of your face and ears. In any
case, they'll fade within time and should be scarcely visible. Most
of the scars will be hidden within you hair and in the normal creases
of your skin. Most of the scars will be hidden within you hair and
in the normal creases of your skin.
after properly-performed facelift:
5. After surgery, you'll present a fresher, more youthful face.
Having a facelift
doesn't stop the clock...your
face will continue to age with time, and you may want to repeat the procedure
one or more times-perhaps five or ten years down the line. But in another sense,
the effects of even one facelift are lasting; years later, you'll continue to
look better than if you'd never had a facelift at all.