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Facelift in Birmingham AL

Rejuvenate Your Face to Match Your Youthful Outlook on Life

Facelift model

The loss of youthful contours in the face can be due to variety of factors, including thinning of the skin, loss of facial fat, gravity, sun damage, smoking, heredity and stress.

A Facelift, or rhytidectomy, is a plastic surgery procedure that improves visible signs of aging in the face and neck, such as:

  • Relaxation of the skin of the face that causes sagging.
  • Deepening of the fold lines between the nose and corner of the mouth.
  • Fat that has fallen or disappeared.
  • Jowls developing in the cheeks and jaw.
  • Loose skin and excess fat of the neck that can appear as a "double chin" or "turkey neck."

If the appearance of your face doesn't properly reflect your youthful outlook on life, a facelift at Hedden & Gunn Plastic Surgery can give you a firmer facial appearance with natural results.

The renowned Birmingham, Alabama plastic surgeons at our cosmetic surgery center take special pride in designing each facelift procedure to refresh your look while preserving the natural contours of your face. We carefully listen to the unique goals of each patient so that we can make you feel more confident and attractive.

Facelift Candidates

In general, good candidates for a facelift include:

  • Healthy individuals who do not have medical conditions that impair healing.
  • Nonsmokers.
  • Individuals with a positive outlook and realistic expectations.

Other procedures that may be performed in conjunction with a facelift are brow lift and eyelid surgery to rejuvenate aging eyes. Fat transfer or dermal fillers may be suggested to replace the lost fatty volume. Skin treatments such as IPL, dermabrasion, peels or laser may be offered to improve the quality and texture of the skin.

As a restorative surgery, a facelift does not change your fundamental appearance and cannot stop the aging process.

A facelift can only be performed surgically; minimally invasive rejuvenation treatments cannot achieve the same results, but may help delay the time at which a facelift becomes appropriate and complement the results of surgery.

Your Facelift Consultation

During your facelift consultation, be prepared to discuss:

  • Your surgical goals.
  • Medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments.
  • Current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drug use.
  • Previous surgeries.

Your facelift surgeon will also:

  • Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors.
  • Discuss your facelift options.
  • Examine and measure your face.
  • Take photographs.
  • Recommend a course of treatment.
  • Discuss likely outcomes of a facelift and any risks or potential complications.
  • Discuss the type of anesthesia that will be used.
  • Answer any questions you have about your facelift.

Facelift Risks and Safety

The decision to have facelift surgery is extremely personal. You will have to decide if the benefits of a facelift will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications of a facelift are acceptable.

The risks of a facelift include:

  • Anesthesia risks.
  • Bleeding.
  • Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications.
  • Facial nerve injury with weakness.
  • Fluid accumulation.
  • Infection.
  • Numbness or other changes in skin sensation.
  • Persistent pain.
  • Poor wound healing and skin loss.
  • Prolonged swelling.
  • Skin irregularities and discoloration.
  • Sutures may spontaneously surface through the skin, become visible or produce irritation that require removal.
  • Temporary or permanent hair loss at the incisions.
  • Unfavorable scarring.
  • Unsatisfactory results may include asymmetry, unsatisfactory surgical scar location and unacceptable visible deformities at the ends of the incisions.

These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It's important that you address all of your concerns about risks with your plastic surgeon. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure and any risks and potential complications.

Preparing for a Facelift

In preparing for a facelift, you may be asked to:

  • Get lab testing or a medical evaluation.
  • Take certain medications or adjust your current medications.
  • Apply certain products to the facial skin preoperatively.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding and bruising.

Special instructions you receive will cover:

  • What to do on the night before and morning of surgery.
  • The use of anesthesia during your facelift.
  • Post-operative care and follow-up.

Facelift procedures are performed at our accredited Outpatient Surgery Facility in Birmingham, Alabama. Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and stay with you for at least the first night after surgery.

Facelift Procedure

Facelift Anesthesia

Anesthesia choices for facelift surgery include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.

Facelift Incisions

Depending on the degree of change you would like to see, your facelift choices include a traditional facelift, a limited incision facelift or a neck lift.

Traditional Facelift

A traditional facelift incision often begins in the hairline at the temples, continues around the ear and ends in the lower scalp. Fat may be sculpted or redistributed from the face, jowls and neck and underlying tissue is repositioned, commonly the deeper layers of the face and the muscles are also lifted. Skin is redraped over the uplifted contours and excess skin is trimmed away.

A second incision under the chin may be necessary to further improve an aging neck. Sutures or skin adhesives close the incisions.

Traditional facelift before and after with incision location
Traditional Facelift incision

Limited Incision Facelift

An alternative to a traditional facelift uses shorter incisions at the temples, continuing around the ear. "Mini-lifts" are usually reserved for patients with less skin relaxation, as the results are less rejuvenating than a full facelift.

Limited facelift before and after with incision location
Limited Facelift incision

Neck Lift

Sagging jowls, loose neck skin and fat accumulation under the chin may be addressed with a neck lift. The neck lift incision often begins in front of the ear lobe, wraps around behind the ear and ends in the posterior hair behind the ear.

Neck lift incision before and after with incision location
Neck Lift incision

Endoscopic Subperiosteal Facelift

The incisions for an endoscopic subperiosteal facelift are placed inconspicuously in the mouth and temple. During the procedure, the fat pads of your cheeks are repositioned up and over the cheekbones where they belong. This redraping improves the nasal furrows caused by drooping fat pads.

Closing the Incisions

The incisions for a facelift are closed with sutures that may dissolve or may need to be removed after a few days. Some surgeons use skin glues to seal the incisions.

Facelift Recovery

Following completion of a facelift, a bandage might be placed around your face to minimize swelling and bruising. Small tubes may be present to draw off any excess blood or fluid.

You will be given specific instructions on how to care for the surgical site and drains, medications to apply or take orally, specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health and when to follow up with your plastic surgeon. Following your physician's instructions to ensure the success of your surgery.

Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your recovery period.

  • Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
  • What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
  • Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery?
  • When will they be removed?
  • When will the stitches be removed?
  • When can I wash my face and wear make-up?
  • When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
  • When can I color my hair or get a haircut?

Endoscopic Subperiosteal Facelift Recovery

Most patients experience a minimal amount of discomfort following an endoscopic subperiosteal facelift. The benefits of this facelift includes no visible incisions, minimal scarring, less bleeding, no hair loss, minimal numbness and a much quicker recovery compared to traditional surgical techniques.

Facelift Results

The visible improvements of a facelift with Dr. William Hedden, Dr. Stephen Gunn, Dr. Joshua Halka or Dr. Pasha Mostofi appear once swelling and bruising subside. Your final result should not only restore a more youthful and rested appearance, but also help you feel more confident about yourself.

While most people are presentable to the public within 10 to 14 days, it will take 2 to 3 months for the face to feel "back to normal" in terms of texture, sensibility and loss of tightness.

Continuing daily sun protection and a healthy lifestyle will help extend the results of your facelift.

Once healed, the incision lines from a facelift are well concealed within the hairline and in the natural contours of the face and ear.

Although good results are expected, there can be no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary.

Facelift Words to Know

  • Anesthesia: Drugs and/or gases used during an operation to relieve pain and alter consciousness.
  • Hematoma/seroma: Blood pooling beneath the skin.
  • Intravenous sedation: Sedatives administered by injection into a vein to help you relax.
  • Tear trough: Deep creases below the lower eyelids.
  • Nasolabial fold: Deep creases between the nose and cheek.
  • Jowls: Relaxed skin at the sides of the chin.
  • Local anesthesia: Medication injected directly to the incision during an operation to numb the skin.
  • Rhytidectomy (removal of wrinkles): Also known as facelift, reduces sagging of the mid-face, jowls and neck.
  • Submuscular aponeurotic sheath (SMAS): Tissue under the skin, overlying the facial muscles, that is often repositioned in a facelift to improve contours.
  • Subperiosteal: A technique with a deeper dissection to elevate the cheek tissue to improve contours.

Procedure Information © American Society of Plastic Surgeons

Hedden and Gunn Plastic Surgery

Facelift with our Alabama plastic surgeons improves visible signs of aging in the face and neck with natural results.

Birmingham, AL Office & Surgery Suites

Hedden & Gunn Plastic Surgery
140 Village Street
Birmingham, AL 35242
205-980-1744 or 800-HeddenMD
American Society of Plastic Surgeons* American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery*
* Dr. William Hedden, Dr. Stephen Gunn
Hedden and Gunn Plastic Surgery

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Questions About Facial Rejuvenation?

Contact our cosmetic surgeons today to find out more restoring a younger look with Birmingham, AL Facelift at Hedden & Gunn.

To schedule your consultation at the earliest possible date, please call 205-980-1744.

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