Hedden Plastic Surgery

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Face Procedures Facelift

Facelift in Birmingham, Alabama

Rejuvenate Your Face to Match Your Youthful Outlook on Life

As we age, many people see sagging in the middle of the face as well as deep creases below the lower eyelids and along the nose to the corner of the mouth. Fat may fall or disappear, loss of skin tone in the lower face can create jowls, and loose skin and excess fatty deposits under the chin and jaw can give the appearance of a double chin, even for a person of normal weight.

A Facelift, or Rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure that improves visible signs of aging in the face and neck. If the appearance of your face doesn't properly reflect your youthful outlook on life, a facelift at Hedden 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 people who do not have medical conditions that impair healing.
  • Non-smokers.
  • People with a positive outlook and realistic expectations.

Rejuvenation procedures typically performed in conjunction with a facelift are a Brow Lift to correct a sagging or deeply furrowed brow and Eyelid Surgery to rejuvenate aging eyes.

Procedures that can enhance the outcome of a facelift include Facial Implants, Fat Transfer, Skin Resurfacing and injectable Wrinkle Fillers. Nonsurgical facial rejuvenation treatments cannot achieve the same results as a facelift, but may help to delay the time at which a facelift becomes appropriate. They can also be used to complement the results of surgery.

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Your Facelift Consultation

By choosing a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) for your facelift procedure, you can be assured that you are choosing a highly-trained, board-certified plastic surgeon. ASPS Member Surgeons must meet rigorous standards for training, ethics, physician practice and research in plastic surgery.

During your facelift consultation, be prepared to discuss:

  • Your surgical goals.
  • Medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments.
  • Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs.
  • Previous surgeries.

Your facelift surgeon will also:

  • Evaluate your general health and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors.
  • Examine and measure your face.
  • Take photographs.
  • Discuss your facial rejuvenation options and recommend a course of treatment.
  • Discuss the likely outcomes of a facelift and any risks or potential complications.
  • Discuss the type of anesthesia that will be used.

Be sure to ask questions at your consultation. It is very important to understand all aspects of your facelift. It's natural to feel some anxiety, whether preoperative stress or excitement about your anticipated new look. Don't be shy about discussing these feelings with your plastic surgeon.

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Facelift Risks and Safety Information

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

These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It is important that you address all of your questions directly 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.

Fibrin Sealants (Tissue Glue)

Fibrin sealants (made from heat-treated human blood components to inactivate virus transmission) are used to hold tissue layers together at surgery and to diminish post-operative bruising following surgery. This product is produced from donor blood plasma that is carefully screened. Cardiovascular and general surgeons have used fibrin sealants in their procedures for many years. This product is thought to be of help in diminishing surgical bleeding by adhering layers of tissue together.

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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.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements, as they can increase bleeding.

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.

A facelift may be performed in an accredited office-based surgical facility, licensed ambulatory surgical center or hospital. Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and stay with you for at least the first night.

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Facelift Procedure

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. The underlying tissue is repositioned and the deeper layers of the face and the muscles are commonly 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. The incisions are closed with sutures or skin adhesives.

Facelift traditional incision

Limited Incision Facelift

An alternative to a traditional facelift uses shorter incisions at the temples, continuing around the ear and possibly within the lower eyelids or under the upper lip.

Facelift limited incision

Neck Lift

Sagging jowls, loose neck skin and fat accumulation under the chin may be corrected with a Neck Lift. The neck lift incision often begins in front of the ear lobe and wraps around behind the ear ending in the lower scalp.

Neck lift incision

Endoscopic Subperiosteal Facelift

The incisions for an endoscopic subperiosteal facelift are placed inconspicuously in your 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. An endoscopic subperiosteal facelift is frequently performed in conjunction with Eyelid Surgery or a Brow Lift for optimal results.

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.

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Facelift Recovery

Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself. Following your physician's instructions is essential to the success of your facelift and recovery. These instructions may include:

  • How to care for the surgical site and drains.
  • Medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection.
  • Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health.
  • When to follow-up with your plastic surgeon.

After your procedure, a bandage may be placed around your face to minimize swelling and bruising. Thin tubes may be present to drain any excess blood or fluids that collects under the skin.

It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, abrasion or motion during the time of healing. Avoid wearing any clothing that must go over your head.

Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your facelift 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, and when will they be removed?
  • Are stitches removed, and when?
  • When can I wear make-up?
  • When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
  • When can I see my stylist for hair color and cut?

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Facelift Results

After a facelift, it may take a few months for swelling to fully dissipate and for incision lines to mature. The visible improvements of a facelift appear as swelling and bruising subside. Once healed, the incision lines are well-concealed within the hairline and in the natural contours of the face and ear.

Your final result should not only restore a more youthful and rested appearance, but also help you feel more confident about yourself. Life-long sun protection and a healthy lifestyle will help to extend the results of your rejuvenated appearance.

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

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

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Facelift Words to Know

  • General anesthesia: Drugs and/or gases used during an operation to relieve pain and alter consciousness.
  • Hematoma: Blood pooling beneath the skin.
  • Intravenous sedation: Sedatives administered by injection to help you relax.
  • Tear trough: Deep creases below the lower eyelids.
  • Nasolabial fold: Deep creases between the nose and cheek.
  • Jowls: A jaw line that sags into the neck, usually caused by loss of muscle tone in the lower face.
  • Local anesthesia: A drug injected directly to the site of an incision to relieve pain during an operation.
  • Rhytidectomy: Also known as facelift, a surgical procedure to reduce sagging of the mid-face, jowls and neck.

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Procedure Information © American Society of Plastic Surgeons

Please contact our cosmetic surgeons today to find out more about restoring a younger look with a Facelift in Birmingham, Alabama.