Face Lift Questions

Plastic Surgeon Serving Indianapolis, Indiana

Will my facelift look natural?

Plastic surgeons generally fall into two schools of thought regarding their approach to a facelift. Some are in the "pull as tight as you can" camp, which gives a younger appearance but often looks overdone: an artificial drawn back and windswept appearance. The second approach, to which I personally subscribe, is to lift and elevate the skin and soft tissues so that the contours are smooth, natural and well defined without an artificial tightness.

In my opinion, it is a mistake to take someone who is in her mid-fifties and try to make her look twenty-two years old. The result is a fake, mask-like appearance that announces: "I had a facelift." A better approach is to make you look vibrant and healthy, appearing ten to fifteen years younger than you really are.

What is a "short scar" facelift?

It is a term that describes any incision and subsequent scar that is shorter than the standard facelift scar. The standard scar for a facelift begins in the hair in front of the ear and curves down around the creases of the ear to keep it hidden. It ends either in the scalp or along the hairline of the scalp behind the ear. "Short scar" facelifts usually stop either at the base of the ear lobe or in the crease behind the ear. This "short scar" approach is useful for patients who have sagging jowls but do not need much tightening in their neck.

What are the risks of a facelift?

Complications resulting from a facelift are very uncommon but they do occasionally occur and they must be considered before you have surgery. There are two categories of risks:

  1. The general risks associated with all surgical procedures — those associated with a general anesthesia, bleeding, infection, and scar formation. Some swelling and occasionally bruising is expected, but it is generally mild and not noticeable with makeup in several days. There will be some numbness of the face and neck skin but this usually improves over time.
  2. The risks that are specific to a facelift — numbness of the ears, asymmetry, and delays in healing. The most serious risk, and one that is fortunately rare, is a weakness of one of the branches of the facial nerve, which stimulates the muscles of the face. Temporary weakness of one of the facial muscles may occur, but permanent weakness is rare.

In the hands of a qualified board certified plastic surgeon, a facelift can be performed safely with a low level of risk.

What is the Threadlift®?

The Threadlift® is a procedure that was introduced as an alternative to the traditional facelift. In a Threadlift®, a number of permanent, stitches with barbs on them are passed from the scalp into the soft tissues of the cheeks and jowls to lift and suspend these tissues and give a more youthful appearance.

The problem with the Threadlift® is that the result doesn't seem to last more than a few months. This failure occurs because gravity causes the threads to cut through the tissues, a process known as "cheese cutting". Most of the plastic surgeons who were early supporters of the Threadlift® now consider it as a technique that can be used as part of a traditional facelift to improve results but not as a stand-alone procedure.

An alternative to the Threadlift®, the Weekend Facelift, offers all of the advantages of the Threadlift® with longer lasting results. To learn more about this procedure, visit the webpage devoted to the weekend facelift and view before and after photos.

Can I have a weekend facelift if I already had a Thread Lift®?

A previous Thread Lift® would not exclude you as a candidate for the weekend facelift. In most cases, the same incision can be used so there will be no additional scars. The barbed threads, which are permanent, would be removed so they did not interfere with the placement of the ribbon.

What if I am not ready for a facelift?

If you have some early sagging of the jowls and loss of definition along the jaw line, then the weekend facelift is the perfect alternative to a facelift.

How long will the weekend facelift last?

A traditional facelift has been said to last up to ten years, but most plastic surgeons agree that it typically lasts five to seven years. Since the weekend facelift is a new procedure, it is difficult to predict its longevity. However, the weekend facelift incorporates all of the principles of the traditional facelift, and so I would expect it to last from two to five years. Based on the pricing structure of most plastic surgeons, you could probably have three weekend facelift for the cost of one facelift.

Are the scars visible in a weekend facelift?

The only scar that you will have after a weekend facelift is a short curved scar in the scalp just above the sideburn region. It is totally hidden, even during the healing stage, because it is covered with hair. This is in contrast to the facelift scar, which continues around the ear.

At Renaissance Plastic Surgery in Indiana, we have a lot of happy patient-graduates who are pleased with the results of their facelift or RibbonLift®. Please call us at 317-575-9152 or complete our online form to arrange for your personal consultation.

Before and After Gallery