TMWHAT IS A FACELIFT?

 

As you get older, your skin and facial structure changes in ways that show our age. The years of stress, sun exposure, gravity, and other environmental factors contribute to changes in the texture of the skin and the structure of the face. In some, this is a slow graceful process, in others, this happens at a more rapid pace than they would like.

Dr. Lewis offers a variety of options to help with the aging process that occurs in the face. One of the options is a facelift. This is a operative procedure that can restore a more youthful look to the lower and mid face to improve the appearance of aging in these areas.

This procedure is nearly always done in a way to improve the contour of the neck as well, but also can be combined with other procedures to decrease the appearance of aging in the eyes and forehead.

Areas improved:

A Facelift is a procedure that can have a rejuvenating effect on the lower two thirds of the face. This can give a dramatic improvement in the several areas of the face:

  • Increased jaw definition
  • Decreased jowls
  • Decrease sagging skin in the neck
  • Decreased lines above the mouth (nasolabial folds)
  • Decreased lines below the mouth (marionette lines)

This is an operation that needs to be individualized for each patient and Dr. Lewis will work with you to correct any concerns you have.

 

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Individualized Approach

We are exceptionally skilled at facelift surgery and have a variety options as to how this operation is performed.   We will individualize our approach to each patient and advise which option he thinks is best for you.

This operation is much more than just removing some excess skin.  The primary goal of a facelift is to tighten the structures underneath the skin (the SMAS or superficial musculo-aponeurotic system) and to reposition the fatty structures of the face to their more natural position.

This involves making an incision around the ear in a position that heals very well.  Through this incision, we can lift the skin over the cheeks and subsequently carefully lift and tighten the SMAS layer to a more youthful position.  This lift and tightening can be performed in a variety of ways.  We will use sutures to expertly reposition this tissue to a higher and more natural location.

After the underlying SMAS has been tightened and repositioned, the overlying skin can be repositioned overtop.  Now that the underlying tissue has been tightened, there is more skin than is needed and the excess is removed.  The incision around the ear is very carefully repaired and the operation is finished.

Incisions:

One of the tell tale signs of a facelift is the incision around the ear.   In all facelift type surgeries (facelift, MACS lift, Lifestyle lift, mini-facelift, etc) there is an incision at least in front of the ear.

Dr. Lewis is very skilled at making this scar blend in with the contours of the ear.  Some surgeons will place this incision in the skin in front of the ear believing this scar heals well enough (it is also technically easier).  Dr. Lewis believes this incision should be place very close to the contours of the ear, and even within the ear in places.  This makes for an incision that is usually nearly impossible to see without close examination.

We  want you to be able to wear your hair in any style you wish….

Will anesthesia and pain relief be used during / after surgery?

You will be made comfortable throughout the whole procedure. 

What happens immediately after surgery?

This operation can give a tremendous improvement for the look of your face, but it can have some moderate bruising and swelling as well.  Some of Dr. Lewis’s patients have returned to work as early as a week after surgery, but more want 2 weeks off of work to recover.

The recovery from the mini-facelift or short scar facelift techniques, (such as a MACS lift) is shorter and most people are able to return to work after 5-7 days.

Immediately after surgery, you will have a bulky dressing in place to capture any drainage from you incisions.  You will also have a small drain to collect fluid from underneath the skin.  You will return to our office the day after your surgery to remove this bulky dressing and to make sure all is going well.  If you elected to spend the night at the hospital, you will not need this visit.

How long will complete recovery take?

Your second visit after surgery, will be for the removal of the sutures.  This is done usually five days after the surgery.  If the drain was not removed on the first visit, it will be removed on this one. After your suture removal, you may start applying makeup, including concealer and your return to normal life can resume at your leisure.

You should refrain from strenuous exercise for at least three weeks after surgery.  This can increase your  blood pressure and potentially increase swelling and bruising.

Am I a Good Candidate for Facelift Surgery?

The ideal candidate for a facelift is a person from 40-70+ years old interested in improvement of the shape and structure of their face.  It is rare that medical problems cannot be managed in a way that is safe for surgery.  High blood pressure and diabetes must be under control.

Nicotine is exceptionally bad for the results of a facelift and must be fully avoided for 4 weeks prior to surgery and 2 weeks after. Dr. Lewis will not perform a facelift on a active smoker or nicotine user.

Younger patients may be candidates for one of the mini-facelift options that Dr. Lewis offers such as the MACS lift. This allows a faster return to normal work schedule and work activity.

 


What are the Risks of Facelift Surgery

Check Accreditation

With any surgical procedure there are risks that you must be aware of. To minimize the risks, ensure your surgery is conducted in a safe and secure environment using the latest surgical techniques by checking the certifications and accreditation of your surgeon. Accreditation boards and bodies are there to protect you. Dr. Gordon Lewis has 9 years surgical experience and is affiliated to several important professional organizations.

  • He is board certified by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons www.plasticsurgery.org
  • Affiliated to the Richmond Academy of Medicine www.ramdocs.org and the Medical Society of Virginia www.msv.org
  • He is also an associate member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery www.surgery.org and the American College of Surgeons www.facs.org
  • A candidate member of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand www.assh.org

Possible Complications

There are risks to any surgery and facelift surgery has its own set of risks.

In general, this surgery is very safe and is well tolerated.  It is rare that serious complications happen.  We will speak with you at length about these risks and answer all your questions.

These risks include, but are not limited to :

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Hematoma
  • Asymmetry
  • Nerve damage
  • Unfavorable scars
  • Skin loss
  • Skin contour irregularities
  • Pain
  • Need for revisional surgery
  • Risks of anesthesia

During your comprehensive one-on-one consultation you will cover several areas of discussion.

  • Your medical history and current medications
  • Your goals from surgery
  • Your concerns about surgery
  • We can give you a options for surgically correcting these issues
  • We will discuss the risks associated with each option
  • You will get a surgical price quote that includes any additional costs such as the OR fee and anesthesia.  This will also include options for financing if you wish.

Expect to spend close to an hour in our office for this visit.

Surgical procedures are performed at an accredited outpatient surgical center or a local hospital. Dr Gordon Lewis is affiliated with several local medical centers where his patients undergo surgery. He primarily operates at these locations:
⦁ Johnston-Willis Hospital
⦁ Stony Point Surgery Center
⦁ Chippenham Hospital
⦁ Parham Surgery Center

He also has privileges at St. Mary’s Hospital and Henrico Doctors Hospital, but operates there less frequently.

Initial consultations, follow up appointments and all non-surgical treatments and minor surgical procedures are performed at Lewis Plastic Surgery practice which is located in the grounds of the Johnston Willis Hospital, Richmond, VA.

During your initial consultation we will be able to give you a break down of all costs relating to your facelift procedure. This will include:
⦁ Dr. Lewis’s Fee
⦁ Operating room fee
⦁ Anesthesia fee
⦁ Additional over night stays
We make absolutely sure there are no hidden costs and no surprises.

Every patient is required to attend an initial consultation before a procedure can be booked.Once you decide to proceed with surgery, we will assist you in finalizing a date and getting everything ready for surgery. We try to be as flexible as possible and will make arrangements to see you at Lewis Plastic Surgery, in the grounds of the Johnston Willis hospital, within a few days of you contacting us.Depending on your requirements, we can normally perform your procedure within 2 weeks.You can book a consultation online or by calling 804 267 6009.

A facelift is a procedure that will give a great improvement to the lower two thirds of the face and the neck.   It does not affect the forehead and the eyes.

These procedures can be performed at the same time and are complimentary to the end result from a facelift:

  • Upper and lower blepharoplasty- (for correction of aging aound the eyes)
  • Browlift (to decrease lines in the brow and to lift the brow to a more youthful position)
  • Necklift (in general a modest necklift is included in a facelift, but in some circumstnces, this may require a larger procedure to address the neck)
  • Facial fat grafting  (using your own fat to restore lost volume around the eyes and to the cheeks)