Lower Facelift Introduction
Changes can occur in the upper, mid, and lower portions of the face; however, changes to the lower third of the face are often the most readily apparent. These changes may include the development of deep lines in the cheeks and around the mouth, loose, excess skin in the cheeks, jaw line, and neck, and banding around the neck.
Most often performed on individuals ranging from forty five to fifty five years of age, a lower facelift can help to reduce the appearance of deep facial wrinkles, sagging jowls, and sagging and banding in the neck, restoring a firmer, more youthful appearance.
Facial aging occurs for many reasons. In response to sun damage and other factors, your skin’s support network of collagen and elastin breaks down. As a result, your skin loses some of its structure and elasticity and becomes lax.
Additionally, facial muscles weaken and stretch, and fat deposits, which normally give the face a soft, rounded appearance, migrate downward and are depleted, creating hollow areas. In combination, these changes create deep wrinkles, jowls, and loose skin in the lower portion of the face.
How Does a Lower Facelift Work?
During a lower facelift, the underlying connective and muscle tissues known as the SMAS are lifted, facial skin is tightened, and excess skin is removed. It is important to realize that a lower facelift cannot correct signs of aging in the forehead or around your eyes, nor can it address fine lines or uneven skin tone and texture.
Your physician will help you determine which procedure is best for you, and whether an additional procedure such as eyelid surgery or skin resurfacing would produce more global facial rejuvenation.
The procedure will most likely be performed under general anesthesia in which you are asleep. However, your physician may choose to administer local anesthesia with a sedative, in which the face and surrounding areas are numb and you are in a relaxed state.
Prior to making the incisions, the physician may part your hair along the incision area and apply an antibiotic ointment, which will help to hold it in place. Once the incision area is exposed, the physician will carefully draw the incision lines so that the resulting scars will be as inconspicuous as possible.
Lifting the SMAS
There are a variety of methods that can be used to lift the SMAS, such as plication or excision in which the tissue is augmented and suspended in a higher position with sutures. Although the techniques may differ, they all work to lift and tighten the underlying structures of the face.
Lifting the Neck
Similar to the SMAS, the physician may choose to plicate the neck muscles or remove a portion of them in order to reduce the appearance of skin laxity and banding around the neck. In other instances, the physician may choose to remove fat to further sculpt the area.
If you are concerned about the appearance of your neck, you should discuss the different treatment options with your physician.
The physician will stretch the skin flap in order to determine how much excess skin should be removed. They may place pilot cuts and sutures at different points along the incision to establish the proper amount of tension.
The physician will then remove the excess skin around the natural contours of the face, and close the remainder of the incision with additional sutures.
Lower Facelift Recovery
As with any surgical procedure, you will likely experience some pain, bruising, and swelling, most of which will subside within a few weeks. If a surgical drain was used, it will usually be removed within a day following surgery, and non-absorbable sutures may be removed in seven to ten days.
You will likely feel well enough to return to work in one to two weeks; however you should avoid strenuous activity such as heavy lifting or exercise for up to three weeks to allow your body sufficient time to heal.
Lower Facelift Results
It is important to realize that you will have permanent scars; however they are typically well hidden within the hairline. Although a facelift will not stop the aging process, it can significantly reduce the appearance of loose, sagging skin in the face and neck, restoring a youthful appearance for many years to come.
Watch our other videos on cosmetic procedures.