Beverly Hills Facelift Surgery
Taking Back Your Youthful Appearance
The face is the primary aesthetic part of our body. When engaged in conversation or day-to-day interactions, we always look at the other individual’s face. It is the one characteristic of our body that distinguishes us from one another. A youthful face represents a more youthful person. A facelift is often needed to restore the face to a more youthful appearance after years in the California sun. As a skilled Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, Dr. David Sayah prefers the "layer approach" to facelift surgery.
The most superficial layer of your face is your skin. To correct the effects of sun damage, Dr. Sayah first recommends excellent skin care including good skin care products, IPL Photofacials laser treatment, or chemical peels.
For recommendations on products, you can use to help repair the damage to your facial skin, or to discuss your particular needs with Dr. Sayah, request a consultation today.
The Deeper Facelift
A facelift procedure addresses the subsequent layers of your face. Also known as rhytidectomy, a facelift smoothens the loose skin on your face and neck, tightens the underlying tissues, and removes excess fat.* Dr. Sayah performs most of his facelifts using new endoscopic techniques.
An overview of the techniques:
- A small endoscope measuring 5 millimeters in diameter is inserted through a small incision in the scalp.
- The entire surgery is performed under the facial skin, resulting in no visible scars on the face.*
- There is a quicker recovery with minimal bruising and swelling.*
The deeper, soft tissues of your face account for your cheeks and dark depressions under the eyes. Dr. Sayah may recommend fat injection to augment cheeks or correct depressions in the face in conjunction with your facelift procedure. If necessary, your cheeks may also be augmented with cheek implants to improve their contour while giving you a more youthful face.
Cheek fat removal techniques are combined with spot facial or neck suctioning, or buccal fat excision, in which excess cheek fat is removed through a tiny incision inside the mouth, resulting in a more sculptured appearance to the cheeks.*
While the cheek augmentation makes the cheek bones themselves wider or more forward appearing, the buccal fat excision removes fat from “chubby cheeks” below the bones. Fatty tissue removed from the face or other parts of the body can often be liquefied and used to fill out thinning lips or small depressions of the face during the same procedure.
We strongly recommend that you take advantage of the entire range of services available in our office. Standard packages include medical facials before and after your procedure to improve the quality of your skin while reducing the minimal swelling you may experience.
The packages also include a series of laser facials to improve fine wrinkles, correct pigmented age spots, and broken capillaries, and enhance the results of your facelift. Also, Dr. Sayah offers Ultherapy, a non-invasive skin tightening procedure that lifts the skin of the face.
The Rhytidectomy Procedure Explained
Rhytidectomy can either be done alone, in conjunction with a neck lift (cervicoplasty), brow lift or other procedures. At your consultation, Dr. Sayah will help you decide which option is best for you. Dr. Sayah performs most surgeries at an affiliated surgery center. The surgery is best done with a light general anesthesia, with long-acting, local anesthetics added to minimize post-operative pain.
An overview of the rhytidectomy procedure:
- After you are asleep, the surgery begins with sculpting the face and neck with liposuction (liposculpture), if excess fat is present. Incisions are made in front of your ear and continued behind your ear.
- The skin is elevated from your face to reveal the deeper SMAS layer. This layer of your face includes all of the muscles of facial expression and is pulled upward toward your scalp to correct the sagging effects of gravity on your face.
- The skin is then re-draped over your face and similarly pulled in an upward direction. In this manner, Dr. Sayah performs his facelifts in multiple layers to assure long-lasting results.
- The incisions are lastly closed in a meticulous manner using multiple layers, paying special attention to place the scar in front of the ear in a location that will appear like a natural crease in the skin.
- The ear will cover the incisions behind the ears and therefore not visible.
The Endoscopic Technique
In the endoscopic technique, your face is anesthetized as before.
- Small, hidden incisions are made in the scalp and using a special camera (endoscope) along with special endoscopic instruments, allowing the procedure to be performed while visualized on a monitor.
- The skin is elevated away from the SMAS layer, and the SMAS is suspended superiorly.
- The skin is then re-draped over the face and suspended in place with special sutures. A multiple layer approach to facial rejuvenation is again used to give you long-lasting results.* The surgical scars are within the scalp and therefore invisible.*
The minimally invasive approach utilized in this technique leads to a more rapid recovery and shorter down time. In both approaches, your face will be covered by special bandages after surgery, which are used to lightly compress your skin to decrease any swelling.
What to Expect Immediately After a Facelift
After your Beverly Hills facelift procedure, you will be resting comfortably in the recovery room. Please make arrangements for transportation home before your surgery. If you would like to stay at a post-surgical recovery center, please inform us ahead of time.
On the day of surgery:
- You will be perfectly comfortable, experiencing minimal pain* due to the long-acting local anesthetic used by Dr. Sayah.
- You may drink clear liquids, but avoid solid food as it may induce nausea.
- Take your medications as prescribed.
- It is important that you maintain your head elevated while lying in bed to minimize swelling. This is best done by placing 3-4 pillows under your back to sit up in bed.
- You must avoid flexing your neck for prolonged periods, as this may jeopardize the skin on your neck. More than one pillow under your head is to be avoided unless elevating your back simultaneously.
- Do not turn your head from side to side, as this may disturb your neck recontouring procedure.
Our office staff will contact you daily during the first week to address all of your concerns.
Managing Your Recovery
The first day after surgery is typically the most difficult. You should begin to walk around the house with assistance and resume a regular diet. Continue to avoid large bites and foods that require strenuous chewing, such as apples or steak.
Let your face “set in place” by resting your facial muscles and avoid extreme facial expressions – including prolonged conversations and laughter.
- Cold packs applied to your face will help reduce any bruising and swelling.
- You may take a sponge bath with assistance, but keep your head clean and dry for 48 hours after surgery.
- Switch from cold packs to warm on the third day after surgery to reduce any swelling or bruising.
- Your sutures will be removed approximately five days after surgery.
During the first week after surgery, you should walk around more increasingly. Do not lie in bed for prolonged periods as it may interfere with your nightly sleep while increasing your risk for complications. On the second day after surgery, your bandages will be removed, and you may enjoy a shower.
Over the next 6-8 weeks, you will experience an 80% recovery from your surgery.*
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a facelift?
A facelift is a cosmetic surgery procedure performed at our Beverly Hills practice that helps patients look younger. A facelift targets the major signs of aging in the lower face and upper neck area, specifically repairing the looseness of the skin and tissue.
Am I a candidate?
The ideal candidate for a facelift will be old enough to want to eliminate the signs of aging through their lower face and neck, yet young enough that they retain enough skin elasticity to ensure a positive recovery and results. Candidates for facelift surgery should be in good health both mentally and physically and maintain realistic expectations about the results of their procedure.
Will a facelift get rid of all my wrinkles?
A facelift targets the lower face and upper neck. Deep wrinkles can be minimized in those areas, although they may not disappear completely. For wrinkles in the upper face, between the brows and around the eyes, additional procedures will be needed.
Can I combine a facelift with other procedures?
Yes, a facelift is often combined with additional surgeries for more comprehensive results. For example, an eye lift (or eyelid surgery) can create a more alert appearance around the eyes, while a brow lift will lift and smooth the forehead area. Minimally invasive procedures like BOTOX® Cosmetic and injectable fillers can also be very complementary with a facelift.
How do I choose the right surgeon for my facelift?
A board-certified plastic surgeon has extensive training in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery to deliver the best possible results. You should also choose a surgeon you feel comfortable with, and one whose before and after photos make you feel confident in their work. Some patients chose a surgeon based on the results and recommendations of friends and family who have undergone a facelift with good results.
Will my results look natural?
Natural results should be the goal of every facelift procedure. After healing, most facelift patients look more rested and refreshed, not "done" or tight. The goal is not to look like a teenager again, but simply to ensure that you can continue aging a bit more gracefully.
What should I expect during the procedure?
Dr. Sayah prefers to take an endoscopic approach toward facelift surgery to minimize scarring and promote patient comfort. A light general anesthetic is used to make sure you’re comfortable, plus a local anesthetic. Initial incisions are made near the ear for traditional surgery, or behind the hairline in endoscopic surgery. Liposuction may be used to remove any excess fat deposits, and the muscles in the lower face will be tightened and stitched in place. The remaining skin is redraped over the newly supported framework of the lower face, and any excess is removed. Dr. Sayah completes the surgery using specially-layered stitches to ensure lasting results with minimal scarring.
What should I expect during recovery?
Some swelling and discomfort is normal immediately after surgery, but cold packs and keeping your head and neck elevated should help alleviate this. The bandages can be removed by the second day following your surgery, and sutures will be removed a few days later. You should expect to take it easy for a week or two, and then return to normal light activities.
When will I see results?
You should notice a difference in your appearance almost immediately, although the final results will be disguised at first by some bruising and swelling. Most of the signs of recovery should be resolved after a few weeks, with subtle improvements continuing for several weeks after that.
Is there anything else I should know?
You should know that a facelift is a permanent procedure that will take several years from your appearance. However, nothing can completely stop the aging process, so you can still expect to see some changes in your face in the years following your facelift. Some patients choose to have a second facelift several years after the first. Minimally invasive treatments are another excellent way to keep the signs of aging at bay for longer.*
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