Face Lift St. Louis
Turn Back The Clock
Our understanding of facial aging has evolved significantly in the past few years. No longer is the sagging, deflated appearance thought to be just a skin problem. Our surgeons take time to precisely evaluate all aspects contributing to aging including bone structure, ligamentous laxity, skin excess, fat atrophy and descent. They will evaluate the entire face and neck region to devise an optimal plan of rejuvenation. Patients with early aging may achieve their goals with more conservative treatments such as Botox, fillers, or fat grafting. As the aging becomes more apparent, these methods are no longer able to produce optimal results alone. In these patients a well-executed facelift will significantly enhance facial appearance, helping someone look 7-10 years younger. Our surgeons incorporate a variety of techniques to tailor results for each individual’s anatomy and goals.
- Length: 4-5 hours
- Anesthesia: General
- Stay: Outpatient, same day surgery
- Recovery: 1-3 weeks to return to work; 3-6 months for final swelling to resolve; 12 months for final scar maturation
- Side Effects: Swelling, bruising, temporary numbness & tingling
FACE LIFT CAN:
- Tighten wrinkled, excess facial skin
- Volumize deflated cheeks
- Soften nasolabial folds
- Shrink and lift the jowling along the jawline
- Help patients appear younger
Before & After
PREPARING FOR A FACE LIFT
Facelift surgery is a major operation requiring optimization of health, blood pressure, and skin quality before hand. Your surgeon may request adjustments to any blood pressure medications with the assistance of your primary care provider.
Some patients may benefit from a skin treatment regimen 1-3 months prior to their procedure.
Smoking and all nicotine cessation is an absolute must for at least 4-6 weeks prior to this particular procedure as significant wound healing complications can occur otherwise. This includes e-cigarettes, patches, and gum.
Any medications and supplements which cause an increased risk of bleeding should also be stopped 2 weeks prior to any major surgery. Please see our list of medications and supplements to avoid. As always, make sure to check with your doctor before stopping any medications.
FACE LIFT TECHINQUE:
Your surgeon will design incisions that will hide within the sideburn hair, along natural ear creases, under the earlobe, along the neck hairline, and sometimes under the chin. After the patient is asleep, they will infiltrate some numbing medication into the facial tissues that will also help minimize bruising and bleeding. Once the excess skin is elevated, the underlying facial muscles and ligaments will be tightened for a refreshed, natural appearance. Patients wanting more fullness can have fat harvested from the abdomen, gently processed, and grafted to the areas needing volume or softening. If a concurrent neck lift is desired, these tissues will also be tightened and excess fat under the chin removed as needed. Our surgeons use both internal dissolving sutures that last several weeks to help keep your scars as fine and faint as possible, as well as some external sutures for fine approximation that will need to be removed in 1 week. A drain may be placed that will be removed in 1-4 days. A gentle compressive wrap will be placed to help minimize bruising and swelling.
RECOVERY FROM FACE LIFT SURGERY
Most patients recover at home after their surgery, but all have the option to stay overnight and receive care from St. Luke’s outstanding surgical nurses for an additional fee. Regardless, our surgeons will evaluate their facelift patients the day after surgery to remove and replace dressings as well as ensure you understand your care plan. Patients typically plan 1-3 weeks off of work to allow time for the bruising and swelling to improve. Drains will be removed in 1-4 days, and external sutures are removed in 1 week. Significant improvement in appearance is seen in the first 6 weeks, but final swelling can take 3-6 months to fully resolve. Scars will mature and fade over the ensuing year.
Patients are instructed to do frequent, gentle walks starting the day after surgery. Avoid straining or any strenuous activity for 1-2 weeks, as this can increase risks of bruising and bleeding. Patients can increase activity after 2 weeks to moderate exercises and cardio training, then resume all activities including weight training after 4 weeks.