A facelift by Oak Brook - Dupage plastic surgeon Dr Tresley is a procedure which involves removing excess facial skin and tightening the underlying muscle layers in order to eliminate or make less obvious hanging folds and lines that appear as we age. Most commonly, this involves the skin of the neck, the area under the chin, cheeks and temporal regions. Oftentimes other procedures, such as blepharoplasty, brow lift or rhinoplasty may be performed at the same time.
In order to understand the procedure, it is helpful to know what causes the skin to sag as we age. Young people have few facial lines, the skin is firm and smooth, and fatty tissue lying under the skin is firm, filling out tissue contours and resulting in a smooth appearing skin. As we get older, the fatty tissue decreases and shrinks, causing the skin to fit more loosely; much the same process occurs if an individual loses a great deal of weight. Additionally, lines become evident where facial muscles attach to the underlying portion of the skin. Most patients considering this operation often become aware of changes in skin under the chin, upper neck and jowl areas.
There are many factors which have a bearing on the way we age; for instance, genetic characteristics are important. Often, people with dry and thin skin show more profound signs of aging than others. Also, overexposure to sunlight has been known to dry the skin and produce earlier laxity of the skin.
Many patients ask when they should consider a facelift in Illinois. There is no universal "right time" for this procedure. Just as individuals age differently, so does the perceived need for a face lift vary. Traditional thinking in years past was that the patient should wait until hanging folds or greatly-wrinkled skin dramatically altered one's appearance. This is no longer the case, and often face lifts are done on patients in their forties.
Today a more sophisticated face lift is being performed through inconspicuous incisions around the ears. The deeper layers of the face are tightened. This elevates the skin under minimal tension, thereby creating a natural appearance and a lift that lasts longer.
Face lifts are not miracle cures and should not be perceived as such. They cannot stop the aging process. And sometimes patients may elect to have another face lift after a period of years has elapsed. As is the case with many cosmetic procedures, the face lift can be performed under local or general anesthesia, depending upon the patient's preference. It can be performed on an outpatient basis with the patient admitted to a surgi-center and discharged on the same day, barring any complications.
Postoperatively, there is very little pain. The patient may feel a numbness or tension in the neck and cheek areas as well as around the ear as a result of separating nerve fibers in the skin during the procedure. In almost all patients, the numbness will disappear. Swelling and bruising will vary depending on the patient, but usually lasts from ten to fourteen days. Swelling around the eyelids is not uncommon after the procedure.
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