FaceLift / Neck Lift

What is a facelift?
Redraping of the skin and soft tissues of the face and neck. Incisions in front of and behind the ears and often beneath the chin allow access to the tissues to be recontoured. The tissues of the face and neck are intimately connected such that to most aggressively contour muscle bands in the neck, the incisions around the ear are utilized. Many patients who inquire about a neck lift but don’t want ‘a face lift’ are educated that both areas are treated by definition due to the connection of the tissues in these areas.

How Long Will Surgery Be?

A face and neck lift take about 4 hours under general anesthesia, longer if combined with fat grafting and/or laser resurfacing.

What Kind of Anesthesia Will I Have?

General anesthesia is used for a facelift because it is safe and very well controlled. West Magnolia Surgery Center, on site at West Magnolia Plastic Surgery, is fully accredited by the AAAHC. Local anesthesia in injected into the incisions once the patient is under anesthesia for enhanced postoperative comfort.

What is facelift recovery Like?

Patients have a small drain that is removed with the sutures on the fourth day after surgery. Incision care is to gently clean with peroxide then a thin layer of Neosporin or Bacitracin twice daily. Patients can shower after the drain is removed. There are no compression dressing or neck straps and many patients have a moderate amount of bruising on the lower part of the neck. Within approximately 2 weeks after surgery, many patients are able to style their hair over incisions and wear makeup. At 4 weeks after surgery, patients are able to resume full physical activity without restriction.

What are the risks?

The most significant risk of a face and neck lift is injury to a branch of the facial nerve, specifically the branch that moves the lower lip-the marginal mandibular branch of the facial nerve. Other potential risks include hematoma, infection, injury to the skin and complete or partial loss of the skin flaps.

How do I prepare for surgery?

A preoperative appointment is scheduled approximately 2 weeks prior to surgery. At this time, all consents and recommendations, instructions for before and after surgery are reviewed. A long list of medications to avoid is reviewed and prescriptions are given for postoperative management.  The day before surgery, all patients are called to review final questions, confirm nothing has occurred since the patient was seen at preop that might require rescheduling of the procedure and to finalize arrival time at the facility. All patients are given ample information at the preoperative appointment regarding a time line of what to expect in the recovery process and when.