As people age, the effects of sun exposure, stress of daily life, and the consequences of the natural contractions of the muscles of facial expressions, can be seen in the skin of their faces and necks. Skin becomes less elastic, creating folds and lines. The baggy skin around the eyelids, the gradual loss of muscle tone, the lack of elasticity, and the changes in bone density are some of the determinant factors of loose skin under the chin and in the jaw area. A facelift is a sophisticated surgical procedure that may significantly reduce the signs of aging in your face and improve your appearance.
Changes resulting from the aging process do not occur from one day to another. They are the consequence of a gradual process. Facial rejuvenation surgery is usually performed in conjunction with other facial procedures. As a facelift is a highly individualized operation, your physician will design a singular procedure according to the shape of your face and profile and the dimensions of your face and bone structure. The results of a Rhytidectomy can improve your appearance and give you a look that can be dramatically younger or just make you look refreshed and well rested. Surgery may involve some carefully planned minor procedures or just one major surgery.
Some procedures such as endoscopic brow lift surgery, upper and lower eyelid surgery, cheek surgery, facial contour (jaw line) treatment, and neck skin treatment are usually done on an out-patient basis, under carefully controlled anesthetic techniques. Dr. Espinosa routinely supervises personally the appropriate pre and post surgical care.
What is a Rhytidectomy?
A face lift, also called Rhytidectomy, is the facial surgical procedure that encompasses all the needed surgical techniques to correct and improve the facial muscles and to remove sagging skin. A face lift is designed to prevent the advancement of aging and help you look younger and fresher.
Am I a candidate for a Rhytidectomy?
Espinosa you may communicate your goals, ask about the procedure, and tell him how you want to look. You must be as sincere and clear as possible about your expectations. Take advantage of your consultation with Dr. Espinosa to clarify all your doubts. Don’t hesitate to ask him any questions you may have, especially those regarding you expectations about the results. In order to visualize the surgical possibilities, you and Dr. Espinosa will examine every angle of your face through computerized images, so he can determine the type of procedure to perform in your surgery.
How is a facelift in men?
About one in three men patients undergo facial rejuvenation surgery. The facelift is becoming one of the most popular facial procedures among men. Men are now taking a greater interest in their appearance and consider a facial surgery as an alternative to improving their image. A facelift is similar for men and women. By tightening the skin and underlying tissue, wrinkles, creases and lines are softened and the younger, natural contours of the face is restored. This procedure is usually performed in conjunction with other procedures such as endoscopic brow lift surgery, upper and lower eyelid surgery, cheek surgery, facial contour (jaw line) treatment and neck skin treatment. Your surgeon may recommend some injectable products, such as Botox and dermal fillers to improve the results of surgery.
I am considering having a facelift, but I am nervous. Any suggestions?
It is completely normal to experience some anxiety about a surgery. Anxiety is a normal reaction that prepares the organism to deal with threat. Most people who seek plastic surgery have thought about it for a long time. The best way to feel sure is to get all the information you need to finally decide to have a surgery. Dr. Espinosa is willing to give you all the information you need concerning facial plastic surgery. It can be useful to take advantage of your consultation with Dr. Espinosa to solve your doubts. Write a list of questions to ask him, so you will not leave out something you consider very important. You will feel better after discussing your concerns with Dr. Espinosa. Probably, you will want to review before and after photos and testimonials of other patients.
The number one cause of stress about surgery is the anesthesia. Pre-operative routine makes it possible to perform safer surgical procedures. In the first consultation, Dr. Espinosa may order some lab tests to evaluate your health condition, in order to take precautions and avoid any complication.
Subsequently, a pre-anesthetic evaluation will be ordered to determine the appropriate anesthetic plan. Anesthesia can be a cause of preoperative anxiety for some people. Pre-operative routines make it possible to perform safer surgical procedures. In the first visit, Dr. Espinosa may order some lab testing to evaluate your health condition, in order to take precautions and avoid any complication. Subsequently, a pre-anesthetic evaluation will be ordered to determine the appropriate anesthetic plan. On the day of surgery, your health history will be reviewed by Dr. Espinosa, the anesthesiologist and the nursing staff to ensure a safe and uncomplicated experience.
Your vital signs will be carefully monitored during and after surgery, and the surgery team will treat any possible medical problem which you may develop during surgery. When your procedure is completed, you will be taken to the recovery room. Later, you will rest in a comfortable room.
Some medications may be prescribed to minimize any discomfort. You will be carefully monitored and observed for any adverse side effects from the anesthesia. You will stay in our medical center until Dr. Espinosa feels sure you have completed your recovery phase. Your will receive specific home-care instructions and medicine prescriptions. Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home and to stay with you at least the first night following the surgery.
Frequently Asked Questions - Rhytidectomy
If I have a facelift, will I look stretched and unnatural?
Dr. Espinosa believes that “If it doesn’t look natural, it doesn’t look good.” Through a facelift, the surgeon tightens facial muscles, but preserving the natural elasticity of skin. Usually a facelift is done in conjunction with other procedures such as endoscopic brow lift surgery, upper and lower eyelid surgery, cheek surgery, facial contour (jaw line) treatment, and neck skin treatment. During your consultation, Dr. Espinosa will recommend the best type of procedure for your face.
It may take some time for the swelling to fully dissipate and the incision lines to mature. But soon you will see the results of the surgery. Probably you’ll be asked if you changed your haircut or make-up, but nobody is going to ask you if you had a facelift.
Am I too young/old for a facelift?
Most facelift candidates are between 40 and 70 years old. However, some people opt for the procedures before 40s. The idea is that a little work done early can forestall or delay a larger procedure.
Will I have scars after undergoing a facelift?
During a facelift, Dr. Espinosa does everything possible to make the procedure invisible. In a Rhytidectomy, the placement of incisions is strategically selected, so that any scars forming after surgery are likely to be hidden by natural creases in the face, above the hairline, or behind the earlobe. Thanks to the latest technology in surgery, such as endoscopic facelift and laser, patients who undergo facelifts require less recovery time, experience fewer side effects and have lower risk of complications. An endoscopic face lift is a less invasive alternative to a conventional facelift. Endoscopic facelifts patients also have significantly reduced bleeding, bruising, swelling and a better scarring process.
Is the facelift surgery painful?
Most patients report very minor pain after surgery. However, the surgeon will prescribe medication to alleviate this discomfort.
Will I be awake during surgery?
During a facelift the surgeon may use intravenous sedation and local anesthesia, so you will be asleep during the surgery. However, most patients prefer general anesthesia. Both types of anesthesia are secure, you do not feel anything during surgery and you wake up quickly and comfortably, feeling no pain and experiencing no anxiousness.
Will I need to stay in a hospital?
Facial rejuvenation surgery is usually done on an out-patient basis. You will be carefully monitored, controlled and treated by your surgeon and anesthesiologist, during your recovery from anesthesia. You should arrange for someone to drive you home, and to stay with you, at least for the first night, following your discharge from our medical center.
How long does recovery take?
Time for recovery may vary from patient to patient, but remember that success of the surgery depends very much upon very strict post-operative care. You must be prepared to rest. When your procedure is completed, a bandage will be placed gently around your face to minimize swelling and bruising. Also, to reduce swelling, your surgeon will recommend that you sleep with your head elevated, and avoid as much activity as possible. Your diet should be normal. Drink plenty of water every day, and just rest, rest and rest.
How long does it take to get back to normal activity?
Most patients are back to normal life in about a week. This time may vary from patient to patient. Avoid strenuous activity, for several weeks after surgery. Healing from surgery may take some time. Schedule your surgery, so you have proper time to recover
Will I look younger after surgery?
The primary objective of a facelift is to restore a youthful appearance. But, it is impossible for a serious surgeon to predict how young a patient may look after surgery. Many patients look as many as 7-10 years younger. Skin type, bone structure and age influence facelift results. The surgeon evaluates your facial characteristics and volumes to restore those damaged areas and gives them a rejuvenated and fresher appearance. Usually a facelift is done in conjunction with other procedures such as endoscopic brow lift surgery, upper and lower eyelid surgery, cheek surgery, facial contour (jaw line) treatment, and neck skin treatment. The basic idea behind a facelift is to create a rested, youthful, long-lasting natural looking result.
How long will my facelift last?
It is impossible to stop time. Even though, results from a facelift are long-lasting. The basic idea of a facial rejuvenation surgery is to remove excess skin that is loose and sagging on the face and the neck, and to tighten the underlying tissue. The surgery will appear to slow down the aging process. A person that has had a facelift may look 10 years younger, and feel 10 years younger.
Is there pain after facelift surgery?
No. Most of our patients report minimal pain after surgery. Patients may feel some discomfort because of the bandage around the face. This bandage will be removed the first day after surgery. Any pain or discomfort you experience can usually be controlled with mild medication.
How much does a Facelift cost?
Prices vary depending on every case. As a patient, you must remember that the surgeon’s experience is just as important as the final cost of the entire procedure. The primary objective of the medical profession is to render service to humanity. The medical facilities and surgical team offered by Dr. Espinosa operate at an extremely high level, permitting the complete and successful operation of his surgical practice.
Dr. Espinosa´s special instructions:
Instructions before surgery:
Avoid taking Aspirin (acetyl salicylic acid) or anti-inflammatory medicines.
Stop smoking at least one month before your surgery.
Inform your surgeon about drug allergies, medical treatments, and current medications.
Always have realistic expectations about the results of surgery.
Instructions after surgery:
Before you leave the medical center, make sure you have your surgeon’s prescriptions, medical certification, and date of your first post-operative visit to the office.
Avoid foods that require prolonged chewing. Otherwise, your diet has no restrictions.
Although patients report minimal pain, they are discharged with post-operative analgesia. If you have severe pain, inform Dr. Espinosa immediately.
Avoid taking aspirin (acetyl salicylic acid)
You may be instructed to apply cold compresses over face and eyelids, for 20 minutes, every 4 hours, for the first two days after surgery.
You should be able to read or watch television after surgery.
Do not wear any facial makeup or eye makeup for the first two weeks.
You will probably feel tired in the 1-3 days after the facelift surgery. This is your body’s normal reaction to anesthesia and surgery stress.
As a facelift is a major surgical procedure, you must rest at home at least for the 5 first days after surgery.
You must keep your head still as much as possible during the first 7 days. Do not turn your head from side to side. Move your whole body, if you must move.
Avoid strenuous activity, including exercise and sex. Do not carry or lift heavy objects for 3 weeks. Light aerobic exercise is allowed just 3 weeks after surgery.
Return to normal aerobic exercise after 6 weeks. However, Dr. Espinosa will observe your recovery and will let you know when you can resume your usual physical activities.
You can resume gradually your normal daily activities in about 15 days.
Do not expose yourselt todrastic changes in temperature. Avoid prolonged exposure to extremely cold temperatures. Avoid hitting.
Keep your head elevated during your recovery. Sleep on your back with your head elevated at least for 15 days.
It is necessary to sleep strictly on your back so as to prevent swelling on one side or other complications.
Sleep on two pillows to keep head elevated or use a wedge-shaped foam pillow. You must sleep face up.
As some incisions may be hidden behind ears, do not wear earrings.
Excessive exposure to sun in the first 3 weeks after surgery may result in prolonged facial swelling and injury to the skin.
Thereafter, you should always protect your skin with a strong sun-screen.
Exposure to sun should be limited for the first 2-3 months or skin discoloration may occur.
You must be protected under an umbrella or a hat. Try to keep out of the sun as much as possible.
Lifting heavy things, animals or children may affect the area of surgery.
You must avoid any activity that increases the risk of hitting.
You may gently cleanse the incision lines twice daily with hydrogen peroxide using
cotton-tipped applicators. Apply the ointment provided to avoid excessive crusting and to reduce incision redness.
You may gently shampoo your hair 72 hours after surgery, avoiding any strong rubbing or combing trauma to
the incision in the hair and around ear. Do not blow dry at least 5 days after surgery.
Postpone any planned permanent or hair coloring for 4 weeks following surgery.
Post-operative swelling, discoloration and ecchymosis in
face and the periocular area are very common until approximately 15 days, and should not be considered a complication.
Any unexplained development of pain, facial swelling or fever should be reported to us immediately.
Your earlobes and portions of your face that have been lifted and repositioned will be slightly numb for several weeks.
Sensation will return as healing progresses.
The information provided here is not a substitute for a consultation. Please, do not hesitate to communicate with us
if you are concerned about something you consider significant. Remember, the success of your surgery depends very
much upon post-operative care. It is crucial that you follow your surgeon’s instructions.