Facelift surgery is excellent for men and women who want to reduce signs of aging to look more youthful and refreshed.
Dr. Thompson, a plastic surgeon, dedicated to the face and neck, is pleased to perform this procedure to help patients achieve greater self-confidence and an improved self-image while ensuring they keep a natural appearance.
Dr. Thompson operates with the intention to create a more defined jawline to reframe the face and bring out the facial features that make each patient uniquely and naturally beautiful.
Benefits of a Facelift
Also known as a rhytidectomy, a facelift is a surgery that addresses the appearance of the lower face and mid-face. It works by lifting, repositioning, and tightening the underlying layers of facial tissue. It also redrapes and removes excess skin and can be used to reposition fat for more volume in the cheek.
A facelift can turn back the clock on a patient’s appearance in several different ways. Since aging can cause the face to sag, a facelift can tighten the underlying facial muscles to create a more refreshed look. A facelift can also trim and tighten sagging skin to restore a younger, natural look. Dr. Thompson makes sure that the skin is not over tightened to prevent a “pulled” or “windswept” appearance. Lastly, a facelift can highlight natural facial contours, eliminate jowls, and smooth out the neck area.
After a facelift, many patients report a self-esteem boost and feel confident in their personal and professional life. It allows them to enjoy immediate, long-lasting results that would not be possible with various beauty products that claim to do something similar as a stand-alone treatment.
Good Candidates for Facelift Surgery
Men and women who are in good physical health and searching for a long-lasting option for looking younger and more rejuvenated may be good candidates for facelift surgery. All patients whose face and neck skin has started to sag are potential candidates. The patient who will obtain the best result will have skin that retains some of its inherent elasticity. This is why Dr. Thompson emphasizes the importance for patients to start and continue maintenance strategies with sunscreen, skincare products, and possibly periodic chemical peels or laser and light therapies.
Patients who undergo facelift surgery should have realistic expectations and understand that the goal of the procedure will be to improve rather than completely change their faces. It is designed to lift the skin to make the face and neck appear firmer and tighter. This leaves patients feeling younger, well-rested, and refreshed. A facelift is intended to rejuvenate the face and neck, not the upper third of the face. Other plastic surgery procedures, such as an eyelid lift or a brow lift, are more appropriate for rejuvenating the upper face.
A Facelift Consultation at Denver Facial Plastics
Patients who would like to find out if they are good candidates for a facelift procedure are encouraged to schedule a facelift consultation with Dr. Thompson in Denver, CO. Dr. Thompson will perform an evaluation, discuss their aesthetic concerns, and explain which facelift technique may help them meet their goals. He may share before and after pictures of real patients and answer any questions patients may have.
Types of Facelifts
There are a variety of techniques that are used to perform facelift procedures. A patient’s skin laxity, facial anatomy, and overall goals will help determine the ideal approach. The types of facelifts available at Dr. Thompson’s practice are listed below:
Traditional Facelift (SMAS)
The SMAS facelift, known as the gold standard of facelifts, delivers results that are both dramatic and long-lasting. The SMAS stands for the superficial musculoaponeurotic system. This is a distinct, fibrous layer that surrounds various muscles in the face and neck. During a SMAS lift, a group of muscles beneath the skin which control facial expression (known as SMAS muscles) are manipulated through an incision along the hairline and ear. This structure is separated, lifted, and suspended with suture to lift and tighten the facial muscles and overlying skin.
Deep Plane Lift
Patients may obtain the best results from a deep plane lift. In a deep plane lift, a deeper and more extensive dissection is performed. This is a complex procedure that must be performed with extra caution, but in the right candidates, the result can be dramatic and well worth the more extensive surgery.
A mini facelift was designed for patients who would like to reap the benefits of a facelift yet wish to reduce the invasive nature and cost of the procedure. This is a procedure that can be performed in the clinic with local anesthetic and light sedation.
What to Expect During Surgery
All traditional facelifts (SMAS and Deep Plane) are performed under general anesthesia at an accredited surgical facility. The duration of the surgery may vary, but it usually takes between 2-4 hours. This surgery is considered an outpatient procedure, and patients will need to be driven home by a friend or family member after the surgery. A dressing will be placed immediately after the surgery and will be removed 24 hours after the procedure.
Once surgery has come to an end, patients may experience some bruising and swelling, as well as feelings of tightness in the face and neck. A patient’s age and overall health, as well as the type of facelift that was performed, will dictate their recovery time.
The doctor will provide post-surgical instructions to make the recovery easier. These instructions may include wearing certain wraps or compression garments, using a cold compress to counteract swelling, sleeping with the head elevated, drinking plenty of water, and eating light and healthy foods that are easy to chew.
Patients should refrain from strenuous activity for 10 to 14 days after surgery. The doctor will also discourage patients from going out in the sun after facelift surgery. Excessive sun exposure on healing scars may cause hyperpigmentation or the darkening of healing areas. Excessive sunlight may also increase swelling and leave the skin with a leathery look and deeper lines.
It’s normal for all patients to feel anxious about their results afterward. Patients will need to keep in mind that it can take several full months for the swelling to subside and the full results to appear. The results from a facelift can last between seven and ten years. Patients may undergo a touch-up procedure if they begin to experience sagging again.
FAQs about Facelift
BOTOX®, injectable fillers, chemical peels, and microdermabrasion are some non-surgical procedures that can help with wrinkles, skin tone, fine lines, and facial volume. While these procedures are effective, they only assist with the surface of the skin and will not address significantly loose skin or drooping jowls.
Facelifts are specifically designed to treat signs of aging in the lower two-thirds of the face. Moderate to significant lines and wrinkles, volume loss in the cheeks and midface, sagging skin, and jowls are the most common concerns addressed through facelifts. Patients who are also bothered by signs of aging in the eye or forehead area should consider pairing a facelift with blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) or a brow lift.
In the days following a facelift procedure, patients will feel tight and pulled. These will be short-term effects that will subside. It’s critical to find a reputable plastic surgeon skilled in performing this procedure to avoid fake or overdone results. Dr. Thompson is well-versed in facelift surgery and will put all effort into working within the confines of the patient’s unique bone, skin, and muscle structures to create a younger, more natural look.
Fortunately, pain is usually minor and well-tolerated after a facelift. Most patients report a sensation of tightness that is the result of swelling. Prescription pain relievers can generally relieve any pain or discomfort felt after surgery. Measures such as an ice mask around the eyes and keeping the head elevated may help as well.
Facelift surgery requires incisions. However, in virtually all cases, these scars aren’t immediately visible and are hidden along the hairline and in natural skin creases around the ears. In most cases, post-surgical scars are hardly visible to the naked eye once the incisions have healed.
The common age that patients choose to have a facelift is between 40-70. It is safe to say most patients will look 5-10 years younger following a facelift procedure. Younger patients (within 40-50 years old) usually have more robust skin elasticity than older patients, so their results may last longer.
However, our older patients may experience results that appear more dramatic and be very worthwhile. A patient should think of a facelift procedure as a process to turn back the aging clock. You will still age, but you will appear a few years younger and slow down aging in the process as well.
Most patients are comfortable going out in public after seven to ten days and resuming work at that time. If they are facing any bruising, they can use makeup to conceal it by this time. Patients who are not concerned by the bandages may be able to return to work sooner.
Dr. Thompson medical credentials
- Obtained his medical degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine
- Completed his head and neck surgical training at LSU Health Sciences Center
- Trained under the guidance of Dr. Frederick Stucker, world-renowned rhinoplasty surgeon and past president of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS)
- Was one of only forty-nine surgeons in the country to be accepted into a facial plastic and reconstructive surgery fellowship sponsored by the AAFPRS
- Fellowship was completed with Dr. Stephen Smith at Smith Facial Plastics and The Ohio State University
- Board Certified by the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
Schedule your Facelift Consultation in Denver Today
If you’re in Denver and are interested in learning more about facelift surgery, call our office today to schedule a consultation. Dr. Thompson will be happy to meet with you and determine which type of facelift can deliver the kind of results you’re hoping to achieve. Call us at (303) 667-1474 or fill out our online form today. We look forward to hearing from you!