Let’s face it: our faces define us. We face the music, save face, take things at face value, face our fears and put on a happy face. Our faces forge relationships, express emotions and convey our identity. If you are considering facelift surgery, you are contemplating altering your most valuable asset, and it’s important to understand your options.
Dr. James Marotta is a dual board-certified facial plastic surgeon who specializes in facelift techniques that can counter the effects of time and restore the vibrant appearance you remember from years past. This guide will help address the questions and personal concerns you may have as you explore your options for facial rejuvenation and plan your surgery.
Facelift Surgery, Explained
A youthful face depends on having smooth, taut skin and the right amount of fat in the right places. As you age, your skin loses elasticity and tone, the outer layer thins and wrinkles appear. Changes also occur below the surface. The deeper soft tissues slacken and sag, and facial volume loss may give you a sunken or gaunt appearance.
Facelift surgery helps you put your best face forward, allowing you to feel confident and comfortable in your skin at any stage of life. During a facelift, sagging facial tissues are lifted and tightened to restore a more youthful expression. By removing excess skin, smoothing deep folds and repositioning the underlying tissues, a facelift can help you look not just younger, but simply better.
There are different types of facelifts to choose from based on your aesthetic goals, anatomy and preferences regarding downtime and recovery. Dr. Marotta will recommend the best approach for you based on your unique needs.
A traditional facelift targets the loose skin and tissue in the lower face and neck. The incision begins at the front of the ear, continues around the earlobe and ends in the hairline at the back of the neck. Although this is a more extensive facelift technique, and thus requires more recovery time, it can address more advanced signs of aging and the results are more dramatic.
A traditional facelift may be right for you if:
- You have deep nasolabial folds (creases around the nose and mouth) or marionette lines
- You have less volume in your face due to lost or “fallen” fat
- You have sagging, drooping skin around your cheeks and jawline
- You have excess skin on your neck, producing a “turkey wattle”
A deep-plane facelift focuses on releasing and adjusting the muscle and fat layers, rather than skin tightening and excision. This approach was designed to avoid the overly-taut, “operated on” appearance that sometimes occurred with outdated skin-only facelift techniques. This procedure allows for more significant elevation of malar fat in the mid-face and achieves longer-lasting improvements.
A deep-plane facelift may be right for you if:
- You are concerned about jowling, malar fat pad descent and deepening nasolabial grooves
- You have an accumulation of submental (below the chin) fat and loosening of the submental skin
- You are developing vertical, cordlike platysma bands on your neck
The “mid-face” is the region of the face that lies above the mouth but below the eyes. A mid-facelift specifically targets volume loss and sagging tissues in this area. The procedure is performed endoscopically using a small camera with incisions that are hidden behind the hairline. The mid-facelift technique is not intended to have a significant impact on the lower face or neck.
A mid-facelift may be right for you if:
- Your nasolabial folds are starting to deepen
- You desire a more permanent solution than injectables or a “thread-lift”
- You have sagging cheeks and the early formation of jowls
A mini facelift is the least invasive facelift technique. Dr. Marotta’s EZ Lift™ mini facelift focuses on addressing excess skin in the lower cheeks and jowls, with smaller incisions and less recovery time. Mini facelifts are usually done for patients who have relatively minor concerns and aren’t ready for a full facelift just yet.
A mini facelift may be right for you if:
- You have lines around your mouth and chin that are increasingly difficult to conceal
- You are starting to notice sagging skin around your chin and jaw
- Your skin is loosening along your neck
Are You a Good Candidate?
Facelift surgery might be the next step to consider if you’re no longer seeing the results you want from nonsurgical treatments, or if you’re looking for longer-lasting results than nonsurgical options can provide. A facelift may be especially beneficial if you have deep furrows and drooping skin that can only be corrected effectively by surgery.
Contrary to popular ideas about facelifts, they are not only for senior patients. Factors like significant weight fluctuations along with lifestyle and genetics can alter the look and feel of the skin. Some people begin to develop skin laxity and prominent wrinkles in their 30s, and don’t want to wait until a more advanced age for surgical intervention. Whenever you start to feel that your appearance no longer reflects how youthful you feel inside, it could be time to contemplate a facial rejuvenation procedure.
In addition to the considerations above, you may be a great candidate for a facelift if:
- You’re in good physical and emotional health
- You do not smoke
- You have reasonable expectations for your surgery
Choosing the Right Plastic Surgeon
Facelift surgery is a complex procedure that demands a specific set of surgical skills, extensive knowledge of facial anatomy and a highly-developed aesthetic eye. Not all physicians who practice cosmetic surgery receive advanced training in facelift surgery or specialize in facelift techniques. Choosing a board-certified facial plastic surgeon like Dr. Marotta ensures that your surgeon is specifically trained and experienced in facial surgeries, including facelift techniques, and that your procedure will be performed in an accredited surgical facility.
Facelift Surgery Preparation
You’ll begin your facelift journey at Marotta Plastic Surgery Specialists with a consultation with Dr. Marotta. During this initial appointment, he will examine your face and talk with you about your concerns, goals and expectations. He will also explain the different facelift techniques available and make personalized recommendations based on your needs. Use this time to raise any questions or concerns you may have about the procedure, and be sure to request clarification of anything you don’t understand. You should feel comfortable, confident and well-prepared as the day of your surgery arrives.
The Surgical Procedure
Facelift surgery is performed under general or local anesthesia in our Long Island plastic surgery clinic, and typically takes a few hours. The specific length of your surgery will depend on the type of facelift you are having and whether Dr. Marotta performs other cosmetic procedures at the same time to enhance your results.
Dr. Marotta will begin the procedure by making the appropriate incisions for the facelift technique you chose during your consultation. Through these incisions, he will lift and reposition the underlying tissues of your face, then redrape your skin for a smooth and supple result. Your face will be wrapped in bandages to protect your incisions and reduce bruising and swelling.
Rest and Recovery
Facelift recovery initially calls for rest and limited activity. Minor pain or discomfort, along with swelling and bruising, are normal and can be managed with medications. Dr. Marotta will recommend keeping your head elevated, including when you sleep. Residual swelling and bruising should resolve by about three weeks following your surgery. For a full facelift or endoscopic mid-facelift, you can expect to return to normal activities after one to two weeks. Recovery from a mini facelift takes three to five days.
Keep in mind that these are estimated recovery times. You will need to follow Dr. Marotta’s post-surgery instructions and return for required follow-up appointments so Dr. Marotta can give you personalized recovery recommendations.
The Benefits of Facelift Surgery
When we look good, we feel good. After your facelift with Dr. Marotta, you will look naturally refreshed and youthful, with minimal scarring and no indications that you’ve “had work done.” Dr. Marotta’s patients report that facelift surgery has a reinvigorating effect on their lives — they feel more attractive, more energetic, more confident in social and professional settings, and more excited about what the future holds.
Facelifts offer the most reliable and longest-lasting benefits of all facial rejuvenation techniques. The results of your facelift can last a decade or more. Although the aging process will continue, you will likely always have a more youthful appearance than if you had never had surgery. In this sense, your facelift will last you a lifetime.
Maintaining Your Facelift Results
After undergoing a facelift at Marotta Plastic Surgery Specialists, many patients ask what they can do to prolong their results. A combination of professional care and healthy personal choices will keep your skin and face looking as youthful as possible, for as long as possible.
Medical-grade skincare products and services make a perfect complement to facelift surgery. Laser and light-based treatments, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, facials and other skin treatments can help you maintain a healthy, glowing complexion. A customized regimen of dermal fillers and wrinkle-relaxing injectables can also help counteract the effects of aging with minimal discomfort or downtime.
At home, be diligent about sun protection, hydration and good nutrition. Stay at a stable weight and avoid smoking. Adopt a consistent, high-quality skincare routine to keep your skin healthy and protected from unnecessary damage. A good maintenance routine can help preserve your results for as long as possible.
Contact Dr. Marotta of Marotta Plastic Surgery Specialists
When performed by a qualified facial plastic surgeon, a facelift can take years off your appearance and give you a remarkable boost of confidence. James Marotta, M.D., is board-certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Head and Neck Surgery. He received his education and training from some of the finest institutions in the world, including Columbia University and Yale University, and is consistently recognized as one of the top plastic surgeons on Long Island.
Dr. Marotta’s exceptional surgical skill and artistic eye ensure patients receive youthful, natural-looking results from their facelift surgery. We invite you to contact Marotta Plastic Surgery Specialists today to request a consultation. Dr. Marotta and his team look forward to helping you begin your exciting transformation.