A facelift is a long-lasting solution to an aging face. The technical term – rhytidectomy – comes from the Greek words for “excision” and “wrinkle.” This aptly named cosmetic surgery procedure tightens the skin of the face, removes wrinkles, and makes the face appear as much as 10 years younger.
But before you receive a facelift, you need to schedule an initial consultation with your surgeon. Facelift consultation is a crucial part of the procedure. It helps you to become familiar with the technical aspects of facelift surgery, provides your surgeon with plenty of time to answer any questions or concerns you might have, and allows them to clarify your specific goals and objectives.
Keep reading to learn more about facelift consultations, including what to expect and how to prepare yourself before your appointment.
A facelift address the loose skin and sagging tissue on the cheeks and neck. You will most likely qualify for a facelift if your concerns involve the middle and lower parts of the face. If the wrinkles on the face are particularly pronounced, your surgeon may advise an additional procedure such as an eye or brow lift.
Before you schedule your facelift consultation, you should carefully consider your goals for the procedure. Plenty of preparation will allow you and your surgeon to work together to make sure your procedure fulfills your expectations.
- What do I like about my face?
- What do I want to see improved?
- What are my expectations for the procedure?
- Is a facelift the only procedure I am considering?
- Am I willing to undergo more than one procedure to get the results I want?
- Can I afford to take time off to fully recover?
Spending some time thinking about your goals is important for any plastic surgery procedure. The results of a facelift are permanent, so you want to be sure you are going in for the right reasons. Doing research ahead of time and taking the proper time to prepare will help you feel confident going into your consultation, and subsequently into your surgery.
First and foremost, your surgeon will ask about your goals and expectations. Based on your answers, they may advise additional procedures or a different procedure entirely that will help you meet your specific objectives. Then, they will spend some time going over the specifics of the facelift procedure – from preparation to recovery.
If you take any prescription medications, herbal supplements, or vitamins, you will want to have a list handy so that your surgeon can take a look at them. Certain types of drugs – like over-the-counter anti-inflammatories – interfere with the anesthesia and will need to be discontinued at least a week prior to surgery.
Your surgeon will also ask about alcohol, tobacco, and drug usage. Smoking is particularly harmful and may interfere with your body’s ability to recover after surgery. Cosmetic surgery procedures will be more painful for smokers and harmful side effects are more likely to occur.
The consultation is a good time to ascertain your surgeon’s specific qualifications. You will feel more comfortable before your procedure if you feel confident in your surgeon.
Some questions you might want to ask include:
- How long have you been a plastic surgeon?
- Where will the procedure be performed?
- Who will deliver the anesthetic?
- Have you done many facelifts in the past?
- Are there better procedures for my goals? If so, what are they and what can I expect for results?
Scheduling a facelift consultation is not a binding agreement. You do not have to schedule a facelift if you leave the appointment feeling like that procedure is not the one that fits your goals.
But keep in mind that your plastic surgeon is a specialist in changing and reshaping the face. They are well-versed in anti-aging procedures and their benefits, so use them as a resource as you explore your options.
Technology is continually advancing. When choosing a plastic surgeon, you want to find someone experienced who also stays current with newer, more advanced procedures.
For example, most plastic surgeons have shifted to a Deep-Plane facelift in place of the old skin-based facelift. The Deep-Plane facelift addresses the signs of aging on the face by tightening the SMAS layer. SMAS stands for superficial musculoaponeurotic system and describes a layer of fascia and muscle beneath the skin and tissue layers.
Results from the Deep-Plane facelift appear more natural and last longer. Adjusting this layer does not pull or stretch the skin on the face, so you will never have a pulled, tight, plastic surgery appearance. Another benefit of this type of facelift is a faster recovery, with minimal pain and bruising.
You will also want to choose a surgeon who makes you feel comfortable. If you are having a hard time communicating or feel uneasy for any reason, that surgeon may not be the right fit for you.
Financial considerations are necessary before you schedule your facelift. Most practices will provide a procedure cost estimate after the consultation, as soon as your surgeon comes up with a plan for your treatment.
The estimate should include surgeon’s fees, anesthesia fees, operating room costs, and follow-up appointments. You may also want to ask about payment and financing options before you commit to a date as most surgeons require a deposit to secure your appointment.
If you are interested in exploring what a facelift can do for you, Dr. Gordon specializes in procedures that reconstruct the face and neck. He performs plastic and reconstructive surgery at the Retreat at Split Rock in Connecticut and New York. Contact us to schedule your facelift consultation today!