The Best Candidates For A Face Lift

Dr. Curran Smith

by Dr. Curran Smith | August 16, 2010 @ 02:00PM

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The best candidate for a face lift is a man or woman whose face and neck have begun to sag, but whose skin still has some elasticity and whose bone structure is strong and well-defined. Most patients are in their 40s to 60s, but we perform face lifts on younger and older patients, as well. A face lift can make you look younger and fresher, and it may enhance your self-confidence in the process. Dr.Smith's objective is to improve your appearance by enhancing your natural beauty and not by producing an artificial "wind swept" look.

Planning Your Surgery


Facelifts are very individualized procedures. In your initial no-fee consultation, Dr. Smith will evaluate your face, including the skin, muscle, and bony structure and discuss goals for the surgery. It is common for a new patient to come in with preconceived notions about what procedure she/he wants done. Dr. Smith may point out that to obtain the desired result, a different procedure(s) in place of or in addition to the surgery the patient had in mind may be advisable. A facelift only affects the face from about the level of the eyes to down around the neck and does not treat fine lines in the skin, eyelids, or brow.

The Surgery

faceliftDr. Smith performs the procedure in the office facility, usually under general anesthesia, but local anesthesia with sedation can also be used. Incisions begin above the hairline at the temples, extend in a natural line in front of the ear (or just inside the cartilage at the front of your ear), and continue behind the earlobe to the lower scalp. If the neck needs work, a small incision may also be made under the chin. Patients frequently worry that there will be a lot of shaving of the head that create bald spots, but no hair is actually shaved and the hair will nicely hide the sutures and staples.

In general, Dr. Smith separates the skin from the fat and muscle below. Fat may be trimmed or suctioned from around the neck and chin to improve the contour. Dr. Smith then tightens the underlying muscles when appropriate, then pulls the skin upwards and back, and removes the excess. Stitches secure the layers of tissue and close the incisions.

After The Surgery

There isn't usually a great deal of discomfort after a face lift and what pain there is can be managed by the medication prescribed by Dr. Smith. A dressing covering the scalp and neck is removed the following day, at which time any drains are usually removed. The patient is then allowed to shampoo the hair and usually no additional dressings are applied. Some numbness of the skin of the cheeks and neck, which may last a few weeks to a few months, is expected. The stitches in front of the ears will be removed after about five days. The stitches or staples hidden in your hairline are removed after 10 to 14 days.

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