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What should I expect with my facelift surgery?

Published onSeptember 5, 2011

Facelift surgery is the most powerful of facial cosmetic surgeries you can undergo. Although we say it in practically every blog entry, in this instance it is more true than ever; choose a doctor who is experienced, up-to-date on the latest techniques, and skilled at performing facelifts. The procedure for facelift has changed significantly in recent years. What is clear is that there is not added benefit for the higher risk, deep plane facelift.

When it comes to choosing the best facelift for you, there is no right answer as to which method is the most effective, natural looking, or successful. A customized treatment plan, established by you and your doctor and based on your features and desires will significantly influence the outcome of your procedure. A facelift will always be a procedure of intelligent choices.

Where is surgery commonly performed and what type of anesthesia?

Typically facelift surgery is an outpatient procedure, but overnight stays may be recommended after deep sedation or general anesthesia. For certain individuals, your doctor can perform your facelift in the office, while you are awake and under local anesthesia. But for most, general anesthesia or deep sedation is the best choice. For cases requiring deep sedation and general anesthesia, Dr. Steinsapir performs surgery at the UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center and usually recommends an overnight stay at the surgery center.

Recovery and physical restrictions

A facelift takes approximately four hours. Usually there is minimal discomfort afterward; managed with either over-the-counter or prescription pain medications. You may experience moderate swelling around the eyelids and other areas of the face, but this is normal and is not cause for concern. Most find taking 7-10 days off from work about right. This time frame can depend on the precise nature of you work.

Common complications after surgery

Facelift surgeries performed by a skilled and experienced surgeon rarely have complications. The deep plane facelift mobilizes the tissue under the facial muscles and can injure these motor nerves causing facial weakness. The incidence is small but not zero. The risk amounts to only a very small percentage of individuals who receive this treatment experiencing this complication, but there is just no reason to risk this nerve damage when other methods of facelifts are available. In fact, there is essentially no cosmetic benefit to the deep plane facelift compared to other lifting methods. Other complications can include significant bruising and very rarely infection.

The time frame before full recovery

Recovery periods for facelift procedures vary greatly depending on the type of facelift surgery your physician and you decide on. Typically however, you can expect to return to work after 6 to 10 days. After 2-3 weeks, others are unlikely to detect that you just had surgery. Facelifts are not considered fully healed until about 6 months after. Once you have recovered fully, the results of surgery are very long term.

About Dr. Steinsapir

Dr. Steinsapir is on active staff at the UCLA Hospital and Medical Center at the David Geffen School of Medicine as an associate clinical professor of Ophthalmology in the Division of Orbital and Ophthalmic Plastic Surgery. UCLA is consistently rated the best hospital in the West and ranked at the top with a handful of medical centers in the United States. Many surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis at the Surgery Center at the UCLA Medical Center. Dr. Steinsapir addresses a broad array of oculofacial reconstructive concerns. Contact us today to schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Steinsapir.

To learn more about procedures and treatments performed by Beverly Hills | Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Kenneth Steinsapir, contact us at 310-274-7422.

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