Planning For Your Facelift Surgery
A facelift is a very individualized procedure. In your initial consultation, Dr. Obi will evaluate your face, including the skin and underlying bone and discuss your goals. Dr. Obi will check for medical conditions that could cause problems during or after your facelift such as uncontrolled high blood pressure, blood clotting problems, or the tendency to form excessive scars. Be sure to tell us if you smoke or are taking any drugs or medications, especially aspirin or other drugs that affect clotting. If you decide to proceed with a facelift, Dr. Obi will explain his techniques and anesthesia, our on-site ambulatory surgical center where your surgery will be performed, and the risks and costs associated to facelift surgery. You are encouraged to ask any questions that you may have, especially those regarding your expectations and concerns about the results.
Preparing for Your Facelift Surgery
Dr. Obi will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for your facial surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications. Carefully following these instructions will help your face lift surgery go more smoothly and assure the best possible results. If you smoke, it’s especially important to stop at least a week or two before and after surgery; smoking inhibits blood flow to the skin, and can interfere with the healing of your incision areas and results. Also, arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery, and to help you in the days immediately following your facelift.
Where Your Facelift Surgery Will Be Performed
Your facelift will be performed in the Samuel Wells SurgiCenter, our own state licensed (AHCA) Ambulatory Surgery Center located inside Obi Plastic Surgery. Our surgery center is fully staffed by our on staff nurses and surgical personnel.
Certain conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure should be monitored closely after surgery, and may require a short stay in Dr. Obi’s office after surgery. For this reason, the SWS SurgiCenter offers patients private in house overnight recovery rooms.
A facelift usually takes 2 to 3 hours, possibly longer if you’re having more than one procedure done. For extensive procedures, Dr. Obi may schedule two separate sessions.
Incisions usually 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 the ear), and continue behind the earlobe to the lower scalp during the facelift cosmetic surgery procedure. If the neck needs work, a small incision may also be made under the chin.
Facial, neck tissue and muscle may be separated; fat may be trimmed or suctioned and underlying muscle may be tightened. In general, Dr. Obi separate 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. Obi then tighten the underlying muscle and membrane, pull the skin back, and remove the excess. Stitches secure the layers of tissue and close the incisions; metal clips may be used on the scalp. After deep tissues are tightened, the excess skin is pulled up and back, trimmed and sutured into place.
Following your facelift surgery, a small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin behind your ear to drain any blood that might collect there. We may also wrap your head loosely in bandages to minimize bruising and swelling. Dr. Lewis Obi during the past several years has integrated the use of platelet rich plasma, (PRP) to minimize bruising and to enhance his specialized fat grafting technique(Adivive). When performing more limited procedures like a mid facelift, the neck may be tightened with the SlimLipo laser platform Dr. Obi first introduced in 2008, (Below).
The LJO Brow Lift was invented and first performed by Dr. Lewis Obi in 1980. It is a short procedure that avoids the need for radical forehead endoscopic procedures which often distort the eyes and face.
After Facelift Surgery
There isn’t usually significant discomfort after surgery; if there is, it can be lessened with the pain medication. (Severe or persistent pain or a sudden swelling of your face should be reported to Dr. Obi immediately.) Some numbness of the skin is quite normal and usually will disappear in a few weeks or months.
Dr. Obi may tell you to keep your head elevated and as still as possible for a couple of days after surgery, to keep the swelling down. If you’ve had a drainage tube inserted, it will be removed one or two days after surgery. Bandages, when used, are usually removed after one to five days. Don’t be surprised at the pale, bruised, and puffy face you see. Just keep in mind that in a couple of weeks you’ll be looking amazing.
Most of the scars will be hidden within you hair and in the normal creases of your skin.
Most of your stitches will be removed after about five days. Your scalp may take longer to heal, and the stitches or metal clips in your hairline could be left in a few days longer.
Getting Back to Normal After Facelift Surgery
You should be up and about in a day or two, but plan on taking it easy for the first week after surgery. Be especially gentle with your face and hair, since your skin will be both tender and numb, and may not respond normally at first. Your surgeon will give more specific guidelines for gradually resuming your normal activities. They’re likely to include these suggestions: Avoid strenuous activity, including sex and heavy housework, for at least two weeks (walking and mild stretching are fine); avoid alcohol, steam baths, and saunas for several months. Above all, get plenty of rest and allow your body to spend its energy on healing. At the beginning, your face may look and feel rather strange. Your features may be distorted from the swelling, your facial movements may be slightly stiff and you’ll probably be self-conscious about your scars initially. Some bruising may persist for two or three weeks, and you may tire easily. It’s not surprising that some patients are disappointed and depressed at first. By the third week, you’ll look and feel much better. Most patients are back at work about ten days to two weeks after surgery. If you need it, special camouflage makeup can mask most bruising that remains.
Your Renewed More Youthful Appearance
After your facelift and full recovery, you can return to normal activities with a fresh new appearance. Fine lines and wrinkles will be dramatically reduced or completely gone. Most patients also elect to combine a browlift and in some cases eyelid surgery to further brighten their appearance.
If you are considering facelift surgery, you owe it to yourself to speak with Dr. Obi about the advanced facelift techniques they use and exclusive facelift procedures. You can even see how you would appear after a facelift procedure the our 3D Virtual Imaging. Schedule a consultation by calling (904) 399-0905.
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