What You Can Realistically Expect from a Facelift

Some signs of aging are more easily accepted than others. When structural changes in the face start to get more of your attention than the beauty that is there, too, it may be time to consider the benefits of a facelift. This common plastic surgery procedure restores a more youthful appearance. Not just a little, but in a profound way. Not excessively, but conservatively to reveal the beauty that has always been there. At our Denver practice, facial plastic surgeons Dr. Robert Fante prioritize patient’s desired outcomes. At the same time, they encourage realistic expectations. Here, we discuss what this procedure can and cannot do.

What a Facelift Can’t Do

We’ve all seen the celebrities who look thirty or more years younger than their known age. However, when we look closely at the nuances of their facial structure, these celebs simply look like they’ve had good plastic surgery. It is unrealistic to expect a facelift to make you look half your age. Even if you have your procedure in your forties, we wouldn’t anticipate you looking like your twenty-year-old self again. The purpose of the facelift procedure is to refresh the face in a way that looks natural. Lines and creases are softened. Some may be eliminated altogether. Still, expect to look about 10 years younger, not 20 or 30. 

Facelift surgery focuses on the lower two-thirds of the face. This procedure, then, does not make the eyes look younger. If your eyelids have become heavy, hooded, puffy, or droopy with age, they will not look better after a facelift. If you’ve got a furrowed or descended brow or forehead wrinkles, a facelift will not make them look better. These concerns are addressed with specific eyelid or forehead surgery; procedures that can be combined with a facelift for more dramatic results. 

What a Facelift Can Do

Dr. Fante tailor facelift surgery to each patient. Generally, this procedure is designed to rejuvenate the face by:

  • Tightening facial muscles. During a facelift, the surgeon focuses on the superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS). This deep layer of tissue weakens and sags with age. Rearranging it reduces tension on the skin and supports long-lasting rejuvenation. 
  • Addressing loose skin. Once the SMAS layer of tissue is repositioned higher and tighter on the facial skeletal structure, the skin can be gently lifted, tightened, and trimmed. Great care is taken in this step to avoid an overly-tight, windblown appearance. 
  • Improving facial contours. Part of the problem with facial aging is that the mid-face flattens out. As this happens, the lower face seems to widen and sag with jowls. The facelift restores fullness to the mid-face, removing it from the jawline. In cases of excessive fleshiness, liposuction may be performed on the upper neck and chin. 

Facelift surgery is still popular today even with the various nonsurgical modalities that have been developed. To learn more about why, schedule a consultation at our Denver office. 

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