Is the procedure painful?
No. Apart from the initial injections of local anesthesia taking a few minutes, less painful than a dentist numbing your teeth, there is very little discomfort during the procedure. Most of our patients fall comfortably asleep during the procedure rousing only when we’re done, usually having no memory at all of the surgery.
Is there much pain after surgery? What is the recovery time? How much time off from work will I need?
Up and around immediately after surgery, our patients have very little pain afterwards, rarely requiring more than one of the pain pills we prescribe. Numbness of the cheeks in front of the ear and tightness in the face in general are quite normal. We remove all sutures and staples seven to ten days after the procedure. For most patients, any significant swelling has largely disappeared by that time. Almost all of our patients are quite presentable prior to suture removal, usually by the sixth or seventh postoperative day, and can resume light activities by then. If it occurs, bruising is usually minimal and rapidly descends into the lower neck where is can be easily covered up by a high collar.
Depending on what type of work you do, plan to take at least a week off to heal after facelift surgery.
Do I need to stay in a hospital or convalescent facility after surgery?
Our facelifts are an outpatient procedure. Following the surgery and after a short stay in our recovery room, our facelift patients are discharged directly home, accompanied by a responsible adult. As with all our major procedures requiring conscious sedation, we require someone to pick you up after surgery and stay with you for the first night. For those who have no one to help them for the first night following surgery, or for those who prefer it, we can arrange an overnight stay in a nearby convalescent home for a minimal additional charge.
When do I see the doctor after surgery?
We see all our facelift patients on the morning of the first day after surgery. At that time we remove the bulky dressing, redress the incisions, and replace the dressing with a comfortable, lightweight, removable facelift garment. Usually one or two subsequent visits are required prior to removing the sutures and staples on or about the tenth postoperative day. After removing the staples and sutures, the next visit is in two to four weeks after surgery.
How long does the facelift procedure take?
A standard facelift takes between two and a half to four hours to complete. Adding an hour or so on either end of the procedure to prepare for and recover from surgery, the entire process takes the better part of a day. As previously mentioned, using our preferred means of anesthesia, our patients sleep comfortably through the procedure, having little memory of it afterwards.
What kind of dressings do I wear after facelift or necklift surgery?
For the first 18 or so hours after surgery, we place our patients in a bulky dressing to reduce any immediate postoperative bruising and swelling. At the time of the first visit, the day after surgery, we remove the bulky dressing replacing it with a washable, removable, lightweight, facelift garment worn for after surgery. The incisions require minimal care after surgery for which we give both instructions and supplies.
Are there any risks or complications of facelift surgery?
There are risks and complications associated with any surgery. However, when our simple instructions are followed, they are fortunately few and far between. Very rarely, bleeding in the operated area can occur immediately following surgery requiring us to reopen some of the incisions to stop it. Infection is possible, but to date – we have not seen this is any of our patients. Loss of skin behind or in front of the ear is also possible, but our technique makes this highly improbable. Damage to a branch of the facial nerve controlling certain facial muscles of expression can happen, but this is very rare and almost always resolves.
Our overall safety record to date is impeccable and our complication rate is exceedingly low.
Can the facelift be combined with other facial cosmetic surgical procedures?
We’re usually combining facelift with some other facial cosmetic procedures. Some of the things we do at the same time as a facelift include: eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), browlifts, laser skin resurfacing, lip augmentation, chin implants, cheek implants and earlobe revisions. Additional procedures are limited by the time required to do them and the amount of additional healing they will require.
What kind of result can I expect, when will I see them, and how long will these results last?
Our goal is to restore your face to the way you looked you ten or so years before. We do not want to change your appearance, just refresh and rejuvenate it. After our facelifts, we never see the ‘windswept’ look characteristic facelifts of the seventies, as mentioned previously, the tension of the lift is on the tissues beneath the skin, and not the skin itself.
You will start to see the results of the facelift within a week. How you look a month or two after surgery is how you will look for the next five to ten years depending on your personal habits and heredity. It should be noted that no cosmetic surgeon can guarantee how long the beneficial effect of surgery will last.
The Secondary Tuck
In some people, particularly those with very sun damaged, weathered or sagging skin, we offer a secondary ‘tuck up’ procedure around the perimeter of the ears one to two years after the initial facelift. This secondary tuck takes very little time to perform and heal and affords a substantial boost to the results and durability of the original procedure.
Are The Scars After a Facelift Noticeable?
They certainly shouldn’t be. A truly accomplished and experienced surgeon leaves scars that are virtually undetectable and after years of performing facelift surgery, I am pleased that my scars are almost invisible.
I have heard of a ‘Mini-lift’ or S-Lift. What is this procedure and will it benefit me?
People vary greatly in how they age and what they need to rejuvenate their faces. Sometimes, if there is not a great deal to do to improve the neck, we can utilize a smaller procedure commonly known as a ‘Mini-lift’ or ‘S-lift.’ The difference between this and full facelift is the extent we have to go behind the ear to tighten the neck skin and extent we undermine the skin of the cheeks and neck. In a ‘mini-lift’, we generally do not go behind the ear very far, nor undermine the skin of the neck. Both mini-lifts and full facelift address the cheeks and jowls in the same manner just to a different degree. Recovery time with the ‘mini-lift’ is slightly less than a full facelift. Whenever possible we opt for a less extensive surgical procedure, however, in our experience, most people we see require a full facelift to get the results they want.
What is a necklift?
For some people, the sagging skin of the neck is their only concern and they do not want a full facelift. A necklift is really a modified facelift, limited to the neck where only the skin of the neck is tightened and pulled up, and not the cheeks and jowls. Incisions are smaller, but as with the facelift around the ears and under the chin. If the necklift patient has noticeable vertical bands in the front of the neck, known as platysmal bands, these are reduced as part of the procedure. The surgery itself is less extensive than that of a full facelift and recovery about the same. Neck lifts are particularly useful for those who have undergone previous facelifts and have a recurrence of sagging neck skin. As we do in almost all our facelifts, prior to lifting the skin of the neck, we liposuction the neck area to remove any excess fat there.
Some older people, especially men, can develop an unsightly, isolated, central band of sagging skin directly below the chin. Often called a ‘turkey neck’ or ‘waddle,’ this deformity can be easily addressed by a simple, very effective procedure known as a TZ plasty. An incision is made beneath the chin in the midline and the waddle is excised directly. Although this incision is a bit more noticeable than our facelift incisions, it is still very minimal. Overall the results of this procedure have been quite dramatic cosmetically and very satisfying.
If I am interested in facial cosmetic surgical procedure, how do I get started?
Simply fill in the form below to schedule a consultation with Dr. Richard Fisher. Our office address is 15396 N. 83rd Ave, Bldg A-301, Peoria, AZ 85381. At the time of your consultation, your individual concerns will be evaluated, and if appropriate, Dr. Fisher will provide you with a quote for proposed surgery. If you decide to proceed with the surgery, we will make an appointment for a preoperative assessment. At the time of this appointment, we will obtain your medical history and perform a brief physical exam, take blood for laboratory testing, perform an ECG, if indicated, review the proposed surgery in detail, accept the required one-third deposit, and schedule the surgery for a mutually convenient time.
Our fees, payment and financing policies
The fee quoted for any proposed surgical procedure includes all preoperative blood tests, ECG’s, examinations, the facility, operating room set-up, materials used, postoperative care, dressings and of course, the surgery itself. There are no additional charges. We accept cash, personal checks, and most credit cards. A deposit is required at the time the surgery is scheduled, with the balance paid just prior to surgery. If there is a desire to finance the procedure, we can help you contact those companies that finance cosmetic surgery.