The more limited procedures are performed under local anesthesia and if desired oral sedation. The more involved procedures are better tolerated utilizing IV sedation. General anesthesia is not required or recommended.
Facelift surgery is performed by making an incision of variable length around the ear hiding it in natural creases and around the hairline. The deeper facial layers of the face are then addressed and tightened. These are the layers that are responsible for facial sagging. Once these layers are tightened excess skin is removed in just enough quantity to allow the edges to lie together without any tension on the skin. This allows for beautiful post-operative scars.
The incisions are hidden around the ear and the hairline and with certain lifts under the chin. Anytime an incision is made there will technically be a scar, but if performed correctly they can be completely hidden. The way we perform our procedures allows our patient to wear their hair in any style without the incisions being visible. Many before and after photos demonstrating this are available on our website. We encourage you to review them.
The actual surgery is not painful at all because of the anesthesia used. Most patients are pleasantly surprised at how mild the post-operative pain is and many take only extra-strength Tylenol after 1-2 days. Post-operative pain medication is prescribed for those who need it.
For lower facelift surgery sutures remain in place for 6-7 days. With the more limited procedures bruising is usually resolved in this time. For the deep plane facelift some bruising may persist for up to 10 days. Most patients are able to resume their social activities in 7-10 days although improvement in incision appearance and swelling will still improve beyond this time frame.
This depends on if you want to keep your secret. Most patients feel able to work at least a partial day (assuming a non-physical job) after 2-3 days. If you do not want your colleagues to know you had a facelift then 7 days or perhaps a few more are advised.
Light walking can begin one week after a facelift. More vigorous exercise can begin after two weeks and full heavy activity after three.