Dr. Edward Buckingham is a board-certified facial plastic surgeon with an established track record of helping patients in Austin and Sunset Valley achieve their aesthetic goals with facial rejuvenation surgery, including a range of facelift options.
If you’ve begun to notice significant signs of facial aging, such as sagging skin and deep wrinkles, then a facelift could help you rejuvenate your appearance and give your confidence a major boost. As part of the aging process, the skin begins to lose its elasticity, facial fat can diminish, and wrinkles form all over the face, from the corners of the mouth to the forehead. Some people develop these signs of aging sooner than others, because of their genes or lifestyle habits.
While a facial rejuvenation procedure, also known as rhytidectomy, won’t stop your skin from aging, it will turn back the clock and make you look younger. After a facelift, you’ll notice that you have a naturally refreshed, energized look. Results are long-lasting and can be maintained with proper skin care and a healthy lifestyle.
Facelift Before and After Photos
*Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.
Types of Facelifts
This term is a bit of a misnomer, as the surgery doesn’t truly focus on the entire facial area. Instead, this technique concentrates on the lower half or two-thirds of the face. If you’re interested in rejuvenating your forehead or the area around your eyes, you’ll want to consider a brow lift or blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) as an add-on surgery.
During a full facelift, a facial plastic surgeon will make incisions along the hairline, around the ears, and under the chin. Recovery can be extensive after a full facial lifting procedure, but the results are also more dramatic and long-lasting compared to less invasive options.
Limited Incision Facelift
Also known as a mini facelift, this popular rhytidectomy technique is less invasive than a full facelift. During the surgery, the surgeon will make incisions along the hairline and ears, but not under the chin. The incisions and eventual scars are usually well-concealed by the hair. This version of the procedure requires less downtime, but also provides less dramatic results than a full procedure. The limited incision facelift is typically performed in office under a local and oral sedation.
SMAS Face Lift
Facial rejuvenating procedures can differ based on their depth. Some lifting procedures, like the SMAS technique, go deeper than others to provide longer-lasting, more natural-looking results.
The submuscular aponeurotic system (SMAS) layer is located beneath the skin. It’s a sheath of tissue that surrounds the facial muscles. While you might not hear much about the SMAS in everyday life, it plays a vital role in facial rejuvenation.
During a SMAS face lift, the surgeon elevates not only the skin but also the SMAS layer. The results are dramatic and long-lasting compared to more superficial rejuvenation procedures.
Deep Plane Facelift
During a deep plane facial lifting procedure, the skin is elevated but the SMAS is mostly left alone. The goal of a deep plane facelift is usually to lift the cheeks and erase smile lines. Aspects of this technique are appropriate for some patients with advanced signs of aging but are typically combined with the SMAS approach.
Liquid Face Lift
A liquid face lift is not a surgical procedure at all. Liquid facelifts involve the use of dermal fillers and injectables to rejuvenate the face. There’s no downtime after the procedure but the results are usually temporary.
It’s important to understand that despite its name, a liquid face lift isn’t a type of lifting procedure at all. It can help to minimize the appearance of wrinkles and restore lost volume. But it won’t help to correct skin sagging. If you have significant signs of aging, a liquid procedure might not give you the dramatic results you want.
*Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.
Choosing the Right Surgeon for Your Facelift
One of the most important ways to set yourself up for a successful rhytidectomy is to choose the right surgeon for your cosmetic surgery procedure. There are several things to look for when selecting a surgeon.
First, you need to consider whether you want to work with a plastic surgeon or a facial plastic surgeon. What’s the difference? Plastic surgeons are usually trained and experienced in performing surgeries for all areas of the body. Facial plastic surgeons usually complete a four-year residency after medical school that focuses exclusively on surgery of the face.
Once in practice, a plastic surgeon might decide to specialize in facial procedures or they might focus on body procedures and perform the occasional facial plastic surgery. A facial plastic surgeon only performs facial surgeries. If you are considering facial rejuvenation surgery, it’s a good idea to work with a surgeon who specializes in it.
Along with choosing someone who specializes in facelift procedures, it’s also important to look for a surgeon who is board-certified. Board certification means that the surgeon has demonstrated years of specialized experience and has successfully passed a difficult exam.
Finally, you should also learn more about the surgeon’s work. Ask to see photos of previous patients and consult with the surgeon before you decide to move forward.
The bottom line is that I wanted to look more youthful, but was unsure what else to do on my own. Word of mouth sent me to Dr. Buckingham’s office. Everyone made me feel comfortable from the start, and Dr. Buckingham was a gracious doctor. He explained my options and we decided a facelift was right for me. My surgery was on February 2nd. My facelift went so smooth and my recovery was great. I could not have done it without the support of Dr. Buckingham and his staff. Even in the hospital, I felt like I was really in good hands. I know that anyone who goes to Dr. Buckingham will be satisfied with the treatment they receive, and I will certainly go back in the future.
You might be a candidate for rhytidectomy if you have signs of aging, such as loose skin near the jaw line, excess skin around the chin and neck, fatty deposits in the face, and deep creases. While there’s no “right age” for the surgery, candidates are usually at least in their 40s. There’s no upper age limit for the surgery. If a person is in good overall health, they might be a good candidate for rhytidectomy up into their 80s.
Ideally, candidates for facial rejuvenation surgery will be in good health, without any untreated, ongoing medical conditions. It’s also essential that candidates have realistic expectations and goals for surgery. Candidates should be non-smokers or must be willing to quit smoking several weeks before their surgery for safety reasons.
How Much Does a Facelift Cost?
The cost of a facelift can vary based on several factors, including the technique Dr. Buckingham uses, the type of anesthesia needed, and whether or not you decide to combine procedures to reach your goals.
During your consultation, you’ll discuss a treatment plan with Dr. Buckingham and review the cost of the procedure. There is a fee for the consultation, but that fee is then applied to the cost of your surgical procedure.
If you are concerned about being able to pay for your surgery upfront, you might be able to finance your procedure with a low-interest loan or credit card.
Facelift Recovery and Aftercare
Recovery after a facelift usually takes about two weeks. During this time you’ll need to stay home from work and postpone other commitments. Your surgeon will let you know when you can return to work and other activities. About three weeks after your surgery, you should mostly be back to your old self and can usually resume all of your activities, including moderate exercise.
How you care for your face and skin during your recovery can affect your initial surgical results and influence how long they will last. During your initial recovery, it’s important to take it easy.
Before your surgery, prepare a comfortable area for yourself at home. It can be in your bed or on a chair or couch in your living room. Since it’s important to keep your head elevated after facial surgery, have plenty of pillows nearby. An adjustable bed or recliner is ideal.
Although you should rest and take it easy after your surgery, you shouldn’t be completely immobile. Get up and go for a walk around your home from time to time. When you feel up to it, you might circle the block or walk up and down your driveway. Light movement will help get your blood flowing and speed up healing.
Dr. Buckingham is likely to give you directions for cleaning the surgical area in the first few days after your face lift. You’ll want to avoid taking a shower right away, as you don’t want to get the incision area wet.
You’ll also receive instructions from your surgeon about which medications to take or avoid, when to resume certain activities, and what you can do to improve your overall comfort or minimize swelling. It’s important to follow these directions carefully, so if you have any questions about anything, don’t hesitate to ask Dr. Buckingham.
Caring for your skin after a facelift is important, but it’s also important to note that the results won’t be the same as those provided by a treatment such as a chemical peel. Chemical peels and other skin care treatments will help keep your skin looking fresh and youthful, but they won’t replace the work done by rhytidectomy. To keep your skin looking fresh, minimize sun exposure after surgery.
|Day of surgery||You will usually be able to go home on the day of your surgery. Have a relative or friend drive you home and stay with you overnight.|
Your surgeon will most likely prescribe pain medications to improve your comfort.
|Day after surgery||Rest up and relax on the day after your surgery. Follow your surgeon’s instructions and continue to take medication as prescribed.|
If bruising and swelling bother you, you can use a cold compress to minimize the discomfort.
Keeping the head elevated can also reduce swelling.
|One week after surgery||You might begin to wear makeup to conceal any lingering swelling and bruising.|
If needed, sutures will be removed approximately one week after your facelift.
You might be ready to return to work after one week.
|Two to three weeks after surgery||By the two week mark, you should be back at work.|
You can take up other activities around two to three weeks after your surgery.
You might still need to avoid exercise or physically taxing activities.
|Three months after surgery||By the three month mark, you should be able to see your final results.|
Some swelling might still be present, but it is usually minimal.
Many patients decide to combine rhytidectomy with other facial cosmetic procedures to rejuvenate the entire face and neck area. An eyelid lift will help you look more alert and youthful, while a neck lift can tighten the platysma muscle and reduce the look of a “turkey neck.” Some of the procedures that combine well with a facelift to refresh the head and neck include:
- Eyelid surgery
- Brow lift
- Fat Transfer
*Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.
Why Choose Dr. Buckingham
- B.B.A. in Accounting from Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
- Completed his pre-medical coursework achieving a perfect 4.0 grade point average at the University of Texas in Austin.
- Received his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.
- He was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society as a junior medical student and served as the organization’s vice-president and later president.
- Graduating medical school in the top 2% of the class with highest honors, Dr. Buckingham received the Donald Duncan Memorial Scholarship in Anatomy, the Edward Randall Medal for Academic Excellence, and the Merck Manual Award.
- He then performed a general surgery internship and Otolaryngology residency at UTMB and was a nominee for the UTMB overall-outstanding resident.
- Additionally, he served as president of the UTMB House Officer Association and served two years on the Graduate Medical Education Advisory Committee and Executive Committee.
- Is a Facelift Right for You?
- How to Care For Yourself After a Facelift
- How Can I Benefit from a Limited Incision Facelift?
- 9 Myths about Facelifts
- Facelift: A Customizable Anti-Aging Surgery
The type of anesthesia Dr. Buckingham uses during rhytidectomy depends on the type of surgery he is performing. A mini lift will typically be performed using oral sedation and local anesthesia. A full rhytidectomy will usually require IV sedation. For the most part, general anesthesia is not used during facial rejuvenation surgery at Buckingham Center.
Dr. Buckingham combines different surgical techniques to meet each patient’s individual needs. Generally, the surgery is an outpatient procedure. During the procedure, the surgeon makes an incision near the hairline and ears. He will then tighten the deeper layers of the face to minimize facial sagging and remove excess skin to create a smooth, natural-looking result.
Incisions are made around the ears and hairline and are usually completely hidden. Some procedures also require concealed incisions under the chin. The incisions do produce scars, but because of their locations, they are typically easy to conceal.
During a facelift, you will receive anesthesia and will not feel anything. After the anesthesia wears off, you might notice some mild discomfort in the surgical area. Many patients find that extra-strength Tylenol, taken for a few days after surgery, is enough to manage any discomfort they feel. If you need them, Dr. Buckingham can also prescribe pain relievers.
The recovery period after surgery varies. For lower facelift surgery, sutures remain in place for 6-7 days. Bruising usually clears up after a week following a limited procedure. Bruising may persist for up to 14 days after a more involved surgery.
Many people can go back to their social activities within 7-10 days. How long you need to take off from work depends in large part on the type of work you do and how comfortable you are in letting people see you after surgery.
When can I exercise after facelift surgery?
You can start light exercise, such as walking, about a week after your surgery. It’s a good idea to wait at least two weeks before resuming moderate exercise. Very strenuous and vigorous workouts should be postponed for three to six weeks after surgery.
What is a pixie ear deformity?
A pixie ear deformity can occur after facial rejuvenation surgery if the surgeon removes too much skin from under the earlobe. The result is an earlobe that is pulled down. The deformity is easy to correct by detaching the earlobe from the facial skin. The correction will leave a scar, but the scar will be hidden beneath the earlobe.
Can I wear a ponytail after face lift surgery?
You can style your hair however you would like after your surgery. Dr. Buckingham positions the incisions in such a way that they are concealed by the hairline and heal well.
Can I have a facelift if I have a weak facial structure?
Your facial structure does play a role in your results from facial rejuvenation surgery. Your surgeon can adjust the techniques he uses to give you the best results possible and improve the appearance of your bone structure. He might also recommend a chin augmentation to improve your jawline or fat transfer to add more volume.
Schedule Your Facelift Consultation in Austin Today
Dr. Buckingham specializes in facial plastic surgery at his practice near Sunset Valley, TX. If you are ready to learn more about facial rejuvenation surgery, schedule a consultation with Dr. Buckingham today at Buckingham Center. Call 512.401.2500 today to book your consultation for a facelift in Austin, TX or fill out our convenient online contact form.