Many patients look in the mirror and are discouraged because the face they see looks older and more tired than they feel. A facelift and necklift can address this concern. Face and neck lifting surgery is successfully performed on healthy patients ranging in age from their 30’s to well in their 80’s. A facelift cannot stop the aging process; however, what it can do is give your face a healthy and more youthful appearance. Many patients experience increased self-confidence as the face in the mirror now more accurately represents their psychological rather than chronological maturity. As with all facial plastic surgery, general good health and realistic expectations are prerequisites. You should seek out a trusted, Austin plastic surgeon.
A face/necklift primarily treats the jawline and neck areas. More specifically, it treats the lower half of the face. In the past, pulling the skin back was the only method of face-lifting, which would lead to an artificial “windswept” look, poor wound healing and transient results. More aggressive surgery was in vogue during the 80’s and 90’s, but has fallen out of favor with many surgeons because of the long operative time, higher risk of surgery, protracted recovery period and minimal cosmetic benefit. Dr. Buckingham utilizes the newest minimally invasive techniques with incisions nearly entirely confined to and camouflaged within the hairline. This reduces recovery time and leads to the most natural appearing and long-lasting results.
Dr. Buckingham tailors his facelift to fit the patient’s needs and wishes. Limited incision facelifts are performed for patients with thin necks and minimal neck banding with substantial results. See our section on limited incision facelift for more details and photos. For patients with more advanced aging including neck fatty pockets, significant neck bands or more advanced skin sagging a more involved, but still minimally traumatic facelift is performed. Unlike our limited incision facelift where the anterior neck is not opened, in patients who require these techniques, we make a small incision under the chin where fat can be gently removed and the platysma muscle can be sutured in the midline. A completely concealed incision is then place around the ears and in the hairline to expose the SMAS which is lifted and elevated re-suspending the face to a more youthful position. Even with this procedure, Dr. Buckingham tailors the SMAS elevation based on the patient’s needs. For those patients with thin faces and moderate jowling and neck laxity the SMAS will be elevated a shorter distance. For patients with heavy faces and more significant aging the SMAS will be elevated as a deep plane composite flap allowing for maximal improvement.
Regardless of the approach used, our patients are ready for social activities within 10-14 days and are fully active in 2-3 weeks. Some residual swelling and firm areas will persist and continue to improve for as long as 3 months, but these areas are usually minor and not noticeable without close inspection.
To determine if a patient is a good candidate for this procedure, Dr. Buckingham recommends a private patient consultation.
Dr. Buckingham feels that successful facial plastic surgery results from the development and maintenance of good rapport between the patient, the surgeon, and his staff during the consultation and future appointments. The consultation will include a complete facial analysis to determine the best procedure to bring about the desired results and all questions relating to the patient’s specific concerns will be addressed.
Prospective patients are encouraged to call the office to schedule an appointment at their earliest convenience.
Frequently Asked Facelift Questions
Q – What is a facelift?
A facelift is a procedure to lift sagging tissues of the face. It is a generic term that patients and some surgeons use to describe more specifically brow/forehead lift, midface lift, or lower facelift. We use the term facelift to refer to the lower face and usually call it a “lower facelift.” It is a procedure that addresses the neck and jawline, or if you draw an oblique line from the corner of the mouth to the upper ear it improves everything below that line. Many different kinds or degrees of facelifts can be performed and are tailored to the particular patient. Some involve incisions only in front of the ear while others involve a small incision under the chin to perform a submentoplasty followed by an incision around the ear and a deep plane facelift.
Q – Who is the best candidate for a facelift?
The best candidate for a facelift is someone who is medically fit. A facelift can be beneficial for patients experiencing pre-mature aging of the jawline and neck in their late 30’s up to patients with more severe aging extending into their 80’s assuming good health. The younger patients often undergo an “S”-lift or mini-lift while the older patients often need a deep plane facelift.
Q – What can I expect during the consultation?
During the consultation, you will meet our patient care coordinator who will tell you about our practice and walk you through the process. Our nurse will then get a medical history. Dr. Buckingham will then first listen to your concerns and then address them with a focus on providing the most effective and economical procedure with the least down-time to meet your cosmetic expectations. Doctor Buckingham will also review many before and after photos of his patients with you focusing on patients with similar appearance and concerns. Once the consult is complete you will receive a written quote describing your procedures and have the ability to select a surgery date if desired.
Q – Where is Facelift surgery performed?
The “S”-lift and mini-lifts are performed in our private office surgery suite with local anesthesia and if desired oral sedation. The more extensive lifts are best performed under IV sedation and are therefore performed at and outpatient surgery center, usually Central Park Surgery Center.