A facelift is a plastic surgery procedure that minimizes visible signs of aging in the lower portion of the face. A facelift can powerfully rejuvenate the face by lifting sagging facial skin, tightening the jaw line, and diminishing wrinkles around the mouth.
A facelift can soften the look of deep creases around the nose and the mouth, tighten jowls, and reduce the appearance of loose bands around the neck. It can also eliminate other signs of aging like a double chin.
His facelift can also be performed in conjunction with other facial surgery procedures, like a browlift, neck lift, and/or blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery). Sometimes, an isolated neck lift can be performed for patients. When skin quality is good, a short-scar approach can be used.
Dr. Schaefer’s facelift was developed with creating natural and balanced results in mind. Because of his advanced techniques and meticulous planning, Dr. Schaefer can personalize each facelift to fit with the patient’s unique characteristics.
The Science of the Facial Aging
Facelift with Fat Grafting
Recent studies have shown that there’s more to the aging process than the drooping of facial skin and soft tissues: volume loss is also a key factor of aging. Dr. Schaefer uses an approach that not only repositions the descended soft tissue and skin, but also addresses volume loss; with micro-fat grafting techniques, he can improve the results of the facelift. By injecting small amounts of the patient’s own fatty tissue into the face, Dr. Schaefer can address more dimensions of aging than with lifting techniques alone.
Dr. Schaefer’s Facelift and Neck Lift
The modern facelift has evolved past simply tightening the skin. After years of training and performing the facelift and neck lift, Dr. Schaefer appreciates that techniques that elevate the soft tissues and support the deeper tissue layers are vital for obtaining significant, natural, and long lasting outcomes. The superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS) is a layer of connective tissue enveloping several layers of facial muscles. This layer acts a unit to control facial skin movement. Because of aging, the SMAS and mid-face soft tissues descend, leading to sagging cheeks and jowls.
Dr. Schaefer’s facelift will elevate the SMAS to reposition the sagging skin and deeper soft tissue. Dr. Schaefer prefers a “High SMAS” facelift approach since its effects on the cheeks are more enhanced than a “lower” design would allow. Aging affects areas like the cheeks quite severely, which is why the “High SMAS” facelift technique is highly effective. The SMAS layer also tolerates tension and repositioning well, allowing for natural rejuvenation that won’t make the patient look too tight or “windblown.”
Where Facelift Incisions Are Made
Many people are concerned about incision scars after a facelift. Rest assured, Dr. Schaefer carries out his surgery with the idea of keeping any visible scarring either to a minimum, or keeping them hidden within the hairline. During the facelift procedure, Dr. Schaefer will make an incision around or in the hairline, around the ears, and sometimes below the chin—all areas where Dr. Schaefer can strategically hide the incision.
How is a Facelift Done?
The facelift will be done as an outpatient procedure. Patients will be put under general anesthesia, and they will be able to go home the same day as their procedure.
After the incisions are carefully carried out, Dr. Schaefer will then lift the skin. The SMAS layer is then carefully elevated and tightened. The skin will then be redraped over the tightened SMAS layer and only the excess skin will be removed. Because Dr. Schaefer’s facelift procedure is incredibly detailed and precise, it has a longer operative time than usual; however, that attention to detail also allows for the best possible outcomes for facial rejuvenation.
With this type of facelift and neck lift, vertical bands on the neck and excess fat on the neck will also be treated to give patients a tight, smooth jawline. Patients frequently require a drain for a short period of time after this procedure.
Neck Lift as part of the Facelift Treatment Plan
Patients who are candidates for a facelift usually have signs of aging on their necks which require treatment as well, so Dr. Schaefer considers a neck lift as part of his facelift procedure.
Patients who want to target signs of aging on the neck area only may be candidates for an isolated neck lift with a “short scar” approach. This can allow patients to undergo a neck lift with only a single incision placed under the chin. By targeting the neck, Dr. Schaefer can reduce thick bands and loose skin on the neck, leaving patients with a natural, more youthful profile. The patient may need to have a drain placed for a short period of time during their recovery from the short scar neck lift.
The Facelift Consultation
The Minneapolis-based Dr. Schaefer believes that it’s in the patient’s best interests to be well-informed on the facelift. During the consultation at our Minneapolis center, Dr. Schaefer will listen to the patient’s expectations and concerns for the procedure. He will perform a thorough physical examination and explain what he recommends for the facelift and why. Dr. Schaefer will carefully analyze the patient’s unique facial structures and the quality of their facial tissues.
He will make sure to listen to all questions about the facelift and facial rejuvenation and give the patient ample time to ask them.
He will inform the patient on how the facelift and neck will be performed, how the procedure will be customized for the patient’s unique facial anatomy, and what the patient can expect leading up to, and during the facelift surgery. He will explain the recovery process and what to expect.
It is important that both the patient and Dr. Schaefer agree to the aesthetics and process of the facial rejuvenation surgery so that they can establish clear and attainable goals.
Who Are Suitable Candidates for a Facelift
Good candidates for a facelift surgery include:
- Healthy individuals with no medical conditions that can impair healing
- Individuals with a positive outlook and realistic goals
- Individuals concerned about an aging and tired facial appearance.
Dr. Schaefer will evaluate the patient’s facial anatomy thoroughly so that they can both plan the most optimal approach for the facelift surgery.
Recovery from a Facelift
After the facelift surgery, the head and face will be bandaged to reduce swelling and bleeding. A drainage tube may be placed behind the ear to reduce the amount of fluid collection.
The patient will be prescribed pain medication to make them as comfortable as possible following the facelift surgery.
Patients should allow for an adequate amount of time to heal from their facelift before returning to work or normal activities. Swelling, numbness, and skin discoloration should be expected for approximately two weeks.
Facelift dressings and incisions should be kept dry until Dr. Schaefer allows bathing and showering. The patient’s head should remain elevated at all times for the first few days to minimize swelling.
Patients should be able to get the first glimpse of their facelift results after the stitches are removed approximately five days after the facelift surgery. A majority of the swelling and bruising after the surgery should subside 2-4 weeks after the facelift and neck lift, however, minimal amounts of swelling will persist for another 4-6 months.
Patients will be able to cover their bruises with makeup 10-15 days after the facelift. It’s highly recommended that chemical based hair treatments such as perms, highlights or dyeing be delayed for at least 3 weeks. Blow-drying hair and wearing earrings, etc., may be prohibited for the same amount of time.
Walking and mild stretching are permitted for the first few days after a facelift to help with circulation.
How to Choose the Right Facelift Surgeon
Finding the right surgeon is one of the most important steps for someone seeking a facelift. A board certified plastic surgeon with the right qualifications and credentials is vital to ensure a successful facelift procedure. They must be in good standing with the various medical boards and the local healthcare community. Criteria like their education, experience, and their history with patients should also factor into a patient’s decision.
It is essential to be comfortable with the entire staff. A stellar support staff is also important because they are the ones that the patient will lean on during their recovery. They should be professional, compassionate, and caring.
Award Winning Minneapolis Facelift Surgeon
A surgeon in the Minneapolis community, Dr. Schaefer graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in Engineering from the University of Notre Dame, as well as an M.S. in Engineering from Stanford University. He completed his medical school training at the prestigious Emory University in Atlanta where he graduated in the top 5 of his class. He then decided to join the field of plastic surgery and completed his general and plastic surgery training at Emory University.
Having been trained by some of the most renowned facial plastic surgeons in the country, Dr. Schaefer strives to create natural, balanced, and proportional results. Dr. Schaefer doesn’t believe a facelift should make a patient’s face look tighter or different—it should look years younger.
Dr. Schaefer has been honored as a BEST DOCTOR and BEST DOCTOR FOR WOMEN by the Minnesota Monthly Magazine. He was named a TOP DOCTOR FOR PLASTIC SURGERY by the Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine.. He is also a board-certified plastic surgeon with the American Board of Plastic Surgery,
Schedule Your Consultation Appointment Today
To schedule a facial rejuvenation consultation appointment at Dr. Schaefer’s medical center in Minneapolis, please call 952-920-2600 or go to our Contact US page and fill out the necessary information to schedule your appointment. We look forward to seeing you soon.