Face Lift


Face Lift Overview

Facial aging occurs throughout our lives, beginning in the 30’s and progressing notably into later years. These changes are the result of loss of tissue elasticity, gravity, and even environmental factors such as smoking, excessive sun exposure, and weight loss.

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Because of the extensive research and development of surgical techniques, we have many options available to us to treat these signs of facial aging. Ultimately, all face lift techniques are designed to improve or reverse the sagging of the cheek tissues, the presence of deep folds between the nose and corner of the mouth, the occurrence of jowls, and loose skin of the neck and face. Because the aging process will affect the entirety of the face, we often combine facelifts with other procedures such as eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), skin resurfacing with a laser, and brow lift. It may be necessary to break these procedures up into several shorter operations for patient safety.

Face Lift Recovery Period

Although these procedures are lengthy and tedious, most patients will experience minimal discomfort while recovering. The bruising and swelling are usually much more dramatic than the actual pain involved. Because the swelling and bruising can be somewhat pronounced and will certainly be visible, most patients prefer to avoid being out in public at least for the first week. At the end of that time, the use of sunglasses and cover-up makeup will permit you to be out in public, although friends and acquaintances will be able to detect your changes. Therefore, an even safer period of time to remain out of the public eye is usually two weeks. As mentioned, during that time, you will feel better than you look, and light housework, cooking, etc. is possible.

In order to minimize the extent of the bruising and swelling, we will place you in a compressive wrap. You are asked to keep your head elevated for the first 72 hours and avoid vigorous activity or any activity that forces blood to rush to your head. Preferably you’ll also avoid placing a pillow under your head (under the head/neck/upper back is okay) to prevent creasing the skin of the neck and possibly creating an unfavorable constriction.

During the first few weeks after surgery, the swelling and bruising can result in a very worrisome change in appearance. Unique to facial rejuvenation surgery, most patients will respond to these changes with a predictable period of depression beginning about two weeks after surgery. This is a normal consequence of the surgery and will resolve with time and patience.

Face Lift Risks

As with any operation, there are risks of bleeding, poor healing, infection, dissatisfaction with the results, and complications from the anesthetic such as blood clots and etc. Certain behaviors around the time of your surgery can influence your risks of problems such as smoking and failing to follow instructions regarding wound care and activities. Specifically, smokers are required to discontinue smoking a minimum of 3 weeks prior to surgery and not resume smoking until proper healing as been verified.

Because of the proximity of the surgical area to the facial nerves that control motion of the facial muscles, injury to these nerves is another possibility. Thankfully, these risks are low and injury is lessened by a meticulous dissection and knowledge that the nerves are several tissue layers away from where we will be working. Bruising or swelling in the nerves can result in temporary (even up to 12-18 months) of weakness in smiling, pursing the lips, closing or opening the eyes, or raising the eyebrows. A more severe injury of the nerves can result in permanent changes.

Learn More by Consultation

If you feel that a Salt Lake City face lift might be right for you, schedule a private consultation with Dr. Brzowski to discuss your desires.