Dr. Bull performs facelift procedures from his cosmetic surgery offices. In the paragraphs below, he describes the face lift procedure and the best candidates for face lift. Visit the Before and After section of this website to see results for Chicago and Naperville facelift patients.
A facelift is a surgical procedure to improve the appearance of facial wrinkles, jowls, and excess neck skin. It also can reposition facial tissues that have become lax, which gives a tired and aged appearance. The best candidates are healthy people who have loose skin that has sagged giving jowls or loose neck skin, but still have some skin elasticity. Most face lift patients are in their fifties to sixties, but facelift surgery can be performed on older patients even into their eighties if the patient has no medical contraindications.
There are many variations on the standard facelift and these should be discussed with Dr. Bull to decide upon the right procedure to meet your goals. The usual incision begins in the hairline where it will be less noticeable and extends in a natural crease around the ear and then extending back into the hairline. If extensive neck work needs to be performed, a separate incision hidden under the chin may also be needed.
After the skin and fatty tissue are elevated, the muscles are tightened and the skin re-draped to remove excess skin and wrinkles.
The procedure can take as long as five hours to precisely reposition the muscles and skin to give the best results. Sometimes a small drain tube is placed behind the ear and removed the next day. A facial bandage is also placed to reduce bruising and swelling.
Dr. Bull will review with you the specific postoperative instructions depending on the exact procedure performed.
After the procedure there will be swelling and some bruising but surprisingly little pain. The discomfort you may have is controlled with pain pills but will improve over the first few days.
After a day or two you will be able to perform most regular daily activities but you should begin to move about the day of surgery. The healing process begins immediately but requires the patient to avoid strenuous exercise and lifting the first month after surgery. Numbness of the lateral part of the face is often present but will usually resolve over the first few weeks to months.
Most Naperville facelift patients can plan on returning to work and social events by two weeks and any bruising that may be present can be covered with makeup. Sun exposure should be limited for several months after surgery and sunscreen should always be worn to help maintain your results. As with all procedures there are some risks.
These should be discussed with Dr. Bull in depth prior to surgery so that there are no surprises. The main risk is bleeding and excessive bruising but only occurs in 2% of patients. Other risks include infection, excessive scarring, asymmetry and a change in the hairline. Very rarely injury to the nerves controlling facial muscles and numbness can occur. This usually resolves but may be permanent.
The Mini Facelift Procedure
Advances in facelift procedures continue to be made every year, but the most significant advancement has been the mini facelift or mid-facelift.
As a person ages, the effects of gravity, sun damage and time cause a loss of elasticity and sagging of the skin that deepen the smile and marionette lines (vertical lines that can form on either side of the mouth). When these changes are still minimal, a mini face lift can be performed to tighten and reposition the skin producing a more rested, refreshed look.
The incisions for a mini face lift are smaller compared to a traditional face lift. They begin in the hairline and extend along the natural line in front of the ear and stop just behind the earlobe.
The mini face lift procedure is shorter, and the recovery time is also quicker, in fact, most mini facelift patients are back to work in a week. With a mini face lift, only the isolated areas of the mid-section of the face (such as nasolabial folds) will be addressed. For many patients who feel that these isolated areas are the most significant, a mini face lift is a great solution. On the other hand, a full face lift will improve areas like the neck-chin angle, and restore jaw definition.
While a mini face lift rejuvenates the mid-face area (which is what the term “Mid Face lift” refers to), a full face lift may be suggested to patients with sagging or droopiness in the jowl area, or to tighten up the neck muscles.