What to Know Before Getting a Facelift

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There may come a point when you look in the mirror and ask yourself, “Is it time for a facelift?” Facial aging is inevitable, but when the changes that you see start to bother you—think sagging skin, looseness in your neck and a poorly defined jawline—you may want to consider a facelift, the only option that will provide you with long-lasting improvement. But before your surgery, there are a few things you need to know:

Your expectations need to be realistic. Just because you’re opting to undergo surgery doesn’t mean you’ll look like you’re 20 years old again. “The goal is to make the face look refreshed and younger, and fix any laxity,” says Dallas plastic surgeon Fritz E. Barton, Jr., MD. Keep in mind that a facelift can’t always eliminate every line and wrinkle.

You will have scars. While techniques have improved over the years, a facelift still leaves scars. New York facial plastic surgeon Andrew A. Jacono, MD, says, “The incisions are hidden in the sideburn of the hair, running inside the ear canal and behind the earlobe without running into the scalp.” In most patients, scars improve over time and blend in.

There is some downtime. It can take anywhere from 10 days to a couple of weeks before you are ready to resume normal activities for the first time, and upward of a few months for all of the swelling to fully go down. 

Know what can and cannot be fixed. Your plastic surgeon should explain to you what concerns can be addressed with a facelift alone. Orlando, FL, plastic surgeon Armando Soto, MD, says the surgery will restore a youthful shape to your face but it will not improve the look of brown spots, fine lines or the position or shape of your eyelids and eyebrows.

Trust your plastic surgeon. Dr. Jacono reminds you to check your doctor’s credentials. Doing your homework will ensure you’re in the right hands. Watch the video below to learn more about why it's necessary that your doctor is board-certified.

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