Abhay Gupta, MD, FACS, is aware of the concerns his San Diego facelift patients have about the effects of aging, gravity, stress, exposure to the sun and pollution, and other outside influences on the face over time. These forces cause facial skin to sag, wrinkles to form and deep creases to take hold. Jowls may appear, and eyebrows may droop. Even eyelids and the neck area can be affected. Dr. Gupta attentively addresses patients’ concerns and helps combat the visible signs of facial aging by artfully performing facelift.
With rhytidectomy, more familiarly known as facelift surgery, Dr. Gupta can restore a fresh, youthful look to the face. During facelift surgery, Dr. Gupta contracts and realigns skin on the face and neck as needed to create a firmer, smoother appearance. Often, Dr. Gupta performs facelift in conjunction with other facial cosmetic procedures — both surgical and non-surgical. For instance, Dr. Gupta may perform liposuction in the neck area as part of the facelift procedure. He may also recommend an injectable filler such as collagen or hyaluronic acid (e.g., Juvederm) following facelift surgery to augment the aesthetic results.
Suitable San Diego facelift candidates are unhappy with visible signs of aging and exposure to harsh elements that make their face look tired, sad or older than they are. They turn to Dr. Gupta to improve drooping skin, fat and muscles in the face and neck; remove excess skin and fat from the face and neck; correct a saggy jaw line; and/or eliminate the appearance of deep-set crease lines along the chin, mouth or nose.
As with all candidates, facelift candidates should not smoke, and should be in good physical and mental health. They should also have realistic ideas about the risks and rewards of surgery. While facelift may be appropriate for anyone with premature signs of aging, suitable facelift candidates are usually 40 years of age or older. During consultation, Dr. Gupta ultimately determines whether patients are suitable facelift candidates or could instead benefit from an alternative course of cosmetic treatment, such as eyelid surgery or the use of injectable fillers.
Facelift surgery takes several hours. The duration of facelift surgery depends on each patient’s individual anatomy, aesthetic goals for surgery and if additional cosmetic treatments are performed at the same time. Dr. Gupta typically performs facelift procedures on an outpatient basis, but certain patients may be required to stay the night at a hospital or recovery center for monitoring purposes. If facelift is performed as an outpatient procedure, patients need a responsible adult to drop them off and pick them up from surgery.
After administering general anesthesia, Dr. Gupta begins traditional facelift surgery by making tiny incisions along the inside border of the hairline, starting at the temple. He continues around the ear, ending in the lower part of the scalp. Dr. Gupta then separates fat from underlying layers of tissue, removing or repositioning fat and tissue as necessary. The plastic surgeon next tightens and re-drapes the remaining facial skin before excising excess skin.
Next, Dr. Gupta addresses the patient’s neckline if necessary. He makes another incision under the chin, again removing or repositioning fat and tissue before securing the remaining skin in place and eliminating any excess skin in the neck area.
To complete traditional facelift procedures, Dr. Gupta closes any incisions with tiny sutures to minimize scarring. He may also use metal staples or surgical clips along the hairline as needed. Dr. Gupta lastly places bandages over the treated area to minimize bruising and swelling.
There are several types of facelifts, namely, traditional, limited or “mini” facelift, and facelift combined with neck lift surgery. During consultation Dr. Gupta reviews these options and creates a cosmetic treatment plan tailored to the patient’s unique needs.
Directly following facelift surgery, the patient is taken to a recovery room for a few hours to rest while the effects of any remaining anesthesia subside. If the patient is not required to stay overnight at the hospital or recovery center, he or she will be released to the care of an authorized individual.
Patients may find a small, thin tube present after surgery. This is used to drain any fluid that may accumulate in the treated area, and will be removed a day or so following the procedure. Dr. Gupta will also remove any stitches, staples or clips within the first week following surgery.
Patients may feel mild pain or discomfort postoperatively, but Dr. Gupta will prescribe pain medication to minimize any discomfort during recovery. Patients can also apply ice packs to the treated area to lessen discomfort. Dr. Gupta may also prescribe antibiotics to help lessen any chance of infection.
Facelift patients who do not mind being seen in public with bruising on the face can return to work in about a week, especially if they use makeup to help conceal any bruises. However, most patients find that they need to take at least two weeks off from work and their busy social schedule before they are comfortable in public. During recovery, patients can generally cover incision marks with their hair.
Patients should rest and limit strenuous activity in the first week following surgery. They should ease back into their normal routine as advised by Dr. Gupta.
All surgeries come with inherent risks and possible complications. However, the risks are rare. Some of the risks of facelift surgery include: infection, bleeding, poor healing, complications relating to anesthesia, temporary hair loss at the incision sites, facial nerve trauma, facial asymmetry, loss of skin and changes in skin sensation such as numbness, fluid accumulation and persistent pain. In addition, revision surgery is sometimes needed.
To help minimize risks and complications, Dr. Gupta takes all available precautions. Patients should do their part to decrease surgical risks as well. To do this, patients should eat well-balanced meals, avoid smoking and carefully adhere to Dr. Gupta’s pre- and post-surgery directions.
To get more information regarding facelift surgery or to schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Gupta, please contact Gupta Plastic Surgery by calling (858) 408-6100.
Please Note: To respect my patients’ privacy and confidentiality, I have chosen not to display any of my cosmetic facial surgery patients’ pre- and post-op photos on the Internet. This includes Botox and injectable filler procedures. These photos are available for private viewing in my office during your consultation. I apologize for any inconvenience.