Austin Facelift Specialists

Lower facelift surgery, also known as rhytidectomy, gives a more youthful appearance to the face by lifting and repositioning the sagging muscular and fascial attachments of the face and neck.  This procedure is designed to lift the lower third of the face including improvements to the jawline, neck and marionette or frown lines.  Some improvement can also be achieved in the cheeks and smile lines or nasolabial folds.  Other procedures such as a browlift, blepharoplasty and even fat grafting are more designed to assist in rejuvenating the upper ⅔ of the face.  The lift is performed by repositioning and tightening the layer referred to as the SMAS or just simply the muscle layer.  After lifting these deeper structures, redundant skin is then also elevated and is removed to allow a smooth and natural result. If you have begun to notice significant signs of facial aging, such as sagging skin, jowling, neck banding, and neck laxity, then a facelift could help you rejuvenate your appearance and give your confidence a major boost. If you also have age related concerns with the upper face and skin, we also offer other procedures for a more complete facial rejuvenation result. 

Facelift Before & After

*Each patient is unique, and individual results may vary.

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Types Of Facelift Procedures

Limited Incision Facelift

Also known as a mini facelift, this popular rhytidectomy technique is less invasive than a full lower facelift. During the surgery, the surgeon will make incisions along the hairline and around the ears but not under the chin. The incisions and eventual scars are well concealed by the hair and ear.

This procedure is appropriate for patients with thinner necks, without need for fat removal and lesser degrees of neck laxity or muscle banding.  It is a great procedure for just about any degree of jowling.  The procedure has a shorter recovery as it relates to return to social activities, but is similar to a full lower facelift in other aspects. The limited incision facelift is most often performed in the office under oral sedation, However more anxious patients may choose to use intravenous sedation.

Smas Facelift

SMAS stands for Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic System. The SMAS is a thin fibromuscular sheath that envelops the muscles of the face and is involved in the bony cutaneous attachments to the skin. It is not a functioning muscle in regards to facial expression, but is important to the facial plastic surgeon for face lifting and other facial operations. The SMAS lies in continuity with the platysma muscle of the neck and is probably the embryonic extension of this layer into the face.

Facial rejuvenating procedures can differ based on their depth. Some lifting procedures, like the SMAS technique, go deeper than others to provide longer-lasting, more natural-looking results.  There are many different methods to repositioning the SMAS, but all lower facelift procedures must involve lifting the SMAS in some way in order to achieve significant, natural results.  A lower facelift should never just involve just skin.  Our surgeons vary the particular work performed on the SMAS depending on the needs of the patient.  We always free the SMAS from the deeper facial structures and when needed also release the deeper facial ligaments to achieve the maximal result.

Deep Plane Facelift

A deep plane facelift is a lift that involves more significant elevation of the tissues under the SMAS layer.  SMAS lifting can involve folding the SMAS on itself, removing a piece of the SMAS and reapproximating, or undermining the SMAS more extensively off the deeper structures.  In Deep Plane Facelifting the SMAS is separated from the deeper structures more anteriorly in the face over the masseter muscle (muscle in the cheek used for chewing) and midface and the ligaments of the face are released.  This allows a more substantial lift of the face in appropriate patients and may provide additional elevation of the cheeks and smile lines or nasolabial folds. 

Liquid Facelift

A liquid facelift is a term used to describe improving the appearance of the face using a variety of injectable fillers rather than surgery.  It is important to understand that despite its name, a liquid face-lift is not a type of lifting procedure at all. It can help to minimize the appearance of wrinkles and restore volume loss and can even give the illusion of a lift, however, it will not actually lift skin or soft tissue.  We have a robust injectable practice, and filler is a great procedure for the appropriate patient and can even supplement the result of a facelift.  If you have significant signs of aging, a liquid procedure might not give you the dramatic results you want and a true lifting procedure may be more appropriate.

Full Facelift Surgery

This term is a bit of a misnomer, and has many different meanings.  It is an older term that implies lifting the entire face with different procedures simultaneously. In our practice we use the term “Facelift” as it applies to lifting the lower face.  The upper face is improved by procedures such as browlifting, upper and lower blepharoplasty and fat grafting. Our technique for a facelift concentrates on the lower portion of the face, following each patient’s unique goals.  We take a customized approach with each patient from a limited incision lower facelift to a deep plane facelift with additional neck procedures such as liposuction and platysma muscle work as needed. If you are interested in rejuvenating your forehead or the area around your eyes, you will want to consider a brow lift or blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) as an additional procedure. 

During a full facelift, a facial plastic surgeon will make incisions along the hairline, around the ears, and potentially under the chin. Post-facelift recovery  takes as little as 8-9 days and as long as 2-3 weeks to return to social activities and 2-3 weeks to return toand exercise.   can be extensive after a full facial lifting procedure, The results are dramatic, whilebut at the same time very natural in their appearance.  Our goal is when comparing before and after photos, there is significant improvement, but if you only look at the patient after our procedures they look completely natural and are only a better and younger version of themselves.

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Choosing The Right Surgeon For Facelift Surgery in Austin

One of the most important ways to set yourself up for a successful rhytidectomy is to choose the right surgeon for your cosmetic surgery procedure. There are several reasons for a facelift and things to look for when selecting a surgeon. First, you need to consider whether you want to work with a general plastic surgeon or a facial plastic surgeon. What is the difference? Plastic surgeons are usually trained and experienced in performing surgeries for all areas of the body. Facial plastic surgeons usually complete a five-year residency after medical school and one year fellowship that focuses exclusively on surgery of the face. Once in practice, a general plastic surgeon might decide to specialize in facial procedures, or they might focus on body procedures and perform the occasional facial plastic surgery.

A facial plastic surgeon only performs facial surgeries. If you are considering facial rejuvenation surgery, it is a good idea to work with a surgeon who specializes in it. Along with choosing someone who specializes in facelift procedures, it is also important to look for a surgeon who is board-certified. Board certification means that the surgeon has demonstrated years of specialized experience and has successfully passed a difficult exam.

Finally, you should also learn more about the surgeon’s work. Ask to see photos of previous patients and consult with the surgeon before you decide to move forward.

How Much Does A Facelift Cost?

The cost of a facelift can vary based on several factors, including the technique the surgeon uses, the type of anesthesia needed, and whether or not you decide to combine procedures to reach your goals. During your consultation, you will discuss a treatment plan with the surgeon and review the cost of the procedure. There is a fee for the consultation, but that fee is then applied to the cost of your surgical procedure. 

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Facelift Candidates

You might be a candidate for facelift surgery in Austin with our team if you have signs of aging, such as loose skin near the jawline, nasolabial folds, excess skin around the chin and neck, fatty deposits in the face, and deep creases. While there is no specific age for the surgery, candidates are usually at least in their 40s. There is no upper age limit for the surgery. If a person is in good overall health, they might be a good candidate for a rhytidectomy up into their 80s.

Ideally, candidates for facial rejuvenation surgery will be in good health, without any untreated, ongoing medical conditions. It is also essential that candidates have realistic expectations and goals for surgery. Candidates should be non-smokers or must be willing to quit smoking several weeks before their surgery for safety reasons.

Why Choose The Buckingham Center?

At the Buckingham Center, our dedicated team includes three fellowshp trained facial plastic surgeons with over two decades of Austin experience, all within our accredited surgical facility for a top-tier experience. As Austin's leading facial specialists, we offer scientifically proven results with our science-based approach. We maintain the highest care standards to ensure safety and foster long-lasting relationships. From your initial consultation to the day you celebrate your revitalized look, our professional, compassionate team fosters a cheerful and engaging atmosphere every step of the way.

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I went in for a facelift and have to say that I am amazed at the results.  I highly recommend Buckingham Center. 

Facial Plastic Surgery Preparation

Before your surgery, prepare a comfortable area for yourself at home. It can be in your bed or on a chair or couch in your living room. Since it is important to keep your head elevated after facial surgery, have plenty of pillows nearby. An adjustable bed or recliner is ideal. Although you should rest and take it easy after your surgery, you should not be completely immobile. Get up and go for a walk around your home from time to time. When you feel up to it, you might circle the block or walk up and down your driveway. Light movement will help get your blood flowing and speed up healing. The surgeon is likely to give you directions for cleaning the surgical area in the first few days after your facelift. You will want to avoid taking a shower right away, as you do not want to get the incision area wet.

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Facelift Recovery Timeline

Day of surgery    

You will be able to go home on the day of your surgery. Have a relative or friend drive you home and stay with you overnight. Your surgeon will most likely prescribe pain medications to improve your comfort as well as other medications to assist in your healing.

Day after surgery    

You will be seen in the office the day after your surgery.  Your dressing will be removed and the nurse will clean your incisions, teach you incisional care and instruct you on other aspects of your post-operative care.  Rest up and relax on the day after your surgery. Follow your surgeon’s instructions and continue to take medication as prescribed. Icing should be performed on all aspects of the surgical site a minimum of 20 minutes out of every hour, but more is better.  Keeping the head elevated will also reduce swelling and is a necessity.

One week after surgery    

One week after your surgery, your sutures will be removed.  You will be able to start light walking. Two days after suture removal you will be able to apply scar gel on your incision lines and consider resuming social activities as tolerated. 

Two to three weeks after surgery    

Two weeks after your surgery, you may begin strenuous physical activities as long as they are low impact in nature (weights, elliptical, bike, etc.).  You can conceal your suture lines with makeup at this time.  Three weeks after surgery high impact exercise may resume such as sporting activities and cross fit type exercise.  

Three months after surgery    

By the three-month mark, you should be able to see your final results. Some minimal swelling might still be present, and incisions may still be slightly pink, but improving.  Some spotty numbness may also persist and may take up to one year to completely improve.

Facelift Surgery Recovery and Aftercare

Recovery and care after a facelift usually takes from one to two weeks. During this time, you will want to stay home from work and postpone other social  commitments. Your surgeon will let you know when you can return to work and other activities. About three weeks after your surgery, you should mostly be back to your old self and can usually resume all of your activities, including strenuous exercise. While you will look socially presentable at this time, in most people the final result is usually seen around three months.

How you care for your face and skin during your recovery can affect your initial surgical results and influence how long the results last. During your initial recovery, it is important to take it easy and follow your physician’s instructions precisely.

What Procedures Can I Combine With My Facelift?

Many patients decide to combine rhytidectomy (facelift) with other facial cosmetic procedures to rejuvenate the entire face and neck area. An upper eyelid lift will help you look more alert and youthful, lower eyelid blepharoplasty may remove eyelid bags. A facial fat transfer uses fat from your body to replace lost facial volume; you just need to know which is best for you. A consultation with one of the Buckingham Center Surgeons will help determine the appropriate procedures for each individual.  

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Facelift Procedure FAQs

What Kind Of Anesthesia Is Used For Face Lift Surgery?

How Is Facelift Surgery Performed?

Where Are The Incisions For A Facelift Located? Will There Be Scars?

Is Facelift Surgery Painful?

How Long Is The Recovery Period For Facelift Surgery?

When Can I Exercise After Facelift Surgery?

What Is A Pixie Ear Deformity?

Can I Wear A Ponytail After Face Lift Surgery?

Can I Have A Facelift If I Have A Weak Facial Structure?

What Is The Average Age To Consider A Facelift?

Facelift Age Limit?

Is It Possible For Women To Wear A Ponytail After A Facelift?

What Are The Differences And The Pros And Cons Of A Smas Facelift And A Deep Plane Facelift? Are Results More Natural Or Long-Lasting With One Over The Other?

What Kind Of Anesthesia Is Used For Face Lift Surgery?

The type of anesthesia a surgeon uses during a rhytidectomy depends on the type of surgery being performed. A mini lift will typically be performed using oral sedation and local anesthesia. A full rhytidectomy will usually require IV sedation. For the most part, general anesthesia is not used during facial rejuvenation surgery at Buckingham Center.

How Is Facelift Surgery Performed?

Our surgeons combine different surgical techniques to meet each patient’s plastic surgery expectations. Generally, the surgery is an outpatient procedure. During the procedure, the surgeon makes an incision near the hairline and ears. Then, the surgeon tightens the deeper layers of the face to minimize facial sagging and remove excess skin to create a smooth, natural-looking result.

Where Are The Incisions For A Facelift Located? Will There Be Scars?

Incisions are made around the ears and hairline and are usually completely hidden. Some procedures also require concealed incisions under the chin. The incisions do produce scars, but because of their locations, they are typically easy to conceal.

Is Facelift Surgery Painful?

During a facelift, you will receive anesthesia and will not feel anything. After the anesthesia wears off, you might notice some mild discomfort in the surgical area. Many patients find that extra-strength Tylenol, taken for a few days after surgery, is enough to manage any discomfort they feel. If you need them, the surgeon can also prescribe pain relievers.

How Long Is The Recovery Period For Facelift Surgery?

The recovery period after surgery varies. For lower facelift surgery, sutures remain in place for six or seven days. Bruising usually clears up after a week following a limited procedure. Bruising may persist for up to 14 days after a more involved surgery. Many people can go back to their social activities within seven to 10 days. How long you need to take off work depends in large part on the type of work you do and how comfortable you are in letting people see you after surgery.

When Can I Exercise After Facelift Surgery?

You can start light exercise, such as walking, about a week after your surgery. It is a good idea to wait at least two weeks before resuming moderate exercise. Very strenuous and vigorous workouts should be postponed for three to six weeks after surgery.

What Is A Pixie Ear Deformity?

A pixie ear deformity can occur after facial rejuvenation surgery if the surgeon removes too much skin from under the earlobe. The result is an earlobe that is pulled down. The deformity is easy to correct by detaching the earlobe from the facial skin. The correction will leave a scar, but the scar will be hidden beneath the earlobe.

Can I Wear A Ponytail After Face Lift Surgery?

You can style your hair however you would like after your surgery. Our surgeons position the incisions in such a way that they are concealed by the hairline and heal well.

Can I Have A Facelift If I Have A Weak Facial Structure?

Your facial structure does play a role in your results from facial rejuvenation surgery. Your surgeon can adjust the procedure to give you the best results possible and improve the appearance of your bone structure. The surgeon might also recommend a chin augmentation to improve your jawline or a fat transfer to add more volume.

What Is The Average Age To Consider A Facelift?

Many people consider having a limited incision facelift or a full facelift in their 30s; however, the best age to have these procedures depends on the patient’s bone structure, facial shape, and weight. The most common age to perform a full facelift is the late 50s and early 60s. Limited incision facelifts are common in the 40s, more so than the older or younger ages.

Facelift Age Limit?

There is no absolute age limit for a facelift. Surgeons at the Buckingham Center have performed limited incision facelifts for patients in their 30s (rarely) and patients in their 80s. Conversely, I have turned patients away who are 50. The real question is: what is the health of the patient? If the patient is healthy, then assuming the person has age-related changes that a facelift can help can provide great benefit. There is not any advantage to doing a facelift earlier or later; you should have one when your face undergoes enough changes that it bothers you enough to have a surgical procedure.

Is It Possible For Women To Wear A Ponytail After A Facelift?

We pride ourselves on the fact that our patients can wear their hair in any style they want to after a facelift. Our post-auricular incision is performed right along the posterior hairline. It is carefully sutured and typically heals without visibility. Incisions can also be made into the hair behind the ear; however, when done in that way, a surgeon has to realign the hairline to prevent a step-off. Usually, the neck does not lift well in that vector.

What Are The Differences And The Pros And Cons Of A Smas Facelift And A Deep Plane Facelift? Are Results More Natural Or Long-Lasting With One Over The Other?

The terms you are referring to are not standardized; however, the question can be answered using traditional thoughts. The face has layers that consist of skin, fat, SMAS, fascia, nerves, muscle, and bone. A SMAS facelift refers to a facelift in which the skin is elevated, and then the SMAS is elevated off the deeper structures and used to suspend the face. Many different degrees of SMAS elevation may be carried out, from just incising the SMAS to elevating it for a great distance. During an aggressive SMAS lift, the dissection is carried out over the cheek and down one of the facial muscles to attempt to elevate the cheek and smile line. However, studies indicate that the smile line improvements achieved with this procedure are short-lived. A deep plane lift involves elevating the skin for a short distance. We perform a wide variety of facelifts that are all SMAS in nature. In patients without a great degree of aging, we might recommend a mini-lift or limited incision facelift with very little SMAS work. When a patient has a greater degree of aging, we will perform a more extensive SMAS lift, even bordering on the traditional deep plane lift. The results from any of these can be great, and they should be matched to the individual patient. They can each last the same length of time if utilized correctly.

Schedule Your Facelift Consultation In Austin Today

Surgeons at the Buckingham Center for Facial Plastic Surgery, near Sunset Valley, TX, specialize in performing facial plastic surgery procedures. If you are ready to learn more about facial rejuvenation surgery, schedule a consultation with one of our surgeons today. To schedule your appointment, please call 512-401-2500 or fill out our convenient online contact form.

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