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The Process Behind a Facelift

Learn the process involved in a facelift from a plastic surgeon in Oshawa.

In recent years, facelift surgery has become one of the most popular cosmetic treatments in the world. As a plastic surgeon specializing in this procedure for patients in Oshawa and Toronto, I can attest to the transformative nature of the facelift, especially as advanced techniques have evolved in recent years, and I understand why it’s so popular.

Despite how common the surgery is, many people still want to know: What does a facelift actually involve? You may have seen the results, but let’s take a closer look at how a surgeon gets there. I’m here to answer that question and explain the process behind the procedure.

Anesthesia

For each facelift procedure, patients first receive general anesthesia. Some patients are more concerned about the anesthesia than they are about the actual surgery, but there is no need to worry! Undergoing the procedure with an experienced plastic surgeon means you’re in safe hands. Your health is my No. 1 priority. An anesthesiologist is present throughout your procedure. I ensure that each one of my patients knows what to expect during each step of the procedure, so he or she feels safe and comfortable the entire time.

Incisions

I place facelift incisions around the ears and behind the hairline. I choose these specific locations strategically so that scarring is minimal and blends in with the surrounding contours and lines of the face. The facelift procedure places tension on the SMAS layer rather than the skin which optimizes scar quality. I also provide my patients with ointments and detailed aftercare instructions to help their incisions heal and fade quickly until they are practically invisible.

Lifting the SMAS Layer & Skin

During the procedure, I lift the upper layer of skin as well as the deeper SMAS layer (superficial muscular aponeurotic system), which includes the muscles that control facial expressions. Traditional facelift procedures lifted and tightened only the skin, not the underlying muscles. By lifting the SMAS muscles, I can produce results that look more natural and last longer. After the lift has been performed, the incisions are closed and the patient is cared for overnight at the surgical center.

Full Facelift vs. Midface Lift

While the full facelift is a popular treatment with very successful results, some patients may opt for a midface lift instead. This procedure may be suggested if the patient wishes to lift only the midsection of the face. This procedure typically does not address the rejuvenation of the neck but does improve the contour of the jaw line and cheek. It still requires general anesthesia but is less invasive. However, the results may not be as dramatic as a full facelift. Additionally, it can be completed endoscopically or with shorter, traditional incisions placed in the front creases of the ear, resulting in shorter scars.

Complementary Treatments

A facelift is typically best for a patient who has sagging tissue on the lower part of the face, as well as drooping jowls. Many people with those signs of aging also have concerns about their necks, eyes, or other areas. In these cases, I can combine a facelift with a neck lift, eyelid surgery, brow lift,  BOTOX® Cosmetic injections, or other complementary treatments to create even more impressive results.

If you’re interested in learning more about the procedure, request an in-person consultation with me online. I would love to discuss your candidacy and options in depth together.

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Derek T. Ford, MD, FRCSC