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What Is A Facelift?

Target sagging skin

More formally known as a rhytidectomy, a facelift is a well-known surgical procedure that targets sagging skin in your face and neck to reduce wrinkles and smooth skin. This is accomplished by removing extra skin, fat, and tissue, tightening the muscles under your skin, and re-draping the skin of your face to reshape it into a younger profile. A facelift actually encompasses lifting both the face and the neck in a natural way that doesn’t look pulled or windblown. Facelifts are meant to target skin that’s been affected by aging, stress, sun damage, genetics, smoking, or loss of facial volume.

Benefits of a Facelift

The primary benefit

Perhaps the primary benefit of a facelift is that it is meant to reverse signs of aging caused by drooping skin that may make you appear older than you feel. By restoring a younger, more rested appearance to your features, you will renew your confidence in your look, no matter what your age. Beauty is loving yourself. A facelift is one of the best procedures to combat the effects of gravity and age with the goal of bringing out the vibrant personality beneath the extra skin. “Now, when I look in the mirror, I see the person that I am, not that tired person who was looking back at me.” - A satisfied patient following a facelift with Dr. Melancon.

Woman smiling

Am I a Candidate for a Facelift in New Orleans?

Many people are interested in getting a facelift, and there are signs that tell you if you might be a good candidate for this surgery.

These include deepening smile lines, growing or developing jowls, extra skin or fat on your neck creating the effect of a double chin, neck banding, and sagging skin. To find out more about your eligibility, contact Audubon Facial Plastic Surgery and schedule a consultation with Dr. Melancon today.

The Facelift Procedure

This is an outpatient surgery that can take between two and four hours. It can also be a bit longer if it’s combined with other procedures such as a brow lift. Sometimes, depending on your overall health and the length of the procedure, you may spend the night in the hospital for closer, more intense care. Depending on which procedure you have, you may be placed under either general or sedation (or “twilight”) anesthesia.

For the first night, you will be encouraged to spend the night in a nearby hotel room with your own personal concierge nurse to ensure that your recovery is seamless. During the facelift New Orleans facial plastic surgeon Dr. Claire Melancon meticulously designs the incisions to hide within the hairline or in natural creases around the ear. Depending on what your anatomy is and what type of lift you require, Dr. Melancon will either perform a deep plane facelift or a less invasive SMAS facelift. Your skin and tissues will then be lifted so that the muscles and tissue underneath can be tightened. Extra skin and fat will also be removed. Then, the skin is redraped in a natural, even fashion, and the incisions are closed.

Results from a Facelift

sensitivity starts to fade

After the bandages are removed, you will immediately notice that your skin looks tighter. However, you will need to wait until the swelling subsides to see the full results of the facelift. You will also be bruised and swollen right after surgery.

In the meantime, you will also feel tightness in your face, numbness near and around the incisions, and just a general awareness of your face. This sensitivity starts to fade and should be gone in up to four months. By that time, you will become used to the changes in your face.

Deep Plane/Vertical Facelift

This is the most extensive kind of facelift in that it doesn’t just address your skin.

It also repositions muscle and tissue as well at the same time and can provide the longest-lasting results. Both the lower and middle parts of your face are targeted in this procedure, and it is ideal for patients who have deep nasolabial lines around their mouths and extensive jowling.

Smiling woman

SMAS Facelift

SMAS - superficial musculoaponeurotic system - refers to the muscles and connective tissue under the fat in your face. In this technique, both sagging skin and the muscles underneath your mid and lower face are repositioned layer by layer instead of together. This is an excellent option for patients with a lesser degree of skin sagging and signs of aging.

PRP Injections

In addition to these two procedures, Dr. Melancon often does PRP injections in tandem with her facelifts. PRP stands for platelet-rich plasma, which is extracted from your own blood via a centrifuge. PRP injections are completely natural and are used to help promote and speed the healing process as well as prevent postoperative bleeding by adding your own platelets and growth factors to the affected area.

Recovery from a Facelift

Once your procedure is complete, you will likely experience some aching, swelling, and bruising.

You will be given a pain prescription to manage the pain. In addition, you will be wearing bandages around your face for two to three days, so you may feel some pressure around your head. The next day after your facelift, you will be seen by Dr. Melancon, your bandages changed, and your incisions inspected. You will be seen every few days during the first week or two as healing progresses.

It will take at least two weeks before you will be ready to return to your normal activities, but it may also take longer - particularly if you combine your facelift with another treatment, which can make it take longer to heal. You should not plan any large social event until after a month has passed and should also avoid any heavy exercise or lifting until after four to six weeks.

Your New Orleans Facelift Consultation

To find out more about facelifts and see about a customized plan for you, contact Audubon Facial Plastic Surgery and schedule your consultation appointment with Dr. Melancon to get started on your cosmetic journey. Call or email today.

Facelift Surgery FAQ

Technically speaking, you can get a facelift at any age as long as you are healthy. However, what you should consider the most is how you feel about your face, neck, and jawline. If it is continually causing you unhappiness when you look in a mirror or lowering your self-esteem, then a facelift can help you regain the countenance you’re missing and restore your satisfaction with your face.

Facelifts specifically target sagging in the smile lines, jawline, and neck. It does not correct other areas of your face, such as wrinkles around your eyes, or other kinds of issues, such as age spots or sun damage.

Yes… and no. Because incisions are required, scars can be unavoidable. However, the way that Dr. Melancon designs her incisions is to be as hidden as possible. You will also be followed closely after surgery to ensure that your incisions heal well. Once they are healed, they are barely visible, if at all, to the eye.

Facelift prices vary according to which procedure you choose and if you combine a facelift with other cosmetic procedures, such as liposuction. Since facelifts are normally cosmetic treatments, they are not covered by insurance providers, so you will be responsible for payment. If needed, you can also apply for financing.

At Audubon Facial Plastic Surgery, we know one of the most challenging parts of this process is the first step. We are a welcoming, restful place for you to come and learn about all the ways you can live life to the fullest and be the most beautiful you. Call or click to schedule a consultation to learn how you can breathe easy at Audubon Facial Plastic Surgery.

Audubon Facial Plastic Surgery
6001 Magazine Street, Ste D, New Orleans LA 70118

Audubon Facial Plastic Surgery - Northshore Location 1090 W. Causeway Approach, Mandeville LA 70471

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