14 Questions to Ask During Your Facelift Consultation
When meeting with a facial plastic surgeon about facelift surgery, also known as rhytidectomy, bringing a list of questions can make you feel more confident that you are getting all of the information you need. Jot down any questions or concerns as you think of them, so you do not forget. Your facial plastic surgeon will also have a wealth of information that they will share, so you have a better idea of what to expect and what procedures will be performed.
Here are a few questions to get you started. Feel free to add your own or build off of these as you create your list.
1. What are the Benefits of a Facelift?
There are several different facelift plastic surgeries available, but they all focus on the same general outcome: rejuvenating your appearance and creating a tighter, more defined look.
Typical benefits of a facelift include:
- Tighter, firmer skin around the neck and jowls.
- Minimizing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and creases.
- Removal of excess skin or fat that can create the impression of a double chin.
- Greater definition of facial shape and structure.
A facelift can help you feel like the best version of yourself and reduce self-consciousness about changes due to aging. You can get back the feeling of youthfulness and radiance that may have faded over the years.
2. Do Men Get Facelifts?
Yes! Facelifts are not exclusively for women. There are plenty of men who want to achieve a younger appearance as well. Men have different facial features and structure than women, but they too can experience sagging skin around the jowls and neck, as well as fine lines and wrinkles. In 2019, 10% of facelifts in the United States were performed on men.
A board-certified facial plastic surgeon understands the differences between performing a facelift on a man versus a woman. They can create more defined contours and a stronger jawline to enhance masculine features, rather than giving softer, more feminine features. Incisions are made along the hairline and around the ears, so they blend in with shorter hair and are less noticeable.
3. Are you a board-certified facial plastic surgeon?
Achieving board certification is a testament to the education and specialized training a facial plastic surgeon has undergone. It involves a rigorous exam to demonstrate the surgeon’s knowledge and skill and ensures that they meet high standards and requirements for their specialty. They must have engaged in continuing education and training to maintain their certification. Your face is one of the first things others see, so you want to entrust it to the hands of a certified professional.
4. What is your experience?
Do not be afraid to ask what your facial plastic surgeon’s training is, how long they have been in practice, and how many facelifts they have performed. This is information that a reputable professional will be ready and willing to share. You want to feel comfortable with the level of experience and expertise they have regarding facelift surgery.
5. Am I a good candidate for a facelift?
As with any cosmetic surgery, ideally, you should be in overall good health, and any medical conditions should be well-managed. When it comes to appearance, there should be some noticeable features such as:
- Fine lines and wrinkles across the forehead or around the mouth and chin.
- A “double chin” or sagging skin around the jowls and chin.
- Loss of volume in the cheeks.
- Overall loss of elasticity in facial skin, giving it a looser appearance.
In addition, some patients are concerned that they are too young or too old for a facelift. While many patients are in their mid-40s or older, there are no set age limits (aside from being over 18 years old). Some patients in their 30s go for a mini-facelift to be proactive in combatting the signs of aging, while there are also patients in their 70s who want to refresh their appearance. In the right hands, facelift surgery is safe for patients young and old alike.
Your facial plastic surgeon will review your case on an individual basis to determine if you are a good candidate for a facelift or if there are other options that may be a better fit for your goals.
6. Do you have before and after photos that I can see?
The same procedure can produce different results depending on the person. Your face shape and structure play a part in how a facelift will make you look. It can be a good idea to review before and after photos from other procedures the facial plastic surgeon has done so you can get a better idea of what to expect.
Seeing real-life photos can help you to keep your expectations realistic. It also gives you a visual representation of how issues are addressed and what surgery can achieve. Look at images not just of people who look similar to you, but also those that do not, so you have a broader perspective. Results should look natural, not pulled or fake.
7. What Happens During Facelift Surgery?
As you make your decision about whether to undergo facelift surgery, you may be curious about what the actual procedure entails. After making several small incisions along your hairline or behind your ears (depending on if the focus is on the upper or lower portion of your face or both), the surgeon will carefully pull the loose skin to tighten any sagging areas and create a firmer look. At the same time, this will help to minimize the appearance of wrinkles as the skin stretches.
If you have excess skin around your neck or jowls, the surgeon will trim it off so there are no noticeable folds and you have a smooth contour. In addition, some deeper facial tissue may be repositioned as well to further define your jawline and facial profile.
During surgery, you will either receive general anesthesia or twilight anesthesia to keep you comfortable and ensure that you feel no pain or discomfort. After the anesthesia wears off, you can take over-the-counter pain relievers if needed to reduce swelling and minimize pain. You will be given an antibiotic to prevent infection as well.
Read Related Post: Where Are the Incisions Made for a Facelift?
8. Are there are any risks?
Every surgery – no matter how minor – comes with risks. On relatively healthy patients, facelifts are generally safe with minimal risks and complications. But every person is different, so be sure to let your facial plastic surgeon know about any underlying health conditions, previous medical procedures, or medications you are taking. The surgeon can walk you through any specific concerns related to your situation if there are any.
9. Will there be visible scars?
Incisions are typically made along the hairline, above and behind the ears, or below the chin. They are strategically placed in areas where they will be barely noticeable and blend in with the features of your face. Your facial plastic surgeon should skillfully perform sutures to minimize the appearance of any scars. Scars will also fade over time.
10. How long does recovery take?
The actual surgery takes between three and six hours, but you will be able to go home the same day once the effects of the anesthesia have begun to wear off and you are alert and oriented. The bandages should stay on for about a week after surgery. At that point, your surgeon will evaluate how well you are healing and remove any stitches.
You should expect to take about two weeks off to rest and heal. After that, you can return to most of your normal activities. There may be some minimal bruising or swelling right after surgery, but that will resolve on its own in a few days. Men undergoing facelifts should refrain from shaving for about two weeks so as not to interfere with healing or produce unnecessary pulling or strain on facial skin. Your surgeon will give you more detailed instructions to follow after surgery based on your needs and health.
11. How soon will I see results after surgery?
Some immediate results will be visible post-surgery, but it can take a few months for changes to fully settle in and a more youthful appearance to emerge. It takes time for your tissue and muscles to heal and become firmer and tauter. Remember that changes will be subtle, and you will still look like yourself, just rejuvenated. Facelift surgery should not make you look like a completely different or unrecognizable person.
12. How long do results last?
If you follow a healthy skincare regimen and recommended best practices, the results of your facelift can last for 10 years or more. It all depends on what procedures you have done and how well you take care of yourself and your skin. Even the best facelift will eventually begin to fade over time as your skin continues to lose collagen and elasticity with aging. However, your facial plastic surgeon can also go back and touch up the results.
13. Should I combine a facelift with any other procedures?
To achieve your ultimate goal, you may benefit from other procedures along with a facelift such as:
A combination of procedures can address a variety of concerns in a single surgery and cut down on recovery time. It can also ensure that you are getting the type of results you want, especially if they are outside of the scope of a traditional facelift. Your facial plastic surgeon will take all of your concerns and goals into consideration when determining a treatment plan.
14. Is Facelift Surgery Right for You?
A major question to think about when considering facelift surgery is why you want the procedure done. It should be something that you are doing for yourself and your own benefit, not for anyone else. Do not feel pressured to enhance your looks because you think it is what others want, or that it will help you land a significant other or a new job.
A facelift empowers you to become a more youthful-looking version of yourself and correct some of the changes that occur with aging. Make sure you are considering surgery for the right reasons and have fully thought through your decision, carefully weighing the benefits and risks.
Related Question: What Parts of the Face Does a Facelift Correct?