Facelift

Facelift MontrealThe goal of a facelift is to rejuvenate the face by tightening the fallen, saggy skin and muscles. In the last 10 years, there has been a significant change in the types and number of techniques available for facelifting. These advances have come about as a result of our increased knowledge of how the aging process affects the face. Aging occurs in three main ways: the skin and muscles lose their firmness and elasticity. Second, we lose volume by losing some of the fat under the skin. Third, the outer layers of the skin are affected by aging and develop spots and fine wrinkles. Each of these aging changes has its treatment.

Traditionally, when we talk about a facelift, we are referring to the lower face, including the jaw line and neck. A facelift will target the jowls (the drooping skin on either side of the chin along the jaw line) and better define the bony contour of the jaw line. It will also address the neck by tightening the neck muscles and removing the excess neck skin. This eliminates the "turkey neck" and gives the neck the youthful definition and profile. This neck lift portion of the procedure is often the improvement that is most appreciated by patients after a facelift.

FaceliftIn recent years, more effective techniques of addressing the sagging neck have emerged. These techniques require expertise and finesse to obtain a maximum result. Dr. Samaha performs these techniques and his patients are able to immediately see significant results. His technique involves not only tightening the skin, but also diligently removing droopy and excessive fat, and very meticulously lifting and strengthening the weakened and saggy neck muscles. The remarkable results obtained with his technique have been gratifying to both Dr. Samaha and his patients.

As mentioned, many advances in facelift techniques have emerged in recent years. Dr. Samaha remains at the cutting edge of these advances in the area of facial rejuvenation. He possesses expertise in different facelift techniques and applies his skills to analyze each patient's features and select the right type of facelift for them.

Midface lift

This technique has been proposed by some to rejuvenate the area of the cheeks and middle of the face. However, it is quite invasive in nature, with swelling that could take up to 6 months to resolve and the results are often modest at best. As a result, it is not a widely used technique, and Dr. Samaha does not use it for his patients. Other less invasive and more reliable methods, such as volume replacement (with fillers or fat injection) are generally more effective and Dr. Samaha will often combine these with a facelift for enhanced results.

Forehead or Brow lift is discussed elsewhere on this website.

Mini-lifts

In an effort to decrease recovery time after facelift surgery, a plethora of variations on the mini-lift have emerged in recent years. Much of this has been accompanied by hype and advertising. Among these techniques are the mini-lift, the S-lift, the short incision lift, and a variety of other surgical and "non-surgical" lifts. While many different names exist, these procedures share a similar general principle: less extensive surgery with smaller incisions and faster recovery.

These less extensive procedures are best suited for patients who do not have a significant amount of skin sagging and are just starting to notice the beginnings of the aging changes. In patients who have excess skin or more noticeable sagging, a mini-lift would yield disappointing results. In addition, none of these procedures provides any significant neck rejuvenation. Therefore any excess neck skin or droopiness requires a neck lift.

A mini-lift has many advantages, such as a shorter surgery with a shorter recovery time, a shorter scar, and a lower cost. However, despite these advantages, the most important consideration for Dr. Samaha is to determine whether the patient is a good candidate and would obtain the result he/she seeks. Performing a mini-lift on a patient who may not be a good candidate is essentially "cutting a corner" and is destined to result in a disappointment for the patient. For these patients a full facelift provides the best results. Because of his experience and focus on minimally-invasive techniques, Dr. Samaha uses his maximum results-minimal recovery system to make facelift surgery easier to tolerate and provide a faster recovery.

"Non-surgical" lifts

These include thread lifts, barb wire lifts, and use of various devices to lift the tissues without a facelift surgery. Unfortunately, despite the extensive marketing and advertising behind these devices and techniques, the results are not usually long-lasting. In addition, like any procedure, they are associated with some complications. Results are often temporary and complications can be frequent, depending on the type of devise used. Therefore Dr. Samaha does not perform these procedures. He prefers to use more reliable techniques as he strives to provide his patients with long lasting pleasing results.

Dr. Samaha's approach

The most important factor in Dr. Samaha's approach is tailoring the procedure for the particular patient. This is especially important in rejuvenation surgery because, as mentioned previously, different aging changes require different treatments, including facelift, volume replacement (fat transfer, filler injections), and skin resurfacing. The facelift, which aims to tighten skin and muscle, and remove excess, saggy skin is the principal rejuvenation procedure onto which other treatments are added to further enhance the result. Dr. Samaha possesses the expertise to recognize which patients would benefit maximally from combination treatments and offer these treatment options. He has adopted this approach for several years with consistent outstanding results.

The day of the surgery

Patients go home within one to two hours after the procedure. A dressing is placed around the head for 24 hours. It is removed at the follow-up the next day. A smaller dressing is placed at that time.

Following surgery

All dressings and most stitches are removed 4-5 days after surgery. Make-up can be applied at that time and follow-up appointments are then scheduled.

Frequently Asked Questions

At what age can facelift surgery be done?
There is no specific minimum or maximum age. Many patients are in their 70's or 80's, and are healthy suitable candidates for facelift surgery. Conversely, there is a current trend where patients start treatment much earlier to maintain a youthful appearance. As a result, patients are now undergoing facelift surgery at an increasingly younger age. The procedure in these younger patients is frequently less extensive and shorter, such as a mini-lift.

What are the restrictions after surgery?
The main restriction is the avoidance of vigorous exercise and heavy lifting for about 10 days. Other maneuvers that require straining are also to be avoided. This includes bending forward. Otherwise, patients may carry out usual activities.

How long is the recovery?
The recovery is mainly related to the degree of swelling, which is dependent on the individual. Usually, for a facelift, most swelling has disappeared within 1-2 weeks. Patients are quite presentable at about 2 weeks and can plan work or social activities accordingly. If a mini-lift is done, this time is shortened to about 5-7 days.

Is it a painful procedure?
No. Facelifts are not usually associated with any discomfort. Some swelling sets in within 1-2 days, and resolves very quickly within a few days.

What about bruising?
Most patients will have some bruising. The degree of bruising depends on the surgical technique and the patient's own tendency to bruise. The discoloration from bruising will gradually diminish and migrate down the face in the first few days following surgery. Dr. Samaha uses advanced, minimally invasive techniques to minimize bruising and swelling after surgery. These usually disappear by 10 days following surgery. Some patients who have a tendency to bruise easily may require 12-14 days.

How long does it take to see the result?
After the initial swelling subsides in the first 1-2 weeks, the result is immediately apparent. Further "setting" continues in the weeks to months following surgery. Usually, the final result is seen within 3-4 months.

How long does the effect last?
Will I need another facelift later on? A facelift will rejuvenate the face by about 8-10 years. Naturally, the aging process continues. Nevertheless, the benefit gained from the surgery usually remains. If a patient looks 10 years younger as a result of the surgery, this rejuvenation will usually remain, such that they will continue to look younger than their real age as the years continue to pass. If the patient wishes to undergo another procedure several years later, this is possible. However, it is not expected that this will be needed for at least 10 years.

For more information on facelift surgery, please contact us.