What is a facelift?

A facelift, or rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure a cosmetic surgeon performs to reduce signs and symptoms of aging. As we age, our facial structures go through several changes, including:

  • Relaxation of the skin and sagging of facial tissues
  • Crease formation between the nose and the mouth
  • A slackening of the jaw line
  • Jowl enlargement in the cheeks and jaw
  • Folds and fat appearing around the neck
  • Facial fat falling or disappearing

The exact reasons for the changes in the youthful facial contours of any given patient are highly individual. Some of the more common causes include the effects of gravity over time, sun damage, lifestyle decisions, stress, heredity, loss of facial fat and thinning of the skin.

Nothing can stop aging completely. Here at Seattle Plastic Surgery, we can help turn back the clock by subtly improving its common signs. A well-performed Seattle facelift should not change your look outright, rather, it should help you look like a younger version of yourself.

Custom Facelifts in Seattle

Rather than being a single procedure performed on all patients, facelifts are often a combination of a number of procedures. What will give you the best results should be decided after a consultation with a Seattle plastic surgeon, who can outline available options and pricing.

Typically, we perform facelift procedures on patients aging from their early forties through their late sixties, though facelifts can benefit both younger and older patients. Ideal candidates for a Seattle facelift are healthy non-smokers without medical conditions that could impair the healing process. In addition, it is important that facelift candidates have realistic expectations about what a facelift can and cannot do for them.

Am I A Good Candidate For A Facelift?

Our surgeons typically perform facelifts on patients who wish to improve the appearance of sagging skin, deep wrinkles and other undesired signs of aging. Facelifts are highly individual procedures and performed because the patient wishes to have the procedures performed for themselves, not for others. In addition to receiving a younger appearance, many patients report the additional benefit of increased confidence.

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    What Should I Do Before My Facelift?

    Before your facelift, it is important you follow any pre-operative instructions your surgeon gives you. You will need a ride home or place to stay following your operation, so be sure to have a reliable friend or family member available to care for you immediately afterward.

    What Should I Expect From My Long Term Recovery?

    Depending on the extent of your Seattle facelift, the remainder of your first month post-surgery  you may experience a lessening of any swelling and bruising. You may have a follow-up appointment scheduled to have any sutures removed. During this time, you should begin to see a marked improvement in your facial contours and fading of marks at incision sites.

    After the first month post-surgery, you should be able to return to all your normal activities. Though you may notice minor swelling, tingling and numbness for up to a year. These side effects should be unnoticeable to anybody but yourself.

    Keep in mind, these are just general time frames and what hypothetical patients may expect. Your recovery depends on the specifics of your body.

    What should I expect during a consultation?

    During your consultation with a plastic surgeon prepare to discuss your surgical goals, any medical conditions, any drug allergies, and any medical treatments or surgeries. Your consultation is the best time to discuss all questions and concerns you may have. Consultations are kept confidential under medical law, so please be as upfront and honest as possible to help you receive the best treatment possible.

    Your Seattle plastic surgeon will evaluate your overall health to help determine whether you pose any risks for surgery or may face any potential complications so you may make an informed decision on whether a facelift is right for you. Your surgeon will take measurements and photographs of your face. After an overall evaluation, your surgeon will go over your options and make recommendations for the right procedures to help you achieve your ideal results.

    Facelift FAQS

    What can I repair with a facelift?

    As mentioned above, each patient at Seattle Plastic Surgery is an individual and we strive to work with each to get ideal results. Commonly-repaired signs of aging include:

    • Reduced facial sagging
    • Diminished creasing below lower eyelids
    • Correction of lines surrounding the nose and corners of the mouth
    • Removal, redistribution or filling of facial fatty deposits
    • Tightening of excess skin
    • Repositioning of facial tissues and muscles
    • Improvement of the appearance of jowls
    • An overall restoration of a patient’s youthful appearance

    How much does a Seattle facelift cost?

    The exact cost of your facelift will depend on the procedures decided by you and your Seattle plastic surgeon. In general, pricing for facelifts ranges from $9,995 to $15,000 depending on the number of procedures performed.

    How long does a facelift surgery take?

    Our surgeons can perform minor facelifts in between two to three hours. Facelifts requiring more intensive operations may take up to four or more hours.

    Is a vampire facelift the same as a surgical facelift?

    No. A vampire facelift is a misnomer referring to the injection of a patient’s own bodily fluids into their face. Though touted as a replacement to traditional facelift procedures, the claims of vampire facelift proponents are largely unsupported by medical science and viewed with caution.

    Why should I chose Seattle Plastic Surgery?

    Our surgeons are board certified in multiple cosmetic and facial plastic surgery specialties, with decades of combined experience providing advanced aesthetic procedures for patients throughout Bellevue, Kirkland, Lynnwood and the surrounding Seattle area. Our fully accredited surgical facility offers a state-of-the-art environment where both surgical and nonsurgical procedures can be completed safely and effectively. In addition, we offer comprehensive breast, body and face surgery procedures, artistically applied injectable products, and non-surgical alternatives. All custom tailored to meet each patient’s needs and desires.

    What happens on the day of a facelift?

    On the day of your facelift, you will check in at our facility. We will take you to our private operating room, where your face cleaned and sterilized. You will be placed under general anesthesia while your chosen operation(s) are performed. The exact length of your operation(s) will depend on how many procedures are performed.

    Common procedures involve a lifting of the skin from the underlying facial structure, filling, removal or repositioning of facial fat, a tightening of the facial skin and insertion of sutures to promote proper healing. The goals of your chosen treatment will be to obtain a more youthful appearance by a tightening of your facial features. While avoiding an unnatural look or appearing like you have had work done.

    When you are brought out of anesthesia, you can expect to feel slightly disoriented as the effects of anesthesia wear off. Your surgeon will bandage your face and you may have drainage tubes inserted to promote the drainage of fluid buildup. Be sure you have a close friend or family member nearby for the first few days to look after you.

    How long is recovery?

    Facelifts are surgical procedures and, as with any surgery, you can expect some downtime after your facelift. Throughout the course of your recovery, be sure to strictly follow your Seattle plastic surgeon’s recovery instructions. Schedule follow-up appointments if you believe anything may need to be looked at or discussed. While healing, be especially gentle with your face, hair and any incision areas. Incision marks will continue to fade over time and easily hidden beneath most hairstyles.

    Immediately After

    After the first day, you should plan on having a follow up appointment to have your incisions checked and to ensure there are no complications that need addressed. Your Seattle plastic surgeon will replace your bandages with fresh ones and send you on your way after ensuring there are no complications.

    First Few Weeks

    For the rest of your first week post-operation, you can expect some swelling. Some, but not all, patients may bruise, depending on their bodies’ individual healing methods. Most patients report the most significant swelling and bruising on days three and four. As your swelling goes down and the bruising begins to disappear, you will begin to notice the positive changes from your Seattle facelift. Continue to take any medications as prescribed for discomfort.

    During the second week post-operation, you should see your swelling and bruising decrease even further. Many patients report some numbness, tingling and tightness during this time period. These are common side effects and should not be cause for concern. After the second week, most patients begin to feel like themselves again, ready to return to light work duties and resume light physical activities.


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