Facelift in Long Beach, CA
How Do I Know if a Facelift is Right For Me?
Passing time changes our looks, especially the appearance of our faces. Other factors, such as exposure to smoking and the sun, can further intensify the signs of aging. If you are interested in appearing more youthful, a facelift is a surgical option that can dramatically change your appearance. Each facelift can be fully customized using a series of steps that is designed just for you, and the surgery will allow you to change the parts of your face that you feel need enhancement. Your facelift can reduce sagging through the removal of excess skin and tissue, fill in “hollowed out” areas of the face through transfer of fat or the movement of tissue, and slim areas of the face that may appear bloated. In addition, the facelift is extremely effective for removing wrinkles and lines and lifting what gravity has pulled downwards.
While you may not yet be ready for surgery, you do have some non-surgical options for facial rejuvenation. Injectable treatments, such as Botox® and dermal fillers, can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. A liquid facelift is a combination of minimally invasive treatments that can erase years from your face without surgery!
How is a Facelift Performed?
Until recently, facelift surgery could change only the outermost layer of the face by removing excess skin to tighten it without addressing the underlying connective tissue and muscles. Often, this resulted in a “windblown” look that might be considered unnatural. However, advanced in surgical techniques have allowed for the development of procedures that address all the layers of the skin, resulting in a much more natural outcome.
Dr. Waltzman uses only the newer and more advanced surgical techniques, and the gold standard approach for facelift surgery addresses the superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS), a continuous layer of muscle, fat, and connective tissue that lies underneath the skin, as well as the skin itself. Because the aging process affects the SMAS the way it affects the skin, the passage of time can cause looseness, sagging, and loss of fullness. To achieve the most effective and natural-looking rejuvenation of the face, Dr. Waltzman performs a surgery that addresses the SMAS and the skin.
To begin your procedure, Dr. Waltzman will make surgical incisions at the edge of your hairline in front of your ears and curving around behind the ears. He will study the natural contours of your face to determine the placement and shape of the incisions, and he always places the incisions in the least conspicuous locations possible. The scars that will result from your facelift surgery will be minimal and barely noticeable after healing.
Once the incisions have been made, Dr. Waltzman can then address the SMAS in one of several ways to restore your youthfulness. A SMASplication is performed in a way that folds parts of the SMAS onto itself and stitches it together; this is done to restore fullness to parts of the face for patients that need it. Another option is a SMASectomy, which removes a portion of the SMAS in order to restore tightness to the face. Finally, a SMAS lift addresses sagging tissue. Patients may have a combination of these procedures performed in different areas of their face, and the facelift is fully customizable to ensure beautiful, natural results for each patient.
Once the SMAS is addressed, excess skin is then removed and the incisions are closed, leaving you with a fully rejuvenated facial structure. The surgery generally takes 3-4 hours from start to finish, with additional time necessary when accompanied by other procedures.
What to Expect From Your Consultation in Long Beach
The decision to have a facelift is a big one, and we know that you will need support and understanding from our office staff and surgeon. We are dedicated to helping you through the process from start to finish, all the way through your recovery. During your initial consultation, you will meet personally with Dr. Waltzman; he will walk you through the procedure and answer any questions you might have. He is dedicated to the comfort of each patient, and you will find him attentive and reassuring during your consultation.
Dr. Waltzman will also begin planning your surgery during this consultation. He will ask you questions about your aesthetic goals so that he can understand what you want for yourself. After studying the natural contours of your face, he will be able to make recommendations about the facelift procedure and describe to you the outcomes that you can expect. He will also take photographs for your chart and for reference during the surgery. Finally, Dr. Waltzman will also describe the anesthesia for the surgery and discuss possible risks and complications. He strives to make sure every patient understands what to expect and will discuss your surgery with you so that you feel comfortable about the experience.
Our consultations are intended to be informative and to put your mind at ease. We never rush patients and you can rest assured that your concerns will be heard and all of your questions will be answered. Because we want you to feel confident and comfortable about your decision, we encourage you to move through the process at your own pace. Dr. Waltzman will take the time to explain all of your options to you and help you to make decisions about what you want for yourself.
Different Facelift Techniques
Dr. Waltzman is trained in the most sophisticated facelift techniques available. Rather than merely lifting the superficial tissues (which often lead to the “windblown” look), Dr. Waltzman’s facelift manipulates the SMAS, a layer of muscle and connective tissue that’s located under the skin.
Since the SMAS covers the deep facial tissues, manipulating it allows Dr. Waltzman to address all the facial tissues affected by aging. Many surgeons consider the SMAS-based facelift to be the gold standard in facelift surgeries.
Dr. Waltzman performs multiple SMAS facelifts: SMAS plication, SMASectomy, and the SMAS lift. The SMAS lift will elevate and reposition the tissues, but a SMAS plication will fold parts of the SMAS onto itself and suture them together. A SMAS plication is typically done to restore fullness to the face. If the patient already has a full face, then Dr. Waltzman will perform a SMASectomy. This particular SMAS facelift is done by removing a strip of the SMAS and suturing the rest together.
What Can I Expect During Recovery and Beyond?
Dr. Waltzman will bandage your face after your procedure and you will go home with bandages in place. You can expect some discomfort and swelling for the first several days, and Dr. Waltzman will prescribe pain medication in order to maximize your comfort during healing. You will also receive extensive instructions on how to care for your face as it is healing, and it is important to follow Dr. Waltzman’s post-operative directions in order to minimize your swelling and ensure the best possible outcome for your facelift.
Even though the procedure is complex, your facelift does not present a very difficult recovery. Most of your swelling and bruising will subside within the first two weeks, and patients are usually able to return to their regular daily activities after the first two weeks. Because you will continue to heal over several months, you should refrain from vigorous exercise for up to 2 months after surgery. Dr. Waltzman will give you specific instructions so you know what to expect during this time of healing.
Though you will notice changes to your face right away when the bandages are removed, your face will continue to change over the next several weeks as the swelling subsides. It will be a few months before your renewed features will be in their final form, but you can expect to enjoy your renewed looks for years to come!
Frequently Asked Questions About Facelifts
There are certain substances patients should avoid a full week before their facelift surgery. For instance, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can act as a blood thinner and increase the risk of bleeding. NSAIDs include over-the-counter medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, and more. Other substances like Vitamin E, fish oil, ginger, and more could also affect your recovery. Dr. Waltzman will give each patient a complete list of substances to avoid.
Facelifts are not painful. Patients won’t be able to feel a thing during surgery, and afterward, patients are given pain medication to help with any discomfort. Interestingly enough, many of our patients report that the facelift recovery felt much less uncomfortable than they thought it would be. Many of our patients only need to use over-the-counter pain medication.
No. Unnatural facelift results are usually a result of surgeons who over-tighten the skin without elevating the underlying tissues or ones who address the face but ignore the neck. Unnatural results are also typically caused by surgeons who don’t bother to personalize the facelift to the patient’s unique anatomy. Dr. Waltzman is trained in the most sophisticated facelift techniques, and he’ll choose the right technique for the patient’s needs.
Your facelift results will last for years to come. Many of our patients report that they were able to go 10-12 years before needing another touchup. However, all skin relaxes with time. Patients that have excessive skin laxity or a large amount of sagging skin will sometimes need a staged approach where a secondary procedure is planned about a year after the first surgery. Dr. Waltzman will discuss all of these options with you at your consultations.
You should be able to see your full results immediately when the dressings are removed the next morning. Most of the bruising and the swelling fades at around 3-4 weeks. Residual swelling could last for several months, but a majority of your results will have emerged by then.