Facelift & Necklift
Aging is more than the result of gravity pulling on our skin – the truth is, our body changes at the cellular level. Over time, our skin loses precious proteins like collagen and elastin. Our facial ligaments and muscles lose tone. Even the fat pads in our face can shift and shrink, making us look gaunt.
Unfortunately, aging runs deep. To achieve true, natural-looking rejuvenation, you’ll need a facelift that addresses all the causes of aging. While older facelift surgeries merely tightened the superficial tissues, newer facelifts can create a long lasting, youthful new look.
Dr. Waltzman is a board-certified surgeon renowned for his outstanding facial rejuvenation. Using his artistry and mastery of facial aesthetics, he creates powerful, natural-looking rejuvenation.
But what truly sets Dr. Waltzman and his Long Beach practice apart is their dedication to patient care. From the consultation to the recovery, we’ll be there for you.
What Can a Facelift Do?
A facelift is designed to lift and tighten sagging skin on the cheeks, jawline, and neck. After a facelift, patients will be able to enjoy a vibrant, refreshed appearance for years to come.
However, even the best facelift can’t stop aging. Instead, it can help you turn back the clock and delay the effects. Some of our patients claim that their lift helped them look 10-12 years younger than they really were.
Here’s something else that patients should consider: aging on the face and aging on the neck are interconnected. When surgeons neglect sagging skin on the neck, the neck will age at a different rate from the face. Treating only one area and not the other can result in an unnatural appearance. It’s why thorough plastic surgeons like Dr. Waltzman always address aging on the neck as part of his evaluation.
We should stress that a facelift, or “lower facelift” typically targets the lower half of the face and the neck. A facelift alone also can’t target fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth, or improve the quality of your skin.
But what if the patient wants to address the areas around the eyes or the forehead? Fortunately, a lift can be combined with procedures such as the brow lift or blepharoplasty. Patients concerned about the quality of their skin can combine the facelift with injectables, and chemical peels.
What a Neck Lift Can Do
If a patient prefers to address aging solely on the neck, then Dr. Waltzman can perform an isolated neck lift. A neck lift will help patients achieve a smoother, sleeker profile by removing heavy bands on the neck. Neck bands appear when the platysma (the wide sheet of muscle that covers the neck), fatty tissue, and skin start to sag. To lift and tighten the neck bands, a neck lift will remove excess skin and fat and tighten the platysma.
Candidates for a Facelift and Neck Lift
There are a few factors that make someone an “ideal” candidate for the facelift and neck lift:
- Sagging skin in the middle and lower parts of the face
- Deep creases that run from the nose to the corners of the mouth (nasolabial folds)
- Excess skin under the chin that’s lost its elasticity
- Excess fat and skin on the neck that looks like a turkey wattle
How Your Facelift Is Planned
We know better than anybody – a facelift and neck lift are momentous decisions. That’s why we’re dedicated to helping you through every step. During your consultation, you’ll be able to have your questions and concerns answered by Dr. Waltzman himself. Dr. Waltzman is a warm, caring surgeon, and you can rest assured that you’ll have his complete attention during your session.
The consultation is also where Dr. Waltzman starts planning your facelift. He’ll ask a few questions about your aesthetic goals and motivations for the procedure. Then, he’ll perform a thorough examination of your face. He’ll take note of your facial structure, the quality of your skin, and the severity of the aging. He’ll also take a picture that he’ll use as a reference for the surgery. Finally, he’ll go over your possible outcomes, risks and complications, and the types of anesthesia that may be used for your facelift.
Our consultations are meant to be relaxing and informative. Patients are never rushed and always heard – we want you to move through your facelift journey at your own pace. And to make sure that you’re an active participant in your facelift, Dr. Waltzman will take the time to explain all your options for you.
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.
How Your Facelift in Long Beach Is Performed
Dr. Waltzman typically performs his facelifts using a general anesthetic. Your surgery will be held in a surgery center or a local hospital where Dr. Waltzman has privileges. In the first step of the lift, Dr. Waltzman will create an incision that will allow him to access the SMAS. It’ll start in front of the ear, continue behind the ear, and end in the hairline directly behind the ear. Dr. Waltzman will then remove excess skin, lift the tissues, and redrape the facial tissues. In the last step of the facelift, Dr. Waltzman closes the incisions, making sure to reduce tension on the skin to prevent thick scars from forming.
Afterward, you’ll be able to go home. You’ll need to arrange for a trusted friend or family member to drive you home. Alternatively, some patients may elect to stay overnight in one of our facilities and go home the following morning.
How A Neck Lift Is Performed
Dr. Waltzman will perform his neck lift with IV sedation or general anesthesia. The first step of the neck lift is the incision. It’ll begin by the hairline above your sideburns and then go around the ear. It will end in the hairline behind the ear. Dr. Waltzman will then lift the sagging neck skin and tighten the platysma muscles. He’ll also redistribute fatty deposits in the jowls and neck to create a smoother jawline. This will also help remove a double chin. After lifting the tissues, Dr. Waltzman will remove excess skin.
In most cases, Dr. Waltzman will also create another incision under the chin. From there, he’ll repair the neck muscles and remove excess fat. But for certain patients, Dr. Waltzman may perform an alternative, minimally invasive neck lift that’s performed through an incision on the chin.
Your Recovery from the Facelift
Dr. Waltzman will give you instructions for your recovery; it’s crucial that you follow these instructions – the key to successful facial rejuvenation is a seamless recovery.
We recommend that patients spend the beginning of their facelift recovery resting at home. They should also avoid any strenuous activity for at least 2 weeks. Dr. Waltzman will give you the green light as to when you can return to work or school.
You will experience some level of bruising and swelling after your facelift. It should start to dissipate after a few days, and a good majority of it should be gone after 4 weeks. The residual swelling and bruising can last for a few more months, but it should be minimal.
It will take some time until the scars heal well enough for you to join social events – about two weeks – but the scars should be nicely hidden by the hairline and the contours of the ear. Even if the scars take months to fade completely, you can rest assured that they won’t be visible to the naked eye. Bruising from the facelift can also be covered by makeup after a week.
The facelift and the neck lift are some of the most intricate plastic surgery procedures in the world – make sure you entrust them to a skilled, talented surgeon. Contact Waltzman Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery now, for a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Waltzman.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Facelift and Neck Lift
How Do I Prepare for My Facelift?
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.
Is the Facelift Painful?
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.
Will I Look Unnatural?
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.
How Long Will My Facelift Results Last?
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.
When Will I See My Facelift Results?
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.