Call Us : 415.898.4161

Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery-SanFrancisco Bay Area|Marin County

Facelift and Different Incisions

January 25th, 2011 Miguel A. Delgado Jr, MD

Making the decision to proceed with a facelift is an exciting one. It is normal to have apprehensions, so it is a good idea to address all of them with Dr. Delgado, a facial cosmetic plastic surgeon, so that you can go into surgery without any anxieties.
One of the most common concerns of patients for a facelift in San Francisco Bay Area is the placement of the incisions and how visible they will be. This is one of the most important goals of the facelift procedures; besides having a great natural look it is equally important for the incision sites to be in the natural creases and as invisible as possible.
There are different incisions for the different procedures which can make up a facelift. They are:
1. “Short Scar Facelift” This has become popular in the last five years or so, and the incision is limited to the front of the ears ending at the earlobe. It is more limited in its ability to provide correction of loose skin and soft tissue in the neck in comparison to the Modern Facelift. It does however lift the deep structure which is called the SMAS, a firm and fibrous network that runs beneath the skin and over the facial muscles.
2. “Mini-Facelift”The incisions are similar to the “short scar facelift” the difference being that it involves the skin only. It is not a deep lift and does little if anything to improve the neck. Since it only involves the skin, it will only hold up for a few years.
3.“Modern Facelift” This facelift gives the best results for most patients and is the longest lasting, 8 to 10 years or more, however the incisions are longer. The incision line goes behind the ears and into the hairline. But a skilled surgeon with great technique is able to minimize the scar and for most patients it can fade and be almost invisible.
4. “Brow Lift” There are two different approaches to the brow lift, the first being the coronal lift, with this procedure the incision is hidden behind the hairline and goes from ear to ear over the crown of the head. There can be problems with this incision, such as hair loss, a wide scar and possible cutting of nerves on the top of the head. The other brow lift is called an Endoscopic Brow lift. In recent years surgeons now use an endoscope when possible, this is a specially designed instrument with a camera attached that passes through very small incisions allowing equal results as the “open coronal” approach.
5. “Eye Lift” For the upper eyelids, an incision is made in the natural crease of the lid. Once the incision has healed, it is almost invisible. For the lower eyelid, the incision is made just under the eyelash and again after healing almost impossible to detect. If only fat is to be removed, then the incision is made just inside the lower lid.

So as you can see a lot of planning and thought goes into all the procedures to give the patient the most natural facelift results with minimal evidence of any procedure having been performed.

How Long Does a Facelift Last?

January 10th, 2011 Miguel A. Delgado Jr, MD

This question comes up often from my San Francisco and Marin patients, and while it is a good question there isn’t an easy answer. When a patient has a facelift , it is possible that the patient will look 10 to 15+ years younger after surgery. But the patient will continue to age and not be frozen in time. So in 10 years time the patient may look 10 years older. There are other factors in the aging of the skin, such as heredity and the laxity of the skin that cannot be controlled. However, there are measures the patient can take to help maintain their new face. First of all the most aging thing to the skin is the sun. So I recommend a good sun screen or sun block and also wearing sun glasses to protect the eyes and a hat while out in the sun. Secondly a good skin regimen with a high quality product is very important. This is  a good investment in maintaining the facelift.

There are a couple of procedures I recommend to my Bay Area, California patients that can also give them the optimal result from their facelift or their mini-facelift. The first would be a light skin peel to be done at the end of the surgery while the patient is still asleep. There is virtually no discomfort and the healing time will go along with the healing time of the surgery. A skin peel can remove many skin imperfections and give the face a very fresh look. The other procedure that some patients may be a candidate for would be fat injections. As we age we lose fat in our face which can give a sunken look. A facelift can soften this but it is not possible to pull the skin enough to get a good result on some patients with very deep lines, but will end up with an overdone look!

The patient below had her facelift and brow lift at the age of 60. She had a skin peel and fat injections done at the same time.

The results speak for themselves.