As we age, there are several changes that happen in the skin. Sun damage leads to alteration of the quality and arrangement of the molecules in the skin that in youth gave skin its soft, elastic nature. With age the skin starts to thin, sag, and wither. There are also changes in the underlying support tissues in the face, resulting in deflation of the cheek, and deepening of the wrinkles of the face.
The purpose of a facelift is to address some of these changes in order to achieve a more youthful appearance. In this procedure, there is a tightening of the loose skin, correction of the sagging of the underlying soft tissues, and depending on the patient, restoration of facial fullness using your own fat cells.
Fat graft material contains stem cells – cells that can change into other types of cells depending on their environment, and assist in healing. In the case of facial fat grafting, the overlying skin becomes softer, more elastic, and thicker in response to the stem cells and the chemical signals that they release.
The facelift procedure is performed under sedation at an outpatient surgical center. You go home the same day. The recovery period is several weeks, during which time your body adjusts to the skin changes that have occurred. During this time period sun protection is critical, and avoidance of vigorous exercise is beneficial, as this reduces the chance of bruising. We will also give you detailed post-operative instructions to follow after your procedure. The result is a more youthful appearance, the effects of which generally last five to seven years.