Facelift Surgery - Scottsdale & Avondale
Many factors cause the skin to wrinkle and sag. Exposure to sun, genetics, and the natural aging process are a few. Children and young adults have smooth, round faces due to fatty tissue that is evenly distributed throughout the contours of the face. As we age, the skin loses elasticity, sags and fits more loosely. Skin folds become prominent, especially around the chin, the jaw line and along the neck.
Dr. Guyette performs Rhytidectomies, or Face Lifts, to enhance your appearance and correct these conditions. A Face Lift involves tightening and lifting of facial and neck muscles as well as the removal of excess skin. The procedure is often performed in conjunction with other cosmetic surgeries such as Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery), Forehead Lift, Chin Augmentation, Cheek Augmentation, Liposuction or Rhinoplasty (Nasal Surgery).
These cosmetic procedures can be performed any time after signs of aging appear. In general, a more natural appearing, longer lasting result can be obtained by having surgery when the changes of aging are first bothersome rather than waiting until one is older. In order to perform these surgical procedures with the highest quality and safety, Dr. Guyette has built two state-of-the art surgical facilities; one in Scottsdale and the other in the West Valley. In most cases, surgery is performed at the centers. This allows us to keep your fees as reasonable as possible. In more complex cases, the surgery may be performed in a hospital setting.
The Face Lift Consultation
Before proceeding with a surgical procedure, your medical history will be reviewed in order to determine your overall health. If necessary, we may request that you be seen by your physician for evaluation prior to surgery. Dr. Guyette will discuss with you potential benefits of surgery and tips for recovering as quickly as possible. Our objective is to create a natural appearance that is pleasing to you. Photographs and computer imaging are used and helpful in planning your surgery.
We will provide you with preoperative instructions that may include the elimination of specific drugs containing aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (Advil, Aleve, etc.) and Vitamin E several weeks before surgery to minimize excess bleeding. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to help prevent infection. You will be instructed to shampoo your hair the night before surgery with an anti-bacterial soap.
Preoperative Instructions for Patients Undergoing Intravenous (IV) Anesthesia
- The patient may not have anything to eat or drink (including water) for six (6) hours prior to the appointment except to take normal medication or medication prescribed by our office.
- It will be necessary that you arrange to have a responsible adult accompany you to drive you home after your surgery. It is also recommended that you have someone in attendance with you at home following surgery.
- In order to place surgical monitoring equipment, we ask that your wear loose, comfortable, short sleeved clothing. We also ask that you do not wear contact lenses.
- Women, please arrive with your face free of make-up and mascara.
- If pre-operative antibiotics and medication to limit swelling have been prescribed, please take them as directed with a minimal amount of water only.
The Rhytidectomy (Face Lift) can be performed under IV sedation or General Anesthesia in our state of the art surgical facilities. These options will be discussed in detail with you. After preparing the hair and face, and connecting the anesthesia monitors, and IV is started and the patient is sedated. The surgical area is then anesthetized with local anesthesia. Incisions are made inside the hairline at the temple, extending and hidden in front of the ear, then around the earlobe and behind the ear, ending in the hair of the scalp. The loose skin is separated from underlying tissue. Sagging muscles and connective tissues are tightened. In some cases, fatty deposits are removed from beneath the chin and neck with liposuction technique. Excess skin is removed and small sutures are used to close the incisions. The procedure may take 2-5 hours depending on whether any additional procedures are performed at the same time.
POST OPERATIVE CARE
After face lift surgery, it is important to have good post-operative care. Recommendations will be discussed at your pre-surgical consultation. Bandages are applied to the area of surgery and are removed within a few days. Pain is moderate and controlled with oral medications. Your sutures are removed within the first 5-10 days. In order to minimize scarring, Dr. Guyette may remove the sutures in stages. Incisions normally fade quickly. Swelling and discoloration are usually gone within 2-3 weeks. Tightness in your face will be present for several weeks and there may be slight changes in your hair pattern around the incision.
It is recommended that you avoid the sun several months after face lift surgery. Although you are usually ready to return to normal activities in 2 weeks, healing is gradual so you will not see final results for up to 6 months. The amount of improvement varies, depending on your initial condition. It is advisable to maintain your new, more youthful appearance by using appropriate skin care products, and visiting our Medi-Spa for a patient maintenance program.
Following the surgery
- For the first 10 days, it is best to keep your head elevated, to help decrease swelling and bruising. For the first several days after surgery, you may be most comfortable in a recliner chair or lying on a sofa with your head elevated. Initially, you will have a compression dressing over your face. You may want to place a cold pack (ice chips in a "baggie" or frozen peas) over the front part of your face. After 36 hours, ice does little to prevent swelling, but you may continue to use it if it feels better. When sleeping, keep your head elevated above the level of your heart. Extra pillows under your head or a blanket or two under the mattress works well. You do not need to sleep completely upright.
- After several days, you will be given a head dressing that you will put on and take off. This is the time to begin cleaning the incision lines and stitches. Twice a day, wash the stitches and incision lines gently with soap and water, and place a light coating of antibiotic or A&D ointment. Rubber drains may be present behind the earlobes to allow for drainage. If present, these will be removed several days after surgery. Keep the pressure dressing in place at night, and off and on during the day through the 10th post-operative day.
- Swelling and bruising are normal body responses to surgery. Swelling usually peaks the second or third day after surgery then begins to decrease. Most of the swelling is gone after 10 days, but the remainder takes months to completely resolve. Taking medications as prescribed and following these instructions will help minimize swelling and bruising and promote quick healing.
- Good nutrition is very important in optimizing healing after surgery. Make sure you eat a balanced diet.
- Light exercise, such as evening walks, can begin 3-4 days following surgery. Do not lift heavy objects, bend over, or return to strenuous activity until cleared by Dr. Guyette or his staff. On average, moderate exercise begins in 10-1 days and rigorous exercise 5-6 weeks after surgery.
- If you are able to take Ibuprofen, take over -the-counter Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) 200mg tablets (3 tablets) 4 times per day, for 3 days after surgery. Take narcotic pain medication as needed. Do not drive for hours after taking narcotic pain medication.
“On the night of my procedure, Dr. Guyette called me to see how I was feeling. I thought that was magnificent and it was greatly appreciated! I felt very cared for!” Gordon Stein