Facelift

Facial Rejuvenation at AW Plastic Surgery

Every face—like every individual—is unique. That’s why there’s no “one size fits all” approach to facelift surgery. The aging process affects each of us differently, creating the need for personalized surgical rejuvenation. Harvard-educated plastic surgeon Dr. Anthony Wilson therefore takes a comprehensive approach to each facelift he performs: Through combining surgical and nonsurgical techniques, he can create subtle, graceful results that work in harmony with your distinctive features. 

How Facelift Surgery Works

In the past, facelift surgery involved the tightening of loose skin. The patient’s skin was pulled firm over his or her features, then excess skin was carefully removed. However, while this process effectively eliminated wrinkles, jowls, and other signs of aging, it tended to produce a “windswept” look. The results of traditional facelift surgery were also relatively short-lived; because facial skin stretches fairly easily, this type of facelift needed to be repeated every five to seven years.

Over the last decade, facelift techniques have improved significantly. Modern facelift methods correct the signs of aging where they start, in the superficial muscular aponeurotic system (SMAS). Adjusting the muscles that support the face can raise and refine a patient’s features without distorting them. This technique also produces very long-lasting results; most patients enjoy the results of their SMAS facelift for ten to fifteen years.

During facelift surgery, incisions are made along the patient’s hairline and around his or her ears. (Placing incisions in these areas creates little visible scarring, as scars are hidden by the patient’s hair and ear folds.) Dr. Wilson then repositions the patient’s deeper tissues, simultaneously raising facial fat pads and the connective tissues that support the skin.

Once these supportive tissues are fastened in place with self-dissolving sutures, Dr. Wilson carefully drapes the skin over the patient’s face, creating a naturally smooth appearance. If the patient has excess skin, it will then be removed. The skin is not pulled artificially tight at any time during this process, so it will remain supple and elastic after surgery. Facelift patients can expect to enjoy a youthful, refreshed, and defined appearance.

Meet Dr. Wilson

Anthony Wilson, MD has vast experience performing facial, body, and reconstructive procedures. After receiving an undergraduate degree from Harvard University and completing training with a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Wilson has continued to improve his technique to ensure the best results possible. Learn More about Anthony Wilson, MD, and why you should choose the Board-Certified plastic surgeon for your next procedure in the Seacoast Region.

Facelift Options and Complementary Procedures

One of the primary advantages of modern facelift surgery is its flexibility; it can be completely tailored to each patient. Patients can choose to have full facial rejuvenation or even a “mini” facelift for moderate aging.

  • Full Face Rejuvenation

    Dr. Wilson can combine standard SMAS lift techniques with a neck lift and/or eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty). This is generally recommended for mature patients who exhibit a higher degree of skin laxity. Lifting the skin on the neck and contouring the eyelids creates much more uniform results for these patients than a facelift alone.

    Facial fat grafting is also frequently performed for patients interested in full face rejuvenation. To perform facial fat grafting, Dr. Wilson uses liposuction to harvest a small amount of fat from the patient’s body. This fat is then processed in a centrifuge and injected into the face, where it fills in hollows around the eyes and cheekbones. This gives the patient’s face a fuller, more youthful appearance.

  • Mini Facelift Surgery

    Mini facelift surgery is most appropriate for younger patients with moderate aging. Mini facelift surgery requires just two short incisions around the patient’s ears and is therefore associated with reduced scarring and healing time. These incision sites allow Dr. Wilson to access the SMAS and make adjustments, but they do not permit the removal of excess skin. Mini facelift procedures are generally performed without general anesthesia.

  • Complementary Nonsurgical Procedures

    Patients who elect to have mini facelift surgery, or a standard SMAS lift without facial fat grafting, may benefit from injectable treatments like Botox®, Juvéderm®, and Restylane®. Neuromodulators like Botox® can smooth the patient’s forehead and orbital region, erasing crow’s feet and frown lines. Dermal fillers, on the other hand, can be used in place of facial fat transfer to fill in deep lines and hollows.

    Though facelift surgery effectively addresses the structural aspects of facial aging, it does not correct the superficial signs of aging. For this, you will need to consider other aesthetic treatments. Dr. Wilson frequently recommends IPL Photofacial therapy or dermal peels for the treatment of age spots, fine lines, and areas of dull or rough skin on the face.

Dr. Wilson can combine standard SMAS lift techniques with a neck lift and/or eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty). This is generally recommended for mature patients who exhibit a higher degree of skin laxity. Lifting the skin on the neck and contouring the eyelids creates much more uniform results for these patients than a facelift alone.

Facial fat grafting is also frequently performed for patients interested in full face rejuvenation. To perform facial fat grafting, Dr. Wilson uses liposuction to harvest a small amount of fat from the patient’s body. This fat is then processed in a centrifuge and injected into the face, where it fills in hollows around the eyes and cheekbones. This gives the patient’s face a fuller, more youthful appearance.

Mini facelift surgery is most appropriate for younger patients with moderate aging. Mini facelift surgery requires just two short incisions around the patient’s ears and is therefore associated with reduced scarring and healing time. These incision sites allow Dr. Wilson to access the SMAS and make adjustments, but they do not permit the removal of excess skin. Mini facelift procedures are generally performed without general anesthesia.

Patients who elect to have mini facelift surgery, or a standard SMAS lift without facial fat grafting, may benefit from injectable treatments like Botox®, Juvéderm®, and Restylane®. Neuromodulators like Botox® can smooth the patient’s forehead and orbital region, erasing crow’s feet and frown lines. Dermal fillers, on the other hand, can be used in place of facial fat transfer to fill in deep lines and hollows.

Though facelift surgery effectively addresses the structural aspects of facial aging, it does not correct the superficial signs of aging. For this, you will need to consider other aesthetic treatments. Dr. Wilson frequently recommends IPL Photofacial therapy or dermal peels for the treatment of age spots, fine lines, and areas of dull or rough skin on the face.

Before & AFter

Patient Experiences

I had a lump removed from my neck and a facelift. He was able to ease my nervousness around recovery. The results are very natural. It has been a liberating experience. His work is beautiful. He was a pleasure to work. I highly recommend Dr. Wilson.

A.F.

What to Expect During Facelift Recovery

Recovery time varies depending on the type of facelift you have. Patients who have a standard facelift generally need to rest in bed for three to five days after their surgery, then they can resume light activity. Most patients choose to take at least two weeks off of work, because symptoms of swelling and bruising can last for up to 14 days.

Patients who have mini facelift surgery usually only need to rest in bed for 24 to 48 hours, and they can return to work within seven to ten days. All forms of facelift surgery take a while to fully “settle.” The facial support and skin gradually adjust to their new position over a period of six months to one year. Patients can therefore expect their initial results to improve further with time.

Who Makes a Good Candidate for Facelift Surgery?

Candidates must be in good overall health and be current nonsmokers. Facelift surgery is also best suited to patients who have at least some skin laxity. Patients under 40 who have very minimal skin laxity might wish to consider a “liquid facelift” instead. During a liquid facelift, completely noninvasive injectable treatments are used to subtly lift the soft tissues and minimize the appearance of creases. 

Schedule a Consultation

From Breast Augmentation to Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty and everything in-between, Board-Certified plastic surgeon Anthony Wilson, MD offers a wide range of procedures at his Portsmouth, NH office. If you are interested in booking a procedure, take the next steps by scheduling a consultation today.

Arrange a Facelift Consultation in Portsmouth

Aging gracefully is a universal and worthwhile goal. If you’re ready to pursue facial rejuvenation and reduce the visible signs of aging, the dedicated team at AW Plastic Surgery can help. Contact board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Anthony Wilson at (603) 294-4526 to begin the facelift consultation process today. Dr. Wilson will be happy to answer any questions you have about this versatile, transformative procedure.