Leo R. McCafferty, M.D., F.A.C.S., aesthetic plastic surgery

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Putting Your Best Face Forward: Facelifts and Facial Rejuvenation

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

You’ve probably seen the names in magazine ads or on television: “Mini Lifts,” “Lunch Time Lifts,” Lifestyle Lifts,” “Quick Lifts,” “One-Hour Lifts,” and others. Maybe you’re wondering if one might be the right way to freshen your look.

When it comes to trade names for specialized facelift procedures, we believe these terms only add confusion.

No two faces are alike and, consequently, no two facelifts can be alike. A “mini-lift” for one person might be a “maxi-lift” for another, so we view facelifts, not as specific, one-size-fits-all surgery techniques, but as facial rejuvenation– a pre-planned process tailored specifically to help each patient look their personal best.

Careful Planning for Successful Rejuvenation
We begin by spending time with each patient, discussing the patient’s goals, what they like and don’t like about their look, and analyzing the face. At this point, we encourage a patient to bring in photos of themselves from twenty or thirty years ago—even high school yearbook pictures. This is not to try to take the patient back to that point in their life, but to better understand the facial features, their placement, and restore them so the patient’s look becomes refreshed and natural.

After analysis, some patients may find they don’t even need a facelift. Injectible fillers like Restylane or Juvederm may do the trick to restore deflation of the face. Fat injections can also be an effective tactic to plump the tissue. Even eyelid surgery alone can make a difference in creating a more youthful, refreshed appearance. Our consultation will help determine the right plan for you.

Preparing for a Facelift/Facial Rejuvenation
If surgery is the appropriate facial rejuvenation tactic to take, there are a number of things we ask patients to do to prepare:

  • Stop smoking for three weeks prior to surgery and two weeks after surgery. Why? Smoking adds risk to any form of surgery. Carbon monoxide in cigarettes competes for oxygen in the bloodstream. This oxygen is necessary to heal wounds. Nicotine also narrows the blood vessels, constricting the blood flow to the tissue. These factors make it more difficult for wounds to heal, and increases the risk of infection.
  • Take time for a proper skincare program, to achieve best results. Our in-house aestheticians consult with each patient about the patient’s current skincare regimen. We examine the products a patient is already using and may eliminate or add products to ensure success.
  • Discontinue all vitamins and herbs that might thin the blood, and increase risks during surgery. It’s our job to analyze a patient’s medications, understand their social habits and suggest adjustments accordingly for safe, long-lasting results.
  • Take arnica, a homeopathic medication, as well as eat moderate servings of pineapple. Both of these help decrease post-surgical bruising.

Recovery and the Results of Rejuvenation
In the past, facelift surgery was more invasive, leading to longer healing times, but with today’s smaller incisions, recovery time is shorter and more convenient, with minimal if any discomfort.

Twenty-four hours after facial rejuvenation, the bandages come off and are exchanged for a lighter bandage. In just 48 hours, patients can safely shower.

Seven days after surgery the last stitches are removed. At this point, one of our aestheticians will guide the patient with makeup. It’s not unusual for a patient to leave this appointment feeling confident enough to join friends for a lunch out!

In ten days, patients can return to work, normal activity, and normal makeup, with no one suspecting they’d had surgery.

During the second and third weeks, patients can return to low impact exercise—anything where the head remains above the waist, so swelling will not occur.

Discover A Fresher, More Youthful Look
With proper pre-operative planning, facial rejuvenation can be a safe, effective way to rediscover a refreshed and natural look.

Contact us today for your facial analysis consultation.


Member, American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons; Member, American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery