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What is a facelift?

A facelift (rhytidectomy) is a surgical procedure designed to improve the visible signs of aging by removing extra skin and wrinkles from the cheeks, jowls, and lower neck. Undergoing a facelift in Palo Alto & San Jose by Dr. Hessler delivers highly effective and long-lasting results for both men and women, restoring their self-esteem and boosting their confidence. 

What are the benefits of a facelift?

Key benefits of a facelift

  • Corrects sagging of the mid-face
  • Softens creases under the eyes
  • Tightens lax skin around the jowls
  • Smooths folds of the face and neck
  • Lessens marionette lines
  • Tightens the muscles of the face
  • Removes loose skin under the chin
  • Creates smoother facial contours
  • Provides a more youthful and attractive appearance
Pretty woman looking up with face resting on hand

Who's a Candidate for Facelift Surgery?

Facelift surgery, also known as rhytidectomy, is typically recommended for individuals who are experiencing visible signs of facial aging and desire to rejuvenate their appearance. Candidates for facelift surgery generally include:

  • Individuals with sagging or loose skin on the face and neck.
  • Those with deep creases or wrinkles around the nose, mouth, and jawline.
  • Individuals with jowls or excess fat deposits along the jawline.
  • Those seeking to restore a more youthful and refreshed facial contour.
  • Candidates in good overall health who do not smoke and have realistic expectations about the outcomes of the procedure.

Facelift surgery can address these concerns by tightening underlying facial muscles, removing excess skin, and repositioning facial tissues to achieve a smoother, firmer, and more youthful appearance. It's important for candidates to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon to determine if they are suitable candidates for facelift surgery and to discuss their goals and expectations for the procedure.

Why Get a facelift?

Sun and smoke exposure, environmental factors, medical conditions, and heredity can accelerate the visible signs of aging such as sagging skin and wrinkles. In addition to this, gravity and the loss of youthful volume in the face begin to disappear after our 20s. As the years go by, the mid-face loses more and more of that volume and starts to appear flatter, sunken, and more hollow.

A facelift procedure can improve these areas by tightening the support structure beneath the skin. Most facelift patients are between the ages of 40 to 70 years old, and have moderate to severe wrinkles and/or sagging skin. Those who are just starting to see the early signs of aging in the mid-face and neck are ideal candidates for a facelift in San Jose

Facelift surgery details

The procedure is performed under local anesthesia with IV sedation administered by an anesthesiologist. Patients are sleeping and not awake during the surgery, as medications maintain a sedated state, but breathing tubes and ventilators are not necessary during this safer approach to facelift surgery.

Our plastic surgery patients prefer this safer approach of IV sedation with their facelift as this allows a quicker recovery and less nausea and grogginess following the surgery. Even when other procedures such as eyelid surgery, facial fat transfer, laser skin resurfacing, or a brow lift are combined with a facelift, Dr. Hessler has refined the procedures to allow twilight sedation to be used safely and effectively for these combination treatments. 

To begin the facelift in San Jose, Dr. Hessler will make an incision along the contours of the ear, hiding the incision inside the ear so they are minimally visible.  This incision is then extended behind the ear for a variable length depending on the amount of skin laxity that needs to be addressed.  For male facelift patients, the incisions are adjusted to accommodate the hair growth on a man’s beard, and special considerations are taken to incorporate the unique qualities of the male skin and hair.  

For female patients, Dr. Hessler uses a camouflage technique to hide the incisions behind the cartilage of the ear so only a limited portion of the incision is visible. The overlying skin is then re-draped to create a more youthful contour. Once this process is complete, the incisions are closed meticulously with fine sutures that are removed about a week later.

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Facelift Recovery

Depending on the extent of your procedure, you will have a bandage wrapped around your face for the first couple days following your facelift. You will need to have someone stay with you for 24 hours following surgery to help you.

If you need additional assistance after this, we will be happy to refer you to a trained nurse who provides comprehensive care during the time surrounding your facelift in San Jose.

For the first two days after your procedure, you may experience some tightness and discomfort. Dr. Hessler can prescribe pain medications to help with this. Most patients need 10 to 14 days away from work and normal activities. During this time, swelling and discoloration will come and go and you will give yourself plenty of time to properly heal. You should sleep with your head elevated and avoid exercise or other intensive activities for 6 to 8 weeks.

Dr. Hessler's Facelift Patient Reviews

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Facelift Results

Once healed, the incision lines from your facelift will be well-concealed within the hairline and within the natural contours of the face and ear. Final results from our facelift in San Jose will be apparent within about four months. These results can last up to ten years. 

Why Choose Hessler Plastic Surgery for facelift?

Dr. Jill Hessler is a leading plastic surgeon and the trusted choice for patients seeking a facelift in Palo Alto, San Jose, and the Bay Area. Dr. Hessler has helped many patients achieve the results they desire. She is a leading pioneer in the field of facial plastic surgery. As a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Hessler has dedicated years of study to the face, with an emphasis on subtle changes to the appearance while also improving or maintaining a natural appearance. She has performed hundreds of facelift procedures. Facelifts, and it's different variations, are some of her top procedures and areas of focus, and she currently holds a position as Chair of the Women on the Facial Plastic Surgery committee at the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive.

To learn more about our facelift or schedule a consultation, please contact us.

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Facelift FAQs:

How long does facelift surgery take?

The duration of a facelift surgery varies depending on the extent of the procedure and the techniques used. On average, it can take anywhere from 2 to 5 hours.

Is facelift surgery painful?

Patients can experience some discomfort after facelift surgery, but pain is usually managed with prescribed pain medications. Swelling and bruising are common in the days following the surgery.

How long do the results of a facelift last?

The results of a facelift are long-lasting, but they are not permanent. The aging process will continue, and factors like sun exposure and lifestyle habits can affect how long the results last. Many patients continue to look more youthful than they would have without the surgery.

Will there be visible scars after a facelift?

Incisions for a facelift are typically strategically placed along the hairline and around the ears to minimize the visibility of scars. Over time, scars tend to fade and become less noticeable.

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