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Time is not a friend to the complexion. Gravity, exposure to the elements and stress all wreak havoc on the facial soft tissues and over time, causing wrinkles, deep jowls and neck creases. That sad and tired appearance that you see in the mirror doesn’t always reflect how you feel on the inside, which is why many men and women seek out surgery to rejuvenate their looks and turn back the clock. A surgical facelift or rhytidectomy can be a way to dramatically refresh the face with noticeable results that last for many years.

With extensive experience in facelift procedures, Austin Plastic Surgeon Dr. Sharma understands the intricacies of the facial anatomy and can manipulate underlying muscles and tissue to create a natural, more youthful appearance. He will tailor your procedure to your precise needs, so your result is distinctly you, only better. Whether you are looking for a slight improvement or a full rejuvenation, a facelift is customized to produce just the results you want.

A Facelift Patient’s Journey

We interviewed Elizabeth, a patient of Dr. Sharma, to gain insight into her journey to finding confidence through a personalized facelift procedure at Plastic Surgery Austin.
Read Part One

Facelift Candidates

Austin women and men alike who are in good health and non-smokers tend to make the best candidates for facelift surgery. Patients that smoke will need to stop for at least six weeks before and six weeks after surgery to reduce their risk for complications and ensure the best possible results. It is essential to have realistic expectations about what this procedure can do for you and be prepared to take ample time off to recovery after surgery for optimal healing. A facelift may address any or all of the following concerns:

  • Significant skin laxity that cannot be sufficiently treated with nonsurgical therapies
  • Facial lines around the nose and mouth
  • Hollowing in the mid-face that leads to a sunken, aged appearance
  • The formation of jowls (loose, hanging skin) along the jawline
  • The accumulation of submental fat and loose skin under the chin (double chin)
  • Loose skin around the neck that leads to a “turkey wattle”

Dr. Sharma will assess your situation, health status and expectations at your initial consultation to determine whether a facelift would be a safe option for you and give you the results you want to achieve.

Options in Facelift Surgery

There are different facelift techniques Dr. Sharma might use during your surgery, depending on how much rejuvenation you need to achieve your desired outcome. Options include:

Mini Facelift

Also known as a mid-facelift or a short-scar lift, this procedure focuses on the midface to restore definition to the cheeks and produce a more youthful contour from the eyes to the mouth. Incisions for this procedure extend from the temple to the ears and are confined to the hairline in most cases to eliminate visible scarring.

Full Facelift

While this approach features longer incisions that extend beneath the ears, Dr. Sharma can make a more dramatic correction to the mid and lower face through this technique. Like the mini lift, incisions are hidden within the hairline or natural creases of the skin in most cases to minimize visible scarring. Jowls are eliminated, as well as creases in the lower face. Some improvement is also made to the neck, although the addition of a neck lift will produce even more enhancement in this area.

Additional Procedures

A facelift is highly effective when performed alone, but many of Dr. Sharma’s patients are looking for more rejuvenation than a facelift can provide. In these cases, Dr. Sharma may recommend additional procedures at the same time, such as a brow lift, eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) or a neck lift. Adjunctive treatments can also be done with a facelift lift to enhance results. These treatments might include soft tissue fillers to soften jowls or restore facial volume, or chemical or laser peels to resurface the skin for a smoother and more radiant glow.

Fat transfer is another popular add-on to the facelift that offers long-lasting results. This dual-step procedure begins with the removal of a small amount of fat from another area, often the abdomen, buttocks or thighs. The fat cells are processed and prepared to inject into the regions of the face in need of volume, like the way dermal fillers are administered. However, the fat injected typically lasts much longer than filler formulations.

Because there are a variety of options involved with a facelift, it will take some time to decide on the optimal plan for your procedure. At your initial consultation, you will spend sufficient time discussing your concerns and goals with Dr. Sharma so the two of you can create a treatment process that will meet your needs best.

How does it work?

Dr. Sharma may recommend general anesthesia or local with IV sedation, depending on the complexity of the procedure, your general health history and personal preference. Both approaches will ensure you are comfortably asleep throughout surgery. Facelifts are performed as outpatient surgery, which allows you to go home the same day as your procedure. The duration of a facelift will depend on precisely what will be accomplished during the operation, but surgery typically takes between one and three hours to complete.

Dr. Sharma will make your incisions in areas where visible scarring will be minimal, and through the incisions, he will reposition underlying muscle and tissue. Excess skin is excised before the incisions are closed to create a smoother surface and reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Special techniques are also used to close the incisions to ensure a smooth healing process and reduce the risk of excessive scarring.

Understanding the Facelift Recovery Process

You should expect to have some bruising, swelling and discomfort for the first couple of days following your facelift. Dr. Sharma will prescribe pain medication and instruct you on how to reduce swelling to keep you comfortable in the early recovery process. While you might feel up to returning to activities within a week, you might want to wait a bit longer to head out in public until bruising and swelling subsides and the effects of your surgery are no longer noticeable. After two weeks, patients are typically ready to sport their rejuvenated look to the rest of the world.

What does it do?

A facelift procedure produces significant rejuvenation that can last up to 10 years for some patients. As aging signs slowly begin to creep up once again, additional treatments can be offered to help you maintain your refreshed appearance. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of a facelift or find out if you are a candidate, contact Dr. Sharma today at Plastic Surgery Austin at 512-324-2765.


Contact our office to schedule a private consultation with Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Sanjay K. Sharma, M.D., F.A.C.S.