About Facial Surgery in Orange County – San Clemente, Aliso Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Understanding Facelift, Microlift, and Neck lift:
Facial surgery can successfully correct facial flaws and signs of premature aging. Irregularities along the jaw line, softening of the jowls, and sagging of the neck can give one an aged, drawn, and tired look.
This occurrence is due to laxity of the platysma muscle that comes up from the chest and covers the neck and face. When the surgeon performs a facelift, extended microlift, or neck lift, it is the platysma muscle that he is addressing. Actual placement of incisions will vary from patient to patient and is dependent on the surgeon’s judgment for that patient. With a facelift and extended microlift, he typically begins the incision in the area of the temple hair just above the ear. Moving downward towards the earlobe, the surgeon will carefully hide all incisions within the ear. The incision then continues upward behind the ear, following the crease where the ear meets the side of the head. The extended microlift incision stops here while the facelift incision continues within the hairline of the scalp behind the head. The extended incision is necessary to get the maximum lift and elevation of the neck. For male patients, the incision is aligned to accommodate the natural beard lines. During these procedures, the surgeon may also need to do additional work to the neck by making a small incision directly under the chin. Neck lift incisions are made directly under the chin and within the hairline of the scalp behind the head. There is no need to cut or shave any hair where the incisions take place. The closure of the suture line heals so that “scars” are inconspicuous and even a hair dresser will have a difficult time discovering any signs of a surgery.
What to expect after facelift, extended microlift, or neck lift:
After facial surgery, a head dressing will be applied around the head and ears, leaving the face exposed. This will help to keep the facial swelling down. Depending on the surgery preformed, the patient will be going home with the head dressing in place for approximately 3-4 days. If the patient is spending the night in our overnight suite, the head dressing will be changed before being discharged the following day. For the patient who is not required to stay with us overnight, those patients will return to the office for a head dressing change the following day. A ride will be necessary for this appointment. Facial swelling is common in the cheeks and under the eyes while bruising usually appears along the sides of the neck. Following the post-operative instructions and properly taking all medications and supplements will shorten the lifespan of the healing process. Most patients look and feel ready to return back to work after approximately two weeks, however; the rate of healing will vary from patient to patient.
- The evening of surgery, patients should be resting. Up to the restroom only. The second day following surgery, patients should be up, walking, and attempting to be more self-sufficient. Drinking fluids and taking deep breaths with good lung expansion is also necessary during this time. Avoid bending, lifting, or straining.
- Once home, have something to eat. A bland diet is recommended.
Sleeping or resting with your head elevated above your heart will help to reduce the swelling of the face.
- Two pillows will provide the proper elevation.
- Take the prescribed medications and VitaMedica supplements as directed until completed.
- Baths and showers are fine after surgery. The water temperature should be warm, not too hot. Please keep the head dressing dry.
- You may resume driving on the 5th or 6th day after the head dressing has been removed and if you are not taking pain medication. Long distances are not recommended.
- Make-up suggestions along with an ongoing skin care regimen will be discussed with you by our medical aestheticians on the 10th to 14th post-operative day visit.
- All sports; weight lifting, tennis, aerobics, golf, etc. must be avoided for 3-4 weeks or otherwise advised by your doctor.
- Hair coloring and weaves need to be done 1 week prior to surgery or 3-4 weeks after surgery. Use caution with hairdryers & curling irons for 1 month. You may experience numbness on the face, scalp and other areas around the hairline during the first several weeks after surgery.
Diet Suggestions following surgery:
- Day 1: Replenish fluids, low sodium soups, oatmeal, Jell-O, pudding, applesauce, etc.
- Day 2: Soups (homemade vegetable or lentil soup are nutritious and delicious), eggs, mashed potatoes, cottage cheese, turkey or meatloaf, etc. Check the sodium content. Foods that are greasy or spicy are not a good choice following surgery.
- Day 3: Resume a normal diet while continuing with low sodium intake.
- Day 1: surgery
- Day 2: head dressing change
- Day 3 or 4 depending on surgery: head dressing removed, hair washed, some sutures removed.
- Day 6: additional sutures removed.
- Day 10: final removal of all suture and skin closure material.