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What can a facelift do for you?

If you are considering a facelift, it may be that you have noticed early signs of aging along the jawline and neck and want to look younger and more refreshed. In many cases, our patients use the term “facelift” to more broadly refer to the improvement of aging signs on the entire face, not just the lower face. Dr. Savalia takes a very comprehensive view of facial rejuvenation and will evaluate not only your mid to lower face and neck (key treatment areas for a facelift) but signs of aging around the eyes and brow as well.

Many of our facelift patients come to Dr. Savalia concerned about the appearance of wrinkles, sagging skin, or banding in the neck—often referred to as “turkey neck.” Often, patients have already tried various forms of injections and lasers and have been left unsatisfied by the limited results. Dr. Savalia’s approach is to identify what your key concerns are and develop a comprehensive plan that will work for you.

Dr. Savalia was so kind and compassionate. I came out of it all with my brand new breasts and very well rested, nice bright eyes. I was very happy! I feel like I look like me…but a little better than me.

A note on branded facelifts

Put simply, Dr. Savalia does not believe that there are eighteen different ways to do a facelift. There are many commercials for companies marketing “branded” facelift procedures in an attempt to create differentiation—promises of “minimal” short surgeries, performed with little anesthesia, and “minimal” recovery times are made. The early results of such procedures are often very good, but once the initial swelling goes away and scars heal, it becomes clear that results are also “minimal.”

In reality, the steps in performing a very high-quality facelift are established and relatively uncontroversial. In most cases, a good facelift must comprehensively address the SMAS layer. In all cases, the patient’s existing anatomy and surgical objectives need to be kept in mind with a procedure tailored to that individual’s unique needs. A customized approach is not what a branded procedure is designed to achieve.

A note on short scar techniques

There is a trend toward creating a shorter scar, which in Dr. Savalia’s opinion, does not lend itself to proper redraping of skin and correction of the neck. To smooth out a bedsheet, you cannot simply pull on only one corner and expect the sheet to re-drape smoothly. The pull must be balanced and even, so that the whole sheet is re-draped, not just one corner.

Meticulous attention to the placement of scars within natural creases and contours of the face will ensure they are hidden. This may involve a slightly longer scar, but the length of the scar has very little bearing on whether it is visible. Preventing the incision from healing under tension is more important for scar minimization. To Dr. Savalia, this is far more important than creating a shorter scar.

Dr. Savalia’s facial aging philosophy

Dr. Savalia emphasizes a comprehensive approach to facial aging. This means he considers the basic facial components that show signs of aging and completely addresses each of them. By evaluating the temple, forehead and eyebrows, eyes, cheeks, laugh lines, jawline, and neck, he can help you identify the various subtle signs of aging.

Sometimes, simply repositioning a brow by a few millimeters can make all the difference. Restoring volume to the cheeks with fat injections may be more important than pulling the skin taut over a cheekbone. Dr. Savalia’s goal is not to “turn back the clock” to your twenties, or pull your skin as tight as possible to remove every wrinkle on your face—his goal is to unmask your natural, attractive features by restoring tissues to their natural position and replacing lost volume in the face. This may include other procedures, such as a brow lift, eyelid surgery, or nonsurgical med spa treatments such as BOTOX® Cosmetic.

We all have a central facial layer made of a network of muscle and connective tissue below the skin, known as the superficial muscular aponeurotic system (SMAS). The SMAS layer provides a supportive framework for the skin of the lower face and when the SMAS ages, the skin sags with it. Over time, as this layer stretches out in concurrence with loss of facial fat, you begin to see a sunken or flattened appearance under the eyes (“midface”), a sagging jawline with jowls, and obliteration of the neck angle, common in facelift candidates.

The problem really is more than skin deep. Simply pulling the skin tight without correcting the supportive SMAS layer will inevitably lead to poor results. Surgical correction of the SMAS layer is a critical component of any lasting facelift procedure, as is fat transfer (aka fat injections) to correct facial deflation.

You may be concerned about the appearance of wrinkles, sagging skin, or banding in the neck. I will first identify your key concerns and then develop a comprehensive plan to meet your goals.

What can you expect with a facelift procedure?

Once you and Dr. Savalia have created a unique plan for your facelift during your consultation, he will explain the techniques needed to achieve your surgical correction. Facelifts are performed in an accredited surgery center with the patient under anesthesia, monitored by board-certified anesthesiologists and registered nurses. Since the entire procedure is on the “surface” and Dr. Savalia numbs your face, it only takes a light anesthetic to keep you asleep and comfortable during the surgery. He takes great care to correct aged facial structures below the skin, redrape the skin, and properly close all incisions to minimize scarring.

Avoiding the “wind tunnel” look

An improperly planned facelift is responsible for the “wind tunnel” look in patients. This is entirely avoidable. As previously mentioned, simply pulling the skin tightly will not correct facial aging—in fact, it will highlight facial aging as the skin settles unnaturally over the uncorrected SMAS layer. Obvious facelifts are often the result of a surgeon aggressively removing the skin while not properly accounting for the surgical correction necessary in deeper layers of the face. Dr. Savalia evaluates the SMAS layer for each patient and if necessary will perform a lift down to the neck and re-suspend the facial muscles.

Facelift FAQ

If you are considering a facelift, it is only natural to have some questions ahead of time. Dr. Savalia will work closely with you to ensure you have all the information you need to feel confident about your decision. Below, he has answered some of the questions he hears most often from men and women about facelift surgery.

Is this procedure right for me?

The best candidates for a facelift usually notice sagging or looseness through the lower part of their face, along the jowls, or in the upper neck. Men and women should also be in good physical and mental health and have realistic expectations about the procedure. During your consultation, Dr. Savalia will listen carefully to your concerns and examine your facial structure to make sure that a facelift is the best procedure to help you meet your cosmetic goals.

Am I too young for a facelift?

While there’s not a set age that’s too young for a facelift, the best results are seen in patients with visible signs of aging through the lower face. Not everyone ages at the same pace or in the same ways, so Dr. Savalia may recommend a different approach for younger patients. Most often, patients who are just beginning to feel troubled by the early signs of aging do very well with a nonsurgical approach: resurfacing with chemical peels while correcting deeper lines and wrinkles with dermal fillers can revitalize the skin’s surface with beautiful results.

Will my face look “done” or too tight?

Dr. Savalia’s philosophy is to take a comprehensive approach to facial rejuvenation. For some, this means proceeding with a full facelift as planned, while for others this may mean a less complex surgery combined with nonsurgical med spa treatments. His top priority is ensuring very natural-looking results that, although they will help you look unmistakably revitalized and more refreshed, are never obviously surgical.

Will a facelift fix my crow’s feet and frown lines?

Because a facelift primarily addresses the lower face, crow’s feet and frown lines will not typically be improved. However, Dr. Savalia can combine a facelift with additional procedures that specifically target problem spots in the upper face, such as BOTOX® Cosmetic injections for crow’s feet or frown lines. You can also discuss other options for upper face concerns. For example, if your lower facial skin and muscle tone is still firm, a brow lift or eyelid surgery may be a better option for you. These are all possibilities you can discuss with Dr. Savalia during your consultation.

What should I expect during my consultation?

During your initial consultation, you and Dr. Savalia will talk about your goals for facelift surgery. He will examine your skin tone and laxity as well as the underlying structure of your facial features to decide which approach will best meet your goals. You will talk about the pros and cons of a facelift, and he will give you more information on what to expect during your surgery and recovery.

When will I see results?

After surgery, you’ll see some initial bruising and swelling, and will probably notice some discomfort at the incision sites. The majority of this should dissipate within the first week, and residual discoloration or bruising can usually be hidden with makeup by the second week. Dr. Savalia takes care to place incisions in an unobtrusive spot behind the hairline, and the scars should become nearly invisible over time.

How long does it last?

A facelift is a long-lasting procedure that can help you look several years younger, but nothing can completely stop the aging process itself. While you will look much younger than those within your age group who have not had a facelift (and maintain a more youthful look much longer than your peers), your face will continue aging as time passes. Facelift patients often continue coming in for med spa treatments to help maintain and extend their results as long as possible.

What is recovery like after a facelift in Newport Beach?

Before you are released home to begin your recovery, our staff will provide you with detailed post-operative instructions to ensure your healing goes as smoothly as possible. You will also receive full-service support from Dr. Savalia and his team throughout your recovery. For more information on facelift surgery, we encourage you to contact us today.

Who is a good candidate for a facelift in Newport Beach?

Here are some common reasons we hear about why a person is considering a facelift:

  • I have loose and drooping skin on my cheeks, jawline, and neck
  • I’ve noticed a loss of volume and a fallen look in my cheeks
  • I have deep smile lines and creases around my nose and the corners of my mouth
  • Overall, my face looks tired and aged
Newport Beach Center for Plastic Surgery

We encourage you to contact us today to schedule a facelift consultation at Newport Beach Center for Plastic Surgery in Orange County. Along with his supportive staff, Dr. Savalia is dedicated to educating you about your facelift options and helping you reach your cosmetic goals.

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