Facelift Surgery in Vancouver by Dr. Ritchie Younger
As we age, the elements, gravity and genetics conspire against us and our skin loses its elasticity and begins to sag. A classical facelift (rhytidectomy) is the gold standard facial plastic surgery procedure designed to restore a more rejuvenated and youthful facial appearance for patients in their 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s.
As one of Vancouver’s leading facial plastic surgery experts, Dr. Ritchie Younger has been performing successful facelift procedures for over 30 years — bringing out a natural, more revitalized appearance in hundreds of happy, satisfied patients.
Pre-surgery – your facelift preliminary consultation and assessment
As with all plastic surgical procedures, Dr. Younger starts out with a preliminary consultation that is designed to assess your health, aesthetic and surgical requirements, as well as to equip you with the helpful and valuable information you need to make an informed decision.
During the consultation, Dr. Younger will examine the structure of your face and the texture, colour and elasticity of your skin. Photographs will be taken for a pre-operative in-depth study. With our computer imaging system, Dr. Younger can show you what results you can expect from a facelift.
Individual risks will also be examined, especially those related to medical conditions such as high blood pressure, a tendency to scar, smoking, and any deficiency in blood clotting. Dr. Younger will take a thorough medical history, as well as assess your mental and emotional attitudes toward the surgery. A realistic attitude is vital to success.
About the facelift surgery
A facelift can be performed under local or general anesthetic. Dr. Younger will give you a recommendation of which is best for you but tends to steer towards performing facelifts under local anesthetic. This allows for quicker and easier recovery after the surgery, better results and fewer risks for the patient.
Incisions are made to fall along natural crease lines. The placement of the incision also depends on the hairline and is specific to the individual. The procedure starts at the temple hair area, continues along the ear fold around the earlobe and up behind each ear.
After the removal of excess fat and skin, the deep facial muscles are tightened. The skin is then redraped and incisions are closed with sutures and small metal clips. The classical facelift surgery is about 2 to 4 hours long.
Healing time after facelift surgery
Some swelling and bruising are normal but much of it will subside within the first week or two. A soft dressing applied under your chin and around your head protects the incisions for the first few days. We will be in close contact with you during your post-operative week.
By day 12, all the sutures will have been removed. Most people are ready to return to work after two weeks but may require makeup to cover up bruising for another week. We advise you to refrain from strenuous activities for a month.While significant improvement is evident in a relatively short period of time, the complete healing and results will keep getting better and can take as long as 2 years.
Although the classical facelift is the most commonly performed facelift at our clinic, there are a few variations. Below you will find information about the mini facelift and the stretch-back facelift, each with their own benefits.
A mini facelift is performed on clients with a minimal redundancy of skin or sagging in the lower face and in the upper neck. This procedure is done under local anesthesia with mild oral sedation. The mini facelift tightens up the skin and the facial muscles. This can typically be done with minimal incisions in front and/or behind the ear.
After surgery, most patients would be out of commission for 2 weeks. They may have mild bruising that will keep them out of work for that period-of-time, and ultimately it takes 3 to 4 months to heal completely.
Stretch-back facelifts are done on individuals had a facelift in the past. At the immediate time following surgery, the facial skin and muscles were tight and stretched as much as they could be. Over the course of the years following the surgery, the skin has relaxed and minimally sagged. Typically, the skin around the lower face and in the upper neck is more prone to post-surgical sagging.
During these circumstances, Dr. Younger performs a stretch-back facelift. Freezing the face and neck under local anesthesia, excess skin is resected, and the facial muscles tightened similarly to a full facelift but to a smaller degree.
The stretch-back facelift is less invasive than a full facelift but can give fantastic results. For those who have experienced skin relaxation following the initial surgery, which causes less-than-perfect results, a small stretch-back facelift will allow their face to tighten considerably. Preferably, the patient should wait at least 1 to 2 years following the initial facelift to have a stretch-fack facelift. This would allow things to settle down. The stretch-back facelift can enhance the primary facelift substantially.
The neck lift is a rejuvenation surgical procedure that improves the loose skin, wrinkles, and sagging of superficial muscles around the neck, giving an appearance of a tighter neck and more defined jaw.
A large majority of our facelift clients have a neck lift simultaneously for optimum results. With a combination of a facelift and neck lift, a patient’s healing and downtime will increase. You need to allow for three full weeks of resting at home before the swelling has gone down. While significant improvement is evident in a relatively short period of time, the results will keep getting better and can take as long as 8 to 36 months to fully appear.
A brow lift is a surgical option for patients who have sagging brows and forehead skin resulting in a tired, sad or stressed appearance. It is a rejuvenation surgery that can create a more youthful, relaxed and awake look.
Prior to 1990, the only way to improve drooping eyebrows was to perform a substantial surgical procedure which involved mobilizing the entire forehead. It required big incisions to change the configuration of the eyebrows. Today however, Dr. Younger can perform this procedure endoscopically with minimal invasiveness.
Brow lifts are favourable for individuals with crease lines in the mid-forehead. This allows Dr. Younger to pull their eyebrows up and camouflage the incision lines in some of the creases. Some clients who have high hairlines and drooping of the eyebrows may get the best results with a mid-forehead lift which involves a greater area extending higher throughout the forehead.
The brow lift takes 1.5 to 2 hours to perform and may be done under local anaesthesia. It takes up to 10 days for swelling and redness to resolve, and about 8 to 12 months for final results to appear.
Some clients with sagging eyebrows may benefit more from a minimal upper eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) procedure as an alternative to a brow lift since the removal of excess skin around the eyes reduces the tired impression that sagging eyebrows sometimes give. Dr. Younger will advise you as to which procedure will most benefit you.
Non-surgical alternatives to a brow lift
Today, brow lifts are sometimes delayed or replaced with injectables such as BOTOX®. By injecting in certain facial muscles of the forehead, the position of the brows can be improved.