According to the most recent statistics provided by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), 119,006 surgical facelift procedures were performed across the country last year. In light of the popularity of this cosmetic procedure, we recently sat down with Dr. John Sarbak, our board-certified plastic surgeon, to discuss how he performs facelift surgeries at our Vero Beach plastic surgery practice. Below is our Q&A with Dr. Sarbak briefing the popular facial rejuvenation surgery from consultation to recovery.
Question: What are common reasons your patients generally give for wanting this procedure?
Dr. Sarbak: Most of our patients say they want to look better for their age but still want to look like themselves. I’d say the most common reason for the initial consultation is a prominent jawline with extra skin on the neck.
Q: Who is the ideal candidate for facelift surgery?
DS: There are so many aspects of facial aging that can now be addressed, it really depends upon the individual. Many of our patients start with BOTOX® injections and dermal fillers such as Restylane®, Juvederm®, and/or Sculptra®. Over time, the face evolves to a point where surgical intervention is necessary to provide a benefit that both the patient and myself are happy with. When patients reach the point of developing loose skin in the face and neck beyond the scope of laser and filler treatments, we start considering facial surgery.
Q: What is the general treatment progression your patients go through before undergoing facelift surgery?
DS: More and more patients are electing to receive BOTOX® Cosmetic and dermal fillers to address wrinkles and volume correction. Additionally, many patients are also electing to undergo laser and skin resurfacing treatments. These approaches tend to buy some time before a facelift becomes inevitable. When patients eventually reach the point where they can no longer achieve their facial rejuvenation goals with non-surgical techniques, we are certainly prepared to help them by performing facelift surgery.
Q: What type of care do you provide your patients both before and after the procedure?
DS: Most patients benefit from pre-surgical skin conditioning with such products as NIA24® and Obagi®. These products can be continued afterwards as well. Our patients also undergo preoperative laboratory testing consistent with their age and overall medical health. Their health status is reviewed by someone on our team of board-certified anesthesiologists who will call to speak with them before the procedure. Following surgery, most of our facelift patients stay overnight in a private room with their own nurse, and each patient sees me the following day. Additionally, many of our patients undergo fractional CO2 laser skin resurfacing starting at approximately three months after surgery. Usually one or two treatments is required for optimum results.
Q: What should patients expect in regard to recovery from a facelift?
DS: My answer to this really depends on what we are trying to accomplish. I perform seven different types of facelifts, and each one is tailored to an individual’s particular anatomic situation. We look at everything from skin thickness, wrinkle patterns, pigmentation, volume deficits, bony facial shape, muscle function, and inherent facial asymmetries to help formulate each individualized plan. In general, patients can expect bruising anywhere from five days to two weeks, and sutures typically come out at one week. Patients generally make a pretty full recovery within seven to fourteen days; however, I don’t typically recommend the Governor’s Ball for six weeks.
Q: What other treatments or procedures can be combined with a facelift?
DS: Most patients who have a facelift also have other areas of concern addressed at the same time. The most common additional area is the neck. The upper and lower eyelids as well as the brow are also added to multiple facial packages. We are performing fat grafting on a nearly universal basis, too. This helps restore areas of volume loss and can also lead to improved skin texture over time. A smaller subset of patients also want to address their nose and/or their ears at the time of a facelift.
Contact Dr. Sarbak
For more information about facelift surgery, or to determine if a facelift is the ideal procedure for your facial rejuvenation goals, please contact Dr. John Sarbak today to schedule a one-on-one consultation.