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Birmingham, Alabama

Facelift (Rhytidectomy)

The idea of having a facelift often strikes fear into anyone looking at herself/himself in the mirror. Fortunately, the days of just pulling skin tight with the possible outcome of that over-operated “wind tunnel” look have long since passed. We now understand that facial aging consists of several components:

  • The effect of gravity and loss of skin (and muscle) tone results in relaxation of the skin, muscle, and all the soft tissues of the face.
  • The loss of facial fat, bone, and gum results in the face aging IN as well as FALLING DOWN.
  • The aging of the skin with wrinkling and pigment changes results in an unhealthy aged appearance.

At Grotting & Cohn Plastic Surgery, our modern facelifting techniques are aimed at treating all three of these elements. By repositioning sagging soft tissues back to where they were in youth, filling out the lost volume usually with the patient’s own fat, and resurfacing the skin by laser or good skin care, the modern facelift can restore a very natural appearance often with a very rapid recovery period.

Who is a good candidate?

We think it is better to consider lifting the jowl or neck area when early laxity can no longer be helped by fillers (see filler section below). Our younger patients always get excellent correction of laxity and collapse of facial soft tissues often with very short incisions. However, if you are in good health and just don’t like what you see when you look in the mirror, we have achieved excellent improvement in patients well into their 70’s or even 80’s. The best time to first consider a cheek neck lift is in the late 40’s or 50’s. We can restore youthful contours of the jawline and neck with an emphasis on facial shape rather than just loose skin. Our imaging software can give you a very realistic picture of what you might look like after facial rejuvenation. And many of our patients say they look even better than the projected image after as little as three months!

How is the procedure performed?

We perform facial rejuvenation procedures at our fully accredited operating facility. Most patients are more comfortable under a light general anesthetic although we offer local anesthesia with sedation as well. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA’s) keep you completely safe and comfortable throughout. We use the shortest incisions possible to achieve the best result. Your own fat is harvested with minimal liposuction techniques from any area of your choice, purified, and loaded into small syringes for placement into the areas of depression that need filling out in your face. We tighten the muscles, restore volume in the cheekbone area, and smooth out the skin over the neck, jowls, and cheek area.

What is the post-operative recovery?

We prefer that you spend one night at the Hyatt Place Hotel adjacent to our office for the first night with one of our caregivers. This is a very comfortable suite hotel that gives special rates to our patients and their families. Stiches are removed at one to two weeks.

To speed the healing and reduce swelling and bruising, we use Bromelain and Arnica, which have been very effective in getting our patients back into the public eye as quickly as possible.

What can I expect for results?

We are committed to getting our patients back to work or back to their daily routines as quickly as possible following facial rejuvenation. Most everyone is able to feel comfortable among their friends at “conversational distance” by three weeks. The wonderful part of these facial procedures is that they just get better and better with each passing week. Many patients feel that they look terrific at a year and our studies show that our patients feel that the results last 5-10 years! But even then, you will never return to the aged appearance that you had prior to your surgery. You will ALWAYS look better your whole life than you would have without the surgery.

Are there any potential complications?

Like all operations, the facelift can have complications, but, fortunately they are rare. The most common complication is the collection of blood in the cheek or neck which might require reoperation to remove it. This only occurs in one out a hundred patients, but if it does, at Grotting & Cohn Plastic Surgery any cost associated with this is completely covered by our CosmetAssure insurance policy which we have for all of our aesthetic patients. If it does occur, it normally does not result in any difference in the result of the rejuvenation surgery.

Other even more rare complications include infection, nerve injury, or visible scarring.