A facelift redefines and accents the youthful contours of the face and is considered the ultimate solution for facial aging.
What is a facelift?
A facelift is designed to address the lower two-thirds of the face such as sagging neck, jowls, chin, and folds and creases around the mouth. This procedure can be combined with eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) or a brow/forehead lift for comprehensive facial rejuvenation. During a facelift consultation at our office in Springfield, Missouri, Dr. Kienstra will meet with you to discuss your cosmetic goals and recommend the procedure (or combination of procedures) that will best meet your needs. There is no one procedure that fits everyone. Younger patients may be better suited for a mini-lift while some of our older patients will benefit most from a standard lift or deep plane lift. Over the last decade, facelift surgery has evolved to include a number of surgical techniques that produce incredibly natural-looking results. We invite you to scroll down for a detailed explanation of each procedure.
The "mini" facelift
This procedure is designed to correct minimal aging changes in the lower face. The "mini" lift is best suited for the younger patient with small amounts of drooping around the mouth and jawline. Incisions around the ear and undermining of the skin are limited. Recovery time is approximately two weeks, and once healed, incision lines are virtually undetectable.
The standard lift procedure
The standard lift procedure addresses more extensive aging changes in the neck and jaw line. Incisions begin in the hair of the temple and extend to the ear or just in front and extending behind the ear. The SMAS (thin layer of muscle and tissue underneath the skin) is elevated and tightened, allowing the skin to be re-draped for a more youthful, but natural looking facial contour. This repositioning of the SMAS is what helps to prolong the results. Recovery time is at least two weeks.
The deep plane lift
The deep plane lift procedure is the method of choice for patients with more extensive aging changes, including heaviness and sagging in the cheeks along with sagging in the neck and jaw line. The incisions mirror the standard procedure and recovery time is at least two weeks.
The mid facelift
This lift procedure is designed to elevate the cheeks to a more youthful position. Incisions can be made near the temple or eyelid, and recovery takes approximately three to four weeks. Where neck drooping and jowls are also present, this lift procedure can be performed in conjunction with the standard facelift procedure for more comprehensive rejuvenation.
What about the neck?
The neck is always evaluated separately, but rarely treated individually. Quite often, Dr. Kienstra recommends a procedure called “corset” platysmaplasty to significantly improve sagging of the neck. Since the face and neck are companions in the aging process, the corset procedure is almost always performed in conjunction with a “mini,” standard, or deep plane lift.
Am I ready for a facelift?
As we age, the skin near our face and neck starts to droop and sag, and our facial muscles become slack. This causes the appearance of folds between the nose and mouth, jowls along the jaw line, as well as a collection of loose skin hanging from the neck (commonly referred to as a "turkey neck"). This skin laxity and muscle weakness in the lower part of the face is best corrected with facelift surgery.
Patients who are considering facelift surgery often second-guess their decisions, wondering if it is the right time for them to have surgery. One of the easiest ways to tell if facelift surgery is right for you is to perform the following test:
With your index fingers positioned up and thumbs beneath your jaw...pull your skin gently up toward your ears. Do you like the result?
If the answer is yes, we invite you to schedule a facelift consultation. Dr. Kienstra will advise you on all options including surgical and non-surgical treatments for aging in the lower face.
At what age should a facelift be considered?
There is really no "best" age for facelift surgery. A facelift procedure can be performed on a patient of any age who has aging changes in the lower face and neck. We currently have facelift patients that range from 35 to 88 years of age. Dr. Kienstra will make recommendations that are appropriate for your facial aging, health and lifestyle.
What will my incisions look like?
Well placed incisions allow you to enjoy the benefits of facial plastic surgery without telltale signs others can see. You may have noticed the obvious scars in front of the ear and behind the ear below the hairline of someone who has had a facelift procedure. Unfortunately, this type of scar inhibits them from wearing their hair in certain styles without feeling self conscious. Dr. Kienstra takes great care to hide facelift incisions. The incision is broken up and partially hidden in the ear on women and in the natural crease directly in front of the ear on men, to allow for beard growth.