About 126,000 people had facelift surgery (or rhytidectomies) in 2017, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, making it the sixth most commonly performed cosmetic surgery (after breast augmentation, liposuction, nose reshaping, eyelid surgery and tummy tuck surgery). Why so popular? Today’s facelift techniques are designed to help women and men look younger and more energized without the unnatural, frozen or stretched results sometimes associated with the facelifts of a few decades ago. At Houston Cosmetic Surgery Center, the state-of-the-art surgical techniques we use result in a much more natural outcome, and they also tend to be less invasive, which means healing and recovery can be faster too.
Still, just because today’s facelift techniques have improved and more and more people are getting great results from their surgeries, that doesn’t mean the surgery is right for everyone. To get the best results - and the highest levels of satisfaction - following your surgery, you need to be a good candidate to begin with.
Since facelift surgery is, well, surgery, a lot of the factors that make you a good candidate for rhytidectomy are the same for all surgeries - but there are some differences.
Unlike emergency surgery to correct a serious medical issue, facelift surgery is considered an elective type of surgery, which means you choose to have it. In elective surgery, you need to be in good health overall to ensure not only the best results, but also your own safety and well-being. Generally, you need to be healthy enough to undergo the surgery and to heal properly afterward. If you have an underlying medical condition that makes the surgery risky or one that could interfere with healing and your results, you may not be a good candidate. Depending on your medical history, having an underlying condition treated might mean you could be a good candidate in the future.
If you’re a person who can’t be bothered with using sunscreen every day, having a facelift might not be a great idea. Taking care of your skin after a facelift means your results will last longer, and it also means you’ll be more satisfied with those results. Dr. Davila can help you develop a good skin care routine after your surgery - one that’s optimized for your needs, your health and your lifestyle.
Smoking interferes with your body’s healing processes, which means not only can it take a lot longer to heal after your surgery, but you may have more bleeding, more discomfort, bigger or more visible scars and less satisfactory results overall. After your surgery, your blood carries oxygen and other essential nutrients to your incision sites, and it also carries away waste and byproducts from the surgery. Smoking significantly impairs circulation, which is why it can cause significant delays and problems with healing. Plus, smoking makes it harder for your body to fight off germs, which means you’re at a greater risk of infection after surgery. If you do smoke, you’ll need to quit - and stop using any products containing nicotine - at least six to eight weeks before your facelift. And once surgery is complete, you’ll need to wait another two months - at least - before resuming. (But if you’ve already gone two months, why would you want to start again?)
As good as a facelift can be at reducing and eliminating many signs of aging, it’s not a perfect “cure” for getting older. Although your surgery can help “reset” the clock when it comes to aging, your face will continue to age, and that means you may need touch-up treatments to maintain your results. Understanding what a facelift can and can’t do is an important part of being happy with your results.
If you fit the above criteria, it’s a good bet the answer is yes. Of course, the best way to know for sure if facelift is right for you - and to learn about other options that might be a better “fit” - is to schedule a consultation and evaluation with Dr. Davila. If you’ve been considering facelift surgery or if you’d like to learn more about facelifts and other cosmetic procedures that can help you look and feel your best, contact Houston Cosmetic Surgery Center today.