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Facelift Surgery

Although unwelcome, facial aging is inevitable. The youthful contours and smooth skin of your face begin to diminish over the course of time. As we age, the skin and muscle of the cheeks and neck lose elasticity and begin to sag. While these effects can be accelerated by sun exposure, heredity, smoking and innate skin traits, there is no way to actually stop the natural aging process. A facelift is the best long-term solution to reverse the signs of facial aging.

When it comes to face & neck procedures, your results are most important. Superior results can be achieved by an experienced and skilled plastic surgeon who uses the most advanced facelift techniques available. Dr. Kenrick Spence brings decades of experience and training to the field of facelift surgery, ensuring patients can turn back the hands of time with the most natural-looking and sustainable outcome.

Component Facelift Approach

A facelift, or rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure that lifts the sagging skin and muscle layer of the face and restores it to its most youthful position. When it comes to this type of procedure, Dr. Spence uses a component facelift approach. This means that he carefully considers how each component of your face is contributing to your unique aging patterns. Your facelift is then tailored to target each component for an overall rejuvenated and balanced appearance. This may involve replacing lost volume in affected areas, lifting sagging tissues or reconditioning damaged skin. This comprehensive approach is what has led Dr. Spence to become a reputable and award-winning facelift surgeon.

Dr. Spence also values the use of advanced facelift techniques that prevent patients from looking like they have been operated on or “over done.” When it comes to reshaping and lifting the tissues of the face, Dr. Spence uses a SMAS (sub-muscular aponeurotic system) approach, which means that the underlying sub-muscular layer of the face is lifted and repositioned instead of simply pulling the skin tight. This not only creates a more natural-appearance, but it delivers more effective and longer lasting results.

At all times, Dr. Spence seeks ways to help you achieve your ideal results while also minimizing downtime and scarring. When addressing the effects of facial aging, he combines his expansive facelift knowledge with a delicate surgical hand and artistic eye to ensure you can regain the confident and youthful appearance you deserve.

Dr. Spence performs a number of facelift techniques, including a lower facelift, mid-face lift, MACs Lift (mini facelift) and more. Many patients choose to combine their facelift with a brow lift, eyelid lift or fat grafting to fully address their aging concerns. Forever Faces Plastic Surgery also offers a full menu of non-surgical services to rejuvenate the face and compliment your facelift or to help you retain your facelift results. Because no two faces are alike and each patient ages differently, a facelift is never a one-size-fits-all solution.

Schedule Your Facelift Consultation 

If you want a long-term solution for your lax neck skin, jowls, hallowed facial appearance, drooping cheeks or deep facial folds, trust Dr. Spence for advanced facelift surgery. We always begin your treatment with a detailed facial evaluation and open discussion of your unique concerns and goals. When it comes to rejuvenating or restoring your face, you deserve the best.

Contact us today to learn more about a facelift or mini facelift with Dr. Spence, a highly esteemed facial plastic surgeon in Raleigh.

Facelift FAQ

Is there a particular age for considering a facelift?
The facelift procedure is not age-based. Each person ages differently and various situations impact that process. Substantial time in the sun can impact how a person's skin ages. A fair-skinned person who spends a large amount of time in the sun may benefit from a facelift at the age of 40. Another patient with thicker skin and a darker complexion may not show signs of needing a facelift until reaching their 50s.

Facelifts have various names. What is the difference between the types of facelifts?
The different facelift names are "branded" names and shouldn't be confusing to the consumer. It is more important to be aware of how the surgeon performs the procedure. I recommend inquiring about the expected longevity of the surgeon's work. Longer lasting results generally come with more sophisticated, extensive facelifts. The lack of anatomical support renders "lunchtime facelifts" and small skin tightening less likely to be long lasting.

My patients' facelifts tend to have a longer lasting effect because I precisely loose skin from the muscle below (SMAS), and then tighten the muscle meticulously. This process leads to a fresher, younger appearance with results lasting longer than other facelifts. Read more about my method for facelift surgery.

Plastic Surgeons have before and after pictures of facelifts. What should I be looking for?
First of all realize that the pictures you see are the best photos. Here are some things to pay attention to:

  • Overuse of makeup and designer gowns in the "after" photo sections can be a red flag. Sometimes flaws are hidden in this manner. Good work is not covered up with excess makeup.
  • Do the photos relate to the procedure you are considering? Photos should have captions to let you know what you are viewing. If not, ask for clarification. Photos of "Facial Rejuvenation" may cover facelifts, brow lifts or eyelid surgery. You need to know which picture correlates to your procedure.
  • If hair is styled differently in the after photo, it could be hiding scars.
  • Are the positions the same in both before and after photos? Certain maneuvers can be deceiving such as bending the neck in the pre-treatment photo and extending it in the after photo.
  • Lighting can make a difference as well. Ideally it should be the same in both before and after pictures.

What is a component facelift?
Component facelifts are detailed and more comprehensive than the usual skin tightening procedures. There are several factors affecting the aging process. Sun damage, lost volume and sagging cheeks are just a few of the elements to take into consideration for a component facelift. I address each specific issue such as re-suspending sagging cheeks, using fat grafting to correct volume loss and skin repair for sun damage. This approach results in a facelift that lasts longer.

Can I have my facelift done by my dentist?
Ideally, for your own protection, you want a plastic surgery specialist to do your facelift; such a surgeon is well equipped to do the work and handle any emergencies that may arise. The facility also should be accredited and regularly inspected. There are few restrictions in Florida regarding cosmetic surgery, so your family doctor could do your liposuction or another cosmetic procedure. However, it is up to you to protect yourself. It is best to work with a provider who has formal training rather than just a weekend course.

I have lines around my mouth. Will a facelift help eliminate them?
Laser resurfacing yields the best result with those vertical lines around the mouth also known as lipstick lines or smokers' lines (even in non-smokers). Palomar® fractional Erbium laser skin resurfacing is our procedure of choice. This method has the benefits of excellent results along with a faster healing time.

How soon will I recover from a facelift procedure?
Recovery time is dependent upon the type of facelift. Recovery from a component facelift can be from 10 days to two weeks. A MACS lift usually requires 5 to 7 days.

What is a stem cell facelift?
The theory in a stem cell facelift is that the regenerative effects stem cells produce restore lost volume while giving facial skin a more youthful look. Stem cells are plentiful in fat so they can be injected as a part of fat grafting. They can also be separated out and injected separately.

I'm having a facelift. Can I have laser resurfacing at the same time?
Certainly; laser resurfacing is often used to smooth out lip lines and wrinkles around the eyes when a facelift is being performed.

Recovery time for a MACS lift is considerable shorter. Why?
A MACS facelift does not have the extensive surgery that other facelifts have, therefore the recovery time is shorter. The MACS facelift is more like a mini facelift – suitable for those who have less dramatic signs of aging. If the procedure addresses all of your concerns then it is appropriate, but don't just do it for the sake of convenience. Good candidates for a MACS facelift will see excellent improvement and they will not have much downtime for recovery.

Is a skincare regime necessary before getting a facelift?
While it is not necessary to implement a specific skin care program before getting a facelift, it can help. A skin care regime prior to having a facelift can repair aging skin that has been damaged. This results in dramatically enhanced results with the procedure.

Can I have a repeat facelift if I already had one years ago?
Yes, you can have a revisionary facelift. Be sure to choose a surgeon who is experienced in repeat facelifts. Ask your plastic surgeon for details about the procedure.

Should I stop any medications prior to my facelift?
There are supplements and medications that can interfere with healing and therefore should be stopped before the procedure. Among those are aspirin, vitamin E, fish oil and garlic. Check with your surgeon about medications that may interfere and consult with your primary care doctor before making any changes to your medications.

Will the results of my facelift be affected by smoking?
There are toxins in cigarette smoke that prevent sufficient levels of oxygen from reaching the tissues. Blood flow becomes inadequate and the healing process is impacted. If you are an active smoker, Dr. Spence will not perform a facelift procedure on you until you have been a non-smoker for at least four months.

Is there a way to stop the bruising after the procedure?
Bruising from the facelift surgery can be limited by using arnica before the procedure and afterwards. Before the surgery suspend taking blood-thinning agents like aspirin and fish oil.

How can I minimize any scaring from the facelift?
There are a variety of ways to make scaring less visible. Among the remedies I offer are lasers, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), topical silicone and mild steroids.

Will dark skin prevent me from having a facelift?
No, people with dark skin can have facelifts. The component facelift procedure is customized to address the patterns of aging unique to each individual. For example, if I have a patient with sagging jowls and a youthful neck, I will design a mid-facelift to address the issue with the cheeks to restore a youthful look.

Will the bands on my neck running up to my jaw line be corrected with my facelift?
Yes, many people with aging skin have bands in the neck. Sometimes they do not show due to a fatty neck. These bands along with other aging issues are corrected with the component facelift.

Will I still need BOTOX® treatments if I get a facelift?
It will depend on what needs to be addressed. We use BOTOX Cosmetic in the upper and lower face for our Orlando patients. BOTOX Cosmetic can be continued to correct wrinkles in the forehead or deep lines between the brows after a facelift or you can consider alternate procedures such as a brow lift. Where the lower face is concerned, after a facelift BOTOX Cosmetic use is eliminated for the most part.

I have concerns with my neck and jaw line. What kind of facelift do you recommend?
When your main concern is with the neck and jawline, I suggest the component facelift because I will specifically design it to correct those issues. Your results will yield an elegant, well defined jawline and a slender youth neck.