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Dr. Lorelle Kramer
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facelift
facelift
A facelift is a procedure that removes excess skin from the cheeks, jawline and neck. Over time, the cheek skin naturally falls at a downward angle toward the mouth, accentuating "smile lines." If this continues, jowls may form as pouches of loose skin at the jawline on either side of the chin. At the same time, looseness in the neck is beginning to develop.
common questions
Q: I would really like to have a facelift, but I'm afraid I'll have an unnatural, pulled or artificial look like some people I've seen on TV. Does this have to happen?
A: Facelifts should leave you with a refreshed natural look, without any signs that a procedure was done. Facelifts are performed in different ways by different physicians. The "pulled look" can occur when skin is pulled in an unnatural direction or tightness. By paying close attention to the natural aging process, skin can be lifted in a way that leaves you looking like you, only younger.


Q: Are more people getting facelifts today?
A: Yes, over the last 5 years facelifts have increased 54%.


Q: Before the holidays, I would like my face to look refreshed and lose the tired appearance. How much time do I need after a facelift to be ready for my social obligations?
A: The "hideout" time for a facelift is between 10 and 14 days. After that, you and I will know you just had surgery, but no one else can tell.


Q: What is the difference between a facelift and a mini-lift?
A: A mini-lift is for the person who only has loose skin in the cheek area, but is happy with their neck and jawline. A neck lift is for loose skin in the neck area. A facelift is for looseness in both areas, the cheek and neck, and also restores a smooth jawline.


Q: I heard that because laser resurfacing is now available, there is no reason to have a facelift. Is this true?
A: Laser resurfacing cannot be a substitute for a facelift. There are 2 kinds of wrinkles; those that are from loose skin and those that are actual lines or texture changes in the skin. For the best result, the cause of the problem should be addressed. Facelifts treat loose skin and laser is for improving the texture of skin. If you don't treat the primary cause of the problem, you will only compromise your result.


Q: Do I need to stay overnight in the hospital if I have a facelift?
A: You will go home approximately 1 to 2 hours after having a facelift. My patients from Chicago or other cities a distance from here usually spend the night in a hotel. They are then checked in the morning before heading home.


Q: I have jowls, but when I pinch them they feel thicker like there's fat in them. Is this possible?
A: Yes, frequently there are fatty pockets associated with jowls. They are easily treated by liposculpture; smoothing and blending down the fat bulges. When treated at the same time as a facelift, the skin is then tightened, creating a significantly smoother jawline.


Q: My friend had a facelift and now there is a noticeable scar in front of her ear. Is this "tell tale" sign of a facelift necessary?
A: I agree that a scar in front of the ear can be a "tell tale" sign of a facelift. The placement of the incision should be based on the person's unique anatomy. If a natural crease exists in front of the ear, it can easily hide an incision. However, if there is no crease, the incision can simply be placed within the ear so there will be virtually no visible scar.


Q: How long does a facelift last?
A: A facelift lasts on average 7-10 years. But remember, the loose skin that was removed is permanently gone. So even after one facelift, you'll never have as much loose skin as you would have had.


Q: How old do you have to be to have a facelift?
A: There is no age limit to having a facelift. The need for a facelift is determined by your physical exam. If there is loose skin in the cheek and neck region, then you could definitely improve your appearance with a facelift.


Q:
My friend had a facelift and now has a noticeable bald spot above her ear. Does this have to happen?
A: No, depending upon the person's hairline, type of hair and degree of looseness of the skin, the incision can be modified so there is no loss of hair and no resulting bald spots.


Q: Why do some people get a "turkey gobbler" neck?
A: Genetics! Unfortunately some inherit a genetic tendency for excessive looseness of the neck skin combined with excessive fat in the neck. This is very difficult, since diet and exercise will not change the genetic cards that were dealt. But there is always a significant improvement by liposculpture and tightening the skin.


Q: I'm a smoker, I've heard you can't have a facelift if you smoke. Is this true?
A: A smoker can have a facelift, but they must temporarily stop smoking 2 weeks before and 1-2 weeks after surgery. The reason is nicotine constricts or "clamps down" blood vessels and restricts blood flow needed for healing. After this healing phase you can resume smoking.


Q: Prior to my facelift, I used to be able to wear my hair short, but now I have lost a lot of hair and my hairline has changed. My stylist has suggested changing my hairstyle to hide this. What else can I do?
A: Being a woman who also wears a short hairstyle, I am sensitive to your situation. Facelift incisions should be customized to the patient's hairstyle, natural hairline and hair type. If these factors are taken into consideration there should be no need to change your hairstyle. Your only non-surgical option is to change your hairstyle. If you have a facelift in the future the incisions may be modified to correct and restore the hairline.


Q: I've seen some people with neck bands that look like strings pulling in their neck. What are those?
A: The vertical bands seen in the neck can be ridges of loose skin or bands that have formed from certain neck muscles separating and pulling apart. Whether it's a skin, muscle problem or both, they are easily corrected during a facelift.


Q: Do you have to be "put to sleep" for a facelift?
A: Unlike general anesthesia, which means you are "put to sleep" and a machine is breathing for you, facelifts can be done by "sedation anesthesia." This means you are given medicine that causes you to be very sleepy and relaxed. You are breathing on your own and able to talk if you need to but tend to sleep through the entire procedure. Most people don't even remember being in the procedure room. And most importantly, you don't feel any pain.


Q: It seems like my face is aging faster than my neck, can this happen?
A: Yes, the face does usually age faster than the neck. That's why women in their late 30s and early 40s frequently have mini-lifts to retain their youthful appearance.


Q: Does it hurt after you have a facelift?
A: Any discomfort after surgery usually occurs within the first 48 hours and is easily managed with pain pills.


Q: Are people today having mini-lifts or facelifts at a younger age?
A: Yes, with the emphasis on maintaining a more youthful appearance many people opt not to wait but prefer to be preventative and keep their uplifted appearance rather than let it slip away.

testimonials
  • "I was looking so old compared to how I felt. Now I look in the mirror and see the younger, more vibrant me that I feel inside!"
  • "I was afraid because I didn't want to look pulled or artificial. But I'm thrilled to see how completely natural I look, just like I did years ago."
  • "I can't believe how easy a facelift was for me; 2 weeks off and I was back to work. Everyone commented on how great I look and no one guessed I had surgery!"
  • "I noticed my face aging like my mothers; loose neck skin and saggy jowls. Dr. Kramer helped me realize I could do something about it. What a phenomenal change a facelift has made for me. Even my mom is thinking about it now!"
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