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Facelift Orange County Facelift

This information has been assembled to familiarize you with the facts regarding facelift surgery. You are requested to read the following information thoroughly and to discuss any questions, which might arise with your surgeon before you proceed with the surgical procedure known as rhytidectomy. You are also requested to keep this information as a reference during your post-operative period. 

Facial rejuvenation is at the top of the list of the most common aesthetic surgical procedures performed by your surgeon at Orange County Plastic Surgery. Most people feel physically and mentally vigorous and energetic long after their appearance has begun to deteriorate due to aging. A face and neck lift procedure is designed to provide you with a rejuvenated appearance. The degree of improvement achieved depends on the severity of the initial deformity, the age of the patient, tissue elasticity and the recommended procedure.

A face or neck lift may be beneficial whenever you have excessive sagging of the facial and neck skin or underlying structures. In a younger patient with minimal sagging, the degree of improvement will be subtle, but frequently the result is extremely satisfying to the patient caring about personal appearance. In such a younger patient, one of the newer midface lifts with minimal external incisions may be recommended.

You may visit your surgeon as many times as you wish to have all of your questions answered. At your preoperative visit, your final questions will be answered and you will confirm that you understand the procedure to be performed, that this material has been explained to you, that you have read and understand these information sheets, and that you accept the risks by signing the informed consent forms. 

You will be given prescriptions for pain pills and antibiotics along with instructions for their use. Certain laboratory tests will also be required within two weeks of surgery. If you are over the age of 50 or have a history of cardiac problems, you will have to obtain a cardiogram at your doctor’s office or any licensed laboratory. You may have blood drawn at your family doctor's office or any laboratory (e.g. Kaiser Hospital, etc.). All patients will be asked to stop smoking at least a month prior to surgery in an effort to maximize your body's ability to heal the incisions following the operation.

For a period of five days prior to the procedure, thoroughly cleanse your face two times a day, using one of the MD Performance® cleansers and water, and mist lightly with the MD Performance® Hydrating Vitamin Mist. MD Performance® MD Formula Sunscreen and makeup may be applied between these cleansings.

A facelift is an elective, cosmetic surgical operation in which the loose muscles of the face and neck are tightened and the skin redraped and the excess trimmed through incisions placed around the ears and under the chin. If excess neck fat is present, it will be suctioned as part of this procedure.

Occasionally, the patient and surgeon may decide that in order to obtain the desired optimal result, additional ancillary procedures such as a midface lift, microfat grafting, eyelid surgery, a brow lift, skin resurfacing, or a chin implant may be required. These additional procedures will be discussed separately as they are not an actual part of the face or neck lift operation. If desired, your surgeon will go over these additional procedures with you.

A straight forward face and neck lift operation requires approximately three hours. Of course, if additional procedures are requested or if you have an exceedingly full neck, a longer time will be required. The surgery will usually be performed under a light general anesthesia or deep sedation. An anesthesiologist will be present to administer the medications and assist in monitoring all patients to ensure their safety.

The patient can expect swelling of the face and severe discoloration. If the eyelids are also done, the whites of the eyes will become temporarily bloodshot-this could last for many weeks, but always resolves spontaneously. If the eyes swell shut, or if the eyelashes stick together, your caretaker may clean the lashes with Q-tips and hydrogen peroxide.

You may begin using an MD Performance® cleanser and moisturizer the day after your surgery. The discoloration will be most noticeable on the second and third days, and diminishes anywhere from one to six weeks after surgery. This, again, depends upon the type of skin, age, and healing ability of the patient. Most patients, with perhaps light makeup, can resume everyday tasks approximately one to three weeks after surgery.

The incisions in front of the ear and under the chin usually heal quickly and without problems but the scar behind the ear will remain firm and pink for about a year. It is recommended that patients begin applying MD Performance® Ultimate Scar Formula to the incisions about a week after surgery. The Ultimate Scar Formula should be applied twice daily until the scar has finished healing and no longer contains any hint of pink or purple.

Every activity in life, whether driving automobiles or having surgery, is associated with risk. The following inherent risks must be understood and assumed by the patient if we are to proceed with this surgery. Although complications and bad results are uncommon from this type of operation, they do sometimes occur. Your doctor cannot guarantee a favorable result from any operation you are considering, but every effort will be made to provide you with the best result possible.

Some of the possible complications from this operation include: blistering or sloughing of the skin with the possibility of permanently noticeable scarring, infection, bleeding, unequal discoloration and swelling of the face, abnormal contour, nerve damage causing temporary or permanent loss of feeling in the face and weakness of portions or all of the face, personality changes and mental difficulties following the operation which may occur even when the operation has been a success, and allergic or other adverse reactions to one or more of the medications used during or after the operation.

The surgical scars are permanent; however, the incisions are placed so that they are barely discernable on normal visual observation, barring complications, which may result in thick and/or painful, disfiguring scars. If this problem occurs, treatment by excision or steroid injections may be indicated, but it may be impossible to improve an unsightly scar.

The head must be kept dry initially. By the second or third day, the patient will be encouraged to begin showering and shampooing normally, but care must be taken not to tug on the drainage tubes or to rub the incisions hard.

Coiffure procedures may usually be carried out after the drainage tubes have been removed and the wounds have stopped draining. Care must be employed when drying the hair during the first few months while you do not have normal sensation; the low heat setting should be used for the first two months to avoid inadvertent damage to the skin or hair.

Cosmetics and moisturizers may be applied over the skin of the face, up to the edge of the surgical incisions, two days after the operation. The office staff will not only be able to assist you with makeup application to help hide bruising, but also to give you guidance regarding skin care after you have healed.

Fees will be discussed freely in advance by the office staff. You will receive assistance with financing if desired. Naturally, additional fees will be required if the patient desires ancillary procedures such as forehead, eyelid, chin or nasal surgery at the same time. In compliance with suggestions adopted by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons®, it is customary for the patient to pay all fees for cosmetic surgery prior to the desired operation. This insures that the patient is sincere in her motivation and can afford the surgery, thus creating a better patient/physician relationship.

A non-refundable deposit will be required to secure your desired surgery date. The remainder of the fees must be paid prior to the surgery, usually at the time of the preoperative visit, but no later than two weeks before surgery. Additional fees are also required for laboratory tests, surgical facility fees, the anesthesiologist, and if necessary, mammography. If additional surgical procedures become necessary, additional facility, laboratory, anesthesia, implant costs and professional fees will be incurred. The surgical facility and anesthesiologist fees quoted will be based on our best faith estimate; the final fee may vary as these fees are based on surgical time, and it is not always possible to predict exactly how long a procedure will take to complete.

It is important that you understand that the patient is responsible for all costs associated with all secondary surgical procedures or for the treatment of any complications that may arise as a result of this elective surgery.

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