Want to look years, even decades younger? Jerry Darm, MD, of Aesthetic Medicine, along with patient Marilyn Dawkins, joined us to show how facial plastic surgery can turn back the hands of time! Story was originally published on AMNW.
As people age, the effects of gravity, sun exposure, pollution, smoking and stresses of daily life can be seen in their faces. Deep creases form between the nose and mouth; the jaw line grows slack and jowly; folds and fat deposits appear around the neck.
A facelift (technically known as rhytidectomy) can’t stop this aging process. What it can do is “set back the clock,” thus improving the most visible signs of aging by removing excess fat, tightening underlying muscles, and re-draping the skin of the face and neck. A facelift can be done alone, or in conjunction with other procedures such as a forehead lift, eyelid surgery, nose reshaping, laser resurfacing, etc.
The technique has evolved from simple tightening of the skin to tightening and re-positioning deeper structures like muscle and connective tissues whereby the skin “comes along the ride.” This “deep plane” or “composite” facelift is considered by many to be the best procedure to create a more natural look (not “windblown”) and it lasts longer. Again, our goal is to achieve a natural “you look great” appearance rather than “I see you had a facelift.”
The three important areas of the aging face are:
- Neck folds and fatty deposits under the chin;
- Jowls and loose skin along the jaw line;
- Descent of the cheek pad which deepens the folds from the nose to the corners of the mouth.
Any or all of these may be present at any age. Candidates for these procedures can range from age twenty to my oldest patient, who was a healthy eighty-four year old.
Aging obviously does not stop in surgery but you’ll look younger by “turning back the clock” from then on. The length of time of these improvements last will depend on genetics, habits, and skin protection.
PLANNING YOUR SURGERY
Facelifts are very individualized procedures. In your initial consultation, Dr. Ciano will evaluate your face, including the skin and underlying bone, and discuss your goals for surgery.
Certain medical conditions could cause you problems during or after your surgery, such as uncontrolled high blood pressure, blood clotting problems, or the tendency to form excessive scars. Be sure to tell Dr. Ciano if you smoke, if you are taking any drugs, or medications, especially aspirin or other drugs that affect clotting.
PREPARING FOR YOUR SURGERY
Dr. Ciano will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery and to stop or avoid certain vitamins and medications. Carefully following these instructions will help surgery go smoothly. If you smoke, it’s especially helpful to stop at least a week or two before and after surgery, if possible. Smoking inhibits blood flow to the skin, and can interfere with the healing of your incision areas.
A facelift usually takes 3 hours under general anesthesia although it can be longer if you’re having more than one procedure done.
Incisions usually begin above the hairline at the temples; extend in a natural line hidden just inside the cartilage at the front of the ear, and continue behind the ear to the scalp. If the neck needs work, a small incision may also be made under the chin.
AFTER YOUR SURGERY
There usually isn’t significant discomfort after surgery. If there is, it can be lessened with the pain medication prescribed by Dr. Ciano. Severe or persistent pain or sudden swelling of your face should be reported to Dr. Ciano immediately. Some numbness of the skin is quite normal and it should disappear within a few weeks or months.
You will be instructed to keep your head elevated and decrease your activity level for a couple of days after surgery, to keep the swelling to a minimum.
Bandages will be removed after two days and showering is possible. Don’t be surprised at the pale, bruised and puffy face you see. Just keep in mind that in a few weeks you will be looking normal.
GETTING BACK TO NORMAL
You should be up and about in a day or two, but plan on taking it easy for the first week after surgery. The risk of bleeding under the skin, requiring a return visit to the operating room to treat the hematoma (blood collection) is at the highest during the first week. Since there is little pain and boredom sets in, you must resist the temptation to be too active!
Dr. Ciano will give more specific guidelines for gradually resuming your normal activities. They’re likely to include these suggestions: avoid strenuous activity, including sex and heavy housework, for at least two weeks. Avoid steam baths and saunas for several months. Above all, get plenty of rest and allow your body to spend its energy on healing.
At the beginning, your features may be distorted from the swelling and your facial movements may be slightly stiff. Some bruising may persist for two or three weeks, and you may tire easily.
By the third week, you’ll look and feel much better. Most patients are back to work within ten days to two weeks after surgery. Any bruising that remains may be covered by special camouflage makeup.
Aesthetic Medicine is pleased to offer a wide range of plastic surgery procedures performed by our highly-experienced board-certified plastic surgeon. Our overriding goal is to help each patient achieve the overall beauty that they seek. Procedures offered include Facelifts (MiniLift™), Necklifts, Rhinoplasty (noses), Blepharoplasty (eyelids), Breast Augmentation, Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), Fat Grafting (LipoFill), and several others.
WHO WE ARE
At Aesthetic Medicine, we’re a team of 30+ medical professionals specializing in a wide variety of surgical and non-surgical procedures designed to improve the beauty and wellness of every patient we treat. From board-certified Plastic Surgery to medically-supervised weight loss, we have the knowledge and experience to help our patients achieve wellness, health and beauty.
Founded by Dr. Jerry Darm in 1995, Aesthetic Medicine originally specialized in weight loss and skin treatments. Today the practice has grown to encompass a variety of services that include laser liposuction (LipoLift), Plastic Surgery, and a host of other procedures designed to improve the appearance and defy the aging process.
Unlike other practices, at Aesthetic Medicine our experience isn’t limited to a handful of specialties. Thanks to our large staff and depth of experience, we’re able to offer our patients a wide-variety of invasive and non-invasive options that other clinics simply don’t (or can’t) offer. This means that our patients can entertain a variety of options before deciding on the treatment best-suited for their needs. Our goal is to help every patient get the look they want and gain the confidence that comes from an improved appearance.
We invite you to come to take a tour of our federally accredited medical facility in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Once you meet with our Physicians and support staff, you’ll soon discover why we’ve become the most successful and best-known aesthetic practice in Oregon!