Doctors Fleming and Mayer are talented Beverly Hills face lift specialists who have helped numerous patients realize their dreams of subtly rejuvenated, natural-looking facial appearances. Recognizing that each patient seeking facelift in Beverly Hills has unique aesthetic needs and desires, the dedicated surgeons conduct thorough consultations in order to develop customized treatment plans. This approach allows them to consistently deliver facial rejuvenation results that exceed the expectations of their patients.

Variations of Facelift Surgery

With the aging process, there is loss of elasticity in the skin, decreased muscle tone, and loss of fatty tissue immediately beneath the facial skin. Conversely there may be an accumulation of fatty tissue and relaxed muscle under the chin. Heredity and sun exposure definitely influence the progression of facial aging. We perform facelift surgery to improve the appearance of the lower two-thirds of the face and the neck. We often perform forehead/browlift rejuvenation and eyelid surgery in conjunction with a face lift. A cheeklift is also frequently combined with a face lift procedure to improve the central portion of the face.

A Mini-Lift or what is sometimes called the “Weekend Facelift” is a very minimal version of a facelift. This procedure often involves removing of fat, suture placement and, sometimes, the removal of excess skin. However, this procedure also gives limited results and does not address all of the issues that come with the aging process in the face. This procedure is appropriate for those Beverly Hills face lift patients who need only minimal correction.

The term “Facelift” is actually a very broad term encompassing a wide range of different procedures that can be performed to improve the lower two-thirds of the face and the neck. It can be equated to the purchase of a “car”. You can buy a Rolls Royce or a Ford Pinto, depending upon what exactly you need. The type of facelift that is performed depends upon the assessment of the individual patient and the aspects of the aging face that apply to them.

What are the aspects of the aging process of the face?

Lack of bone structure: The first and most important aspect of evaluating a patient for a facelift procedure is to evaluate their underlying bone structure. Before we consider removing excess skin and sagging muscle, we evaluate whether or not the underlying bone structure will give the patient a natural, balanced result. We often need to strengthen the chin with chin augmentation (implant), or correct natural depressions on either side of chin (pre-jowl area) which is similar to the chin augmentation procedure. We sometimes need to enhance the cheek bones in order to give the face better definition, which is done through cheek augmentation (implant).

Sagging Muscles: Naturally, as we age, the muscles in our face loose elasticity and they begin to sag causing jowls to form along the jaw line and a “turkey-gobbler” to appear under the chin. By tightening the sagging muscles through a “deep plane” approach, we are able to improve the appearance of the jowls and prevent the mask-like appearance that can occur when only excess skin is removed. When the muscles (called the platysma) under the chin begin to sag, bands begin to form. Fat frequently accumulates in this area further exacerbating the problem. This fat is often removed by liposuction during the procedure. The muscles in the neck and chin are tightened by performing a platysma cervical lift, or essentially a removing of the bands. The “turkey gobbler” appearance is then greatly improved, if not eliminated.

Excess Skin: The next step in assessing the individual’s needs in the natural aging process is to evaluate their skin. Aging causes the skin to loose elasticity, which results in the creation of folds or pleats on the face. Excess skin is removed during a facelift procedure.

Wrinkles/Fine Lines: This is the final aspect of the aging process that we need to encompass in evaluating the individual’s facelift needs. In most cases, a facelift does not address this issue and we will recommend that a patient undergo chemical peeling or laser resurfacing in conjunction with a facelift to correct these problems. Collagen and fat augmentation are also possible alternatives for treating these problems, depending upon the location of the wrinkles.

The amount of improvement with surgery depends upon the extent of sagging, the bone structure of the face and wrinkling of the skin. The goal of this surgery is to provide our facelift Beverly Hills patients with a more rested, vibrant and natural look – not a pulled, mask-like appearance.

Facelift Procedure

Traditionally, facelift incisions have been placed in front of the ear. Our incisions start below the tuft of hair (the sideburn) in front of the ear. In this way the excess skin can be removed without elevating the tuft, which would cause an obvious bald spot in front of the ear – a tell-tale sign of a facelift. The incision progresses into a natural crease and we then hide it within the ear canal. It is extended around the ear lobe onto the back side of the ear and into the hair, or along the hairline, immediately behind the ear. When it is necessary to remove excess fat or muscle under the chin, we place a separate incision in a natural crease under the chin. In this manner we place all of our incisions in natural creases or hidden within the ear and hair-bearing scalp. Discomfort is minimal and treated with analgesics for a very short period of time after surgery. A dressing is kept in place for three to four days. We remove the sutures around the ears and under the chin six days after surgery. Those within the hair are removed in ten to twelve days. You should allow approximately two weeks for recovery from the temporary bruising, swelling and discoloration that occurs. Makeup can be worn seven days following surgery. Our Aesthetician specializes in helping our patients improve their appearance during the short period of convalescence. There is some numbness around the face which resolves over several weeks. Our patients experience tightness in the face and neck, and we limit strenuous activities for a few weeks. With the revolutionary new Hemaseel™ technology that is now available at the Beverly Hills Institute, we can improve recovery time by minimizing the bruising and swelling that occurs after the procedure.

Potential Facelift Complications

We advise our Beverly Hills facelift patients to refrain from smoking for two to three weeks before and after surgery. Smoking decreases circulation within the skin and may cause complications in terms of persistent swelling and bruising, increasing the risk of skin loss. One potential complication of facelift surgery is the collection of blood or tissue fluids under the skin resulting in a “hematoma” (bruise). If this collection of fluid should develop, it is removed, but it may prolong the period of recovery. Loss of sensation in the skin around the ears occurs and gradually subsides. The complication of facial weakness or paralysis is extremely rare because the facial nerve is usually located deeper than the tissues involved in facelift surgery. The goal of facelift surgery is a more rested, vibrant look, not the appearance of a 20-year-old. The improvement lasts forever. Although the patient continues to age after facelift surgery he/she will never look as old as if the surgery had not been performed. However, once you see how good you look after a facelift, you may want a “touch-up” after eight to ten years to maintain that appearance.