Facelift Surgery

Face and Neck Lift
Board-certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Frank Fechner frequently performs face and necklift procedures in order to rejuvenate the lower face, the neck and the mid-facial cheek regions. Before the facelift is performed, Dr. Fechner performs a comprehensive analysis of the patient’s anatomy and aging pattern for a custom-tailored rejuvenation plan. During the face lift procedure, sagging facial and neck tissues are repositioned hereby achieving a more youthful appearance.  Dr. Fechner’s modern facial rejuvenation approach is designed to address all age-related three-dimensional changes of the face. Therefore, the treatment plan commonly includes face/neck lift, volume enhancement (i.e. facial fat grafting and skin rejuvenation).

Candidacy for a Facelift

Constant gravitation forces together with aging-related loss of facial tissue elasticity lead to the development of jowls. This disruption of the youthful and clean jaw line is a tell-tale sign of aging. Changes in the neck may include loose skin, loose muscles (which may be visible as neck “chords”) and fullness due to extra fat that accumulates in the neck and under the jawline. This slow process depends on many factors including family traits, general health and life style factors such as nutrition, weight, smoking and sun exposure. Dr. Fechner performs comprehensive facelifts primarily on patients in their fifties or early sixties, although he certainly has performed them successfully on women and men older than that.  A good candidate for a facelift is in overall good health without major medical issues. Heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease need to be well controlled; active cancer or bleeding abnormalities require adequate medical attention prior to the face lift.

There are various types of face lift procedures to address these issues and traditionally each surgeon advocates one particular technique. Dr. Fechner feels that this “one facelift fits all” approach needs to be individualized in order to achieve superior results for his patients. Rather than forcing one technique onto each face, he formulates a treatment plan that appropriately addresses the specific aesthetics and desires of each patient.

Facelift Procedures

Certainly, one facelift is NOT like the other. Patients trust their faces in Dr. Fechner’s hands because he takes advantage of a variety of facelift techniques and he fine-tunes the suitable procedure for the individual. During the private consultation, Dr. Fechner will explain which specific facelift option is right for you.

Deep Plane Facelift

The deep-plane facelift is an advancement of the traditional facelift in the quest for improved mid-face rejuvenation and a natural appearance.  As the name implies, by taking advantage of lifting in a deeper plane, better cheek enhancement and avoidance of the “swept-up” or pulled look is the result. The incision line is well hidden around the ears and within the hairline. A natural and rejuvenated outcome for patients with more advanced aging characterizes the end-result of the deep-plane facelift.

Neck Lift

A necklift may be considered a partial facelift where attention is focused on rejuvenation of the aging neck.  Therefore, Dr. Fechner uses a significantly shorter incision which is hidden in the back of the ear. Commonly, Dr. Fechner will also perform a platysmaplasty (see below) and thorough fat removal from the neck region by means tedious sculpting by hand in addition to gentle neck liposuction.  Because the neck lift procedure focuses on the neck only, Dr. Fechner’s neck lift patients commonly return sooner to their professional and social activities.

Platysmaplasty

Platysmaplasty literally means “reconstruction of the neck muscles”.  The platysma is a broad sheath-like muscle located beneath the skin within the neck.  As aging progresses and tissue elasticity decreases, the front edges of this muscle produce unsightly neck “chords”.  Dr. Fechner’s platysmaplasty addresses these changes by lifting and tightening these chords and hereby virtually eradicating them.  Dr. Fechner most commonly combines the platysmaplasty with a face lift and a necklift.

Corset Platysmaplasty

The most dramatic rejuvenation of the aging neck can be accomplished with the corset platysmaplasty. This technique differs from all other neck lift approaches by tightening the platysma muscle where it is the loosest: right under the chin. This most thorough of all necklifts requires the removal of all the little remnants of fat from the sheet of neck musculature using direct visualization. This allows the elimination of commonly large amounts of fat that cannot be removed using liposuction. The jawline can be defined by creating a crisp transition between neck and jaw. Similar to a woman’s corset, the neck platysma muscle is then tightened by multiple rows of surgical stitches creating a taut muscle layer for a youthful neck definition. Although a time consuming procedure, the end result and longevity are unsurpassed. Because of its unique technical aspects, all of Dr. Fechner’s corset platysmaplasty patients note initially a tight neck feeling. Although this new sensation always normalizes, it represents the reassuring signal that the goal of the procedure was accomplished.

Neck Liposuction

In young patients with good skin elasticity, liposuction of the neck is sometimes performed as a stand-alone procedure. More commonly, Dr. Fechner performs the liposuction with a face and neck lift.  We consider fat removal from the neck very important for an optimal outcome.  Dr. Fechner places a tiny opening underneath the chin (usually hidden within a normal crease) to allow access for the small liposuction cannula.  Using negative pressure, fat is carefully removed from the neck to allow optimal definition of the chin and neck angle. Dr. Fechner takes special care to remove fat evenly for a smooth neck appearance.  Generally, only a little fat removal is necessary within the neck in order to create the desired result.

In contrast to liposuction of the buttocks or thighs, neck liposuction is a rather gentle and more delicate procedure.

Finesse LiftTM

The Finesse Lift is a modification of the traditional facelift. It allows Dr. Fechner to complete the procedure in less time under local anesthesia with a sedative. Because it is a less extensive and less invasive procedure, recovery time is shortened significantly. The Finesse Lift may be best suited for younger people in their 40s and early 50s who are not interested in a comprehensive facelift procedure.

More information about the Finesse Lift.

Midface Lift; Cheek Lift

The mid-face lift is an operation which appears to be falling out of favor with many experienced facelift surgeons. The goal of a midface procedure was to elevate soft tissues that have drooped from the cheek bone downwards thereby creating flattening of the cheeks, droopy cheeks and deepened nasolabial folds.  As we understand the 3-dimensional facial changes due to aging, Dr. Fechner embraces volume restoration as the more effective and natural approach to cheek rejuvenation. Therefore, Dr. Fechner does not perform midface lifts any longer.

Facial Fat Transfer (Fat Grafting)

Over the years, Dr. Fechner continues to stress the importance of volume replacement as a valuable adjunct to modern facial rejuvenation.  During the fat injection procedure, Dr. Fechner harvests the individual’s own fat from other areas (i.e., abdomen, thighs etc.). This fat is then carefully injected into regions of the face that are deficient of volume.  Most commonly, Dr. Fechner performs the fat transfer in conjunction with a facelift because most patients require lifting of sagging tissues within the jowl and neck region at the same time. The addition of volume restoration can further improve the final result in the right patient. The recovery time after fat transfer may range from 10 and 14 days.

Weight Changes and Facelift

Overweight people usually carry additional fatty tissue in the face leading to a fuller facial appearance with decreased laxity.  In general, facelifts in overweight people achieve less dramatic improvements than in thin patients.  In addition, when a person looses significant weight after a facelift procedure, new facial laxity will develop which may require a touch-up procedure. If such a weight loss is anticipated, Dr. Fechner recommends loosing the weight first for the best result and performing the facelift once the appropriate weight is reached.

For more information about Dr. Fechner’s holistic approach to facial enhancement, please visit “Reveal A Better You”.

Summary

In general, Dr. Fechner’s facelifts deliver gratifying result for his patients. It is important to keep in mind that a facelift “turns back the clock, but it cannot stop the hands from moving”; the natural aging process will continue after a successful face lift. Therefore, Dr. Fechner stresses the importance of a sophisticated maintenance program after the procedure that incorporates a healthy lifestyle, medical skin care and small, non-invasive office procedures.

During the private consultation, Dr. Fechner will explain which specific facelift option is right for the patient.

For more information about some of the most common facial cosmetic procedures please follow the links below:

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Facial Cosmetic Surgery