In my more than 20 years performing facelifts, I’ve heard almost every reason for women deciding to have this procedure. For many, a facelift helps them feel younger, fresher, more energetic...and more beautiful. For others, it reduces long-standing wrinkles and creases that for years have reminded them of the passage of time. Whatever the reason, a facelift can be a wonderful turning point in a person’s life, boosting their self-esteem and enabling them to feel positive about themselves, sometimes for the first time.
As a highly experienced plastic surgeon, I feel strongly that patients should be as well-informed as possible before undergoing any kind of cosmetic procedure. For that reason, I have put together this list of things to consider before having a facelift.
Make sure you’re having a facelift for the right reasons
Examine your motivation
Before undergoing a facelift, it's important that you already feel good about yourself and that you just want to improve your self-image and refresh your face. You should not be thinking that this surgery will give you an entirely new life. The best candidates for a facelift feel that they look old, angry and/or tired all the time and would feel more confident if they improved their facial appearance.
In some case, a facelift can help you present yourself better in your job (in the fashion, cosmetics or real estate industry, for instance) but the job should not be your primary motivation. I like to tell my patients that a facelift is a gift you give yourself because it will make you feel better.
Manage your expectations
A facelift won't make your husband or wife come back, nor will it make your employer rehire you. It also won't make you look like your favorite movie star. Your age, muscle tone, bone structure, amount of sun damage and quality of skin ultimately determine the end result. The goal should be to achieve the best you you can be.
Be aware of your emotional state
If you're going through emotional trauma (loss of a spouse, divorced, depression), I would strongly recommend against having facial plastic surgery. For a few days after a facelift, your face is swollen and bruised, and you don't have much energy because of the surgery and anesthesia. If you're already depressed, this can make you feel worse. It can also negatively impact your healing since your immune system will be depressed, too. The result? Your face will take longer to heal.
Have a good support system
While you are healing from facial surgery, it is very helpful to have supportive people around you who can see you through the challenging first few days.
Like any surgery, there are routine risks associated with a facelift, such as bleeding, bruising and infection. Make sure you are fully informed about what you are committing to and that you can handle a temporary setback. With some of my patients, what looked to them like a problem at first actually went away or healed on its own. If there is an actual problem, however, you need a strong doctor-patient relationship in order to deal with whatever action needs to be taken. Remember, we are partners going through this together.
Have a clear idea of what you want
Always before performing a facelift, I ask the patient to bring in photos of faces they like. I have found that this greatly cuts down on miscommunication and misunderstandings. For that reason, I don’t put much stock in computer-generated or airbrushed images because these “fantasy” results are rarely possible in the operating room. Most importantly, throughout the entire process from initial consultation to post-surgery recovery, I remind my patients to have realistic expectations so they can truly be happy with their results.
If you are interested in a facelift
If you are considering a facelift and would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact me. I will send you additional information prior to your appointment. Then together, we’ll determine the best way to achieve the beautiful results you desire.
More information on facelift surgery
You might also find these pages helpful on my website:
Board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS), and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS), Samuel J. Beran, MD is a highly accomplished plastic surgeon with offices in Manhattan, Harrison and Mount Kisco, NY. With more than 20 years’ experience and a thorough command of the most advanced techniques and technologies, Dr. Beran consistently provides his patients with the highest level of plastic, cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the breast, face, skin and body. Recently, Dr. Beran was named a “Top Doctor” by RealSelf for his dedication to responding to consumer questions and patient feedback. The “Top Doctor” designation is awarded to less than 10% of the RealSelf physician community.