Face and Neck Lift

Face and Neck Lift

What is a Face and Neck Lift?
Facelift and neck lift surgery reverses the descent or droopiness of the upper cheeks, the lower cheeks (“jowls”) and the neck. Your initial consultation with Dr. Eckhaus will determine what treatment options are best for your unique situation, as there may be non-surgical approaches that will mask and improve this appearance.

A facelift may be combined with a neck lift or performed alone. Variations of the facelift depend on the techniques necessary to achieve the patient’s goals. As this type of surgery must be individualized for each patient, there may be a rapid recovery, minimal scar procedure, or a more major operation. This is also carefully evaluated during your initial consultation. The incisions are along the front and back of the ear in the creases, along the side burn and into the hair or along the hairline if required. The location of the scars depends on which areas are addressed and the over

When the neck is addressed alone, there are a number of options including, liposuction alone (tiny incision), excision of the fat pad and tightening of the neck muscles (small incision under the chin), or direct neck lift procedures to deal with excess skin (a longer vertical incision along the front of the neck). When the neck is lifted at the same time as a facelift then generally this only involves a small horizontal incision under the chin as the rest of the neck is address with from the facelift incisions.

Pre Surgery Instructions

Before the procedure
No aspirin or blood thinning medications for two weeks prior to surgery. No fasting is needed and we encourage you to have your normal meals and fluids on the day of surgery. You may take your normal medications except for blood thinning medications, such as Aspirin, Coumadin, Eliquis, Pradaxa, Xarelto etc.). If you get ill prior to surgery please notify us.

The Surgery

During the procedure
Depending on the surgery, a full face and neck lift takes 5 hours. Short scar facelifts take 3 hours and direct neck surgery alone takes between 1 and 2 hours. Facelift incisions are well hidden in the creases behind and in front of the ear up into the hairline, along the sideburn and sometimes along the hair line of the temple. When combined with a neck lift, there is a short horizontal scar under the chin. The scars typically fade very well and can be hard to notice once completely healed.

After Your Surgery

Post procedure
You will need someone to drive you home as you will have a lot of gauze around the incisions and a compression garment that wraps under the chin to the top of your head.

The swelling and bruising begins quite early, so keeping your head elevated on two to three pillows will lessen the initial swelling. Though the bruising and swelling is dramatically improved at 10-14 days, it will take a few months for the final swelling to resolve. Patients typically require 1-2 weeks of downtime (due to the bruising).

You will have been given a prescription for antibiotics that is started when you return home from surgery and is taken for 5 days.

The dressings are best left alone until the first follow up on day 2 or 3 after surgery. Once the initial dressing is changed, topical antibiotics are put on the incision line with a Q-tip twice daily.
First night
The swelling can cause complete closure of the eyes for the first night or two and antibiotic ointment is used to prevent any crusts from forming while sleeping. After a night or two, the eyes will typically open up as the swelling subsides.
Day 1
You should be up and walking, drinking fluids, taking your antibiotics and pain medication as described below. Increase activity as tolerated, but there is no heavy lifting for 3-4 weeks. Use saline eye drops as needed for dry eyes.
What do I take for pain?
If you have pain, you are encouraged to start with:

Two Tylenol extra strength (total of 1000 mg of Tylenol) and one Advil extra strength (400 mg of Advil) to be taken at the same time as they work by different mechanisms and work very well together.

You can take the above three pills (two Tylenol extra strength and one Advil extra strength) every 8 hours around the clock for the first day or two.

** Please be aware that with any medication and particularly Advil (a type of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory) there are risks of allergy, severe allergy, gastro-intestinal bleeding and stomach ulcers. Taking your medication with food can sometimes help with some of the stomach symptoms.

You may shower at any time as the incision lines and stitches can get wet. You can clean the incision line with soap and water and replace the antibiotic ointment twice daily.
First post-operative appointment
Your first visit to the office is at one week and the stitches are all removed.
Second post-operative appointment
The second appointment is 4-6 weeks after surgery

Post-operative swelling and bruising begins to subside after 7-10 days but can take up to 3-4 weeks for the initial 70% of swelling to resolve.

Swelling can persist for a few months and the scars take many months to fade to the point where they are hard to see.
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