Face/Neck Lift Surgery

Your face is most important to your identity. We present ourselves to the world and show expression through our faces. No other body part carries the weight of vanity that our faces do.

Your face is most important to your identity. We present ourselves to the world and show expression through our faces. No other body part carries the weight of vanity that our faces do.

Facelifts are invasive and have more impact than any other cosmetic procedure. A good result can change lives, improve emotional/physical wellbeing and confidence. On the other hand, a poor result can cause years of problems. High on the list of patient concerns is the fear of looking unnatural or overdone. The unnatural appearance most often results from poor surgical planning and skill: technique, unnatural vectors of pull, hairline changes, and poor attention to detail. Failure to address contributing aging factors, such as skin texture and eyelids may also detract from the results. The biggest contributor, however, is volume.

A facelift removes redundant skin and underlying supportive tissues. this procedure may not make you look younger, but it will make you look “tighter”. Central facial wrinkles, such as those surrounding the mouth or between the nose and the mouth (melolabial or nasolabial folds) are unaffected by facelift surgery. Traditional rejuvenation includes removing only redundant skin. The contemporary approach to restoring a youthful appearance involves not only the removal of redundant skin, but also laser resurfacing and revolumization with fillers, implants, or fat.

Facelifts have been performed for over 100 years, and history shows that the evolution of a procedure with pre- and posterior ear skin excisions, appropriate dissections, super musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS) treatment, and superficial neck muscle treatment can produce a safe, natural, and long-lasting result.

Am I a Good Candidate for a Facelift?

Good Candidate for a Facelift, Colorado Springs CO

This topic will be discussed during your pre-operative consultation. Patients considering such a procedure need to:

  • Be in good physical and emotional health.
  • Have reasonable expectations about what the procedure will do.
  • Be appropriate candidates.

The best patients for this procedure are those individuals whose faces and necks have just begun to sag. At this stage, the skin still has elasticity and a strong, defined bone structure.

Facelifts performed by Dr. Schroeder will give a younger and fresher look. The goal is to look like yourself, not change facial features.

How is a Face Lift Performed?

Facial rejuvenation is highly specific to each patient, as we all age differently. Recommendations will be discussed with you during a facelift consultation and again on the day of your procedure.

Dr. Schroeder uses only local anesthesia and analgesics to perform your surgery. You will not be put to sleep. Avoiding general anesthesia significantly decreases the risk of complications, as well as post-operative problems. You will be given something by mouth to relax you, as well.

Your blood will be drawn initially. We process it and isolate your growth factors to use in the incisions to promote healing and regrowth intra-operatively (PRP).

Facelift incisions are meticulously planned and follow a natural line in front of the ear, at the base of the earlobe, advance behind the ear in the crease and end in the lower scalp. The nuances and options of the approach will be discussed with you. Dr. Schroeder performs her procedures so that the scars are not only excellent but well-hidden, so that you may continue to wear your hair as you please after initial healing.

After the incisions are made, Dr. Schroeder will separate the overlying skin from the deeper layer superficial musculoaponeurotic plane (SMAS). The SMAS is then tightened to lift the lateral cheek and neck. She may also remove fat collections that contribute to jowling and sagging.

She will address the platysma (superficial neck muscles) and may make a small incision under the chin.

Once all the supporting structures are addressed, Dr. Schroeder sutures the deep layers of tissue and closes the superficial skin in a tension-free manner, which produces very fine, difficult to discern scars.

Two small drains are placed in your neck under gauze bandages to prevent fluid build-up in the tissues. These will be removed postoperatively on day 2.

Before being discharged from our facility, your head will be wrapped with bandages over the incisions and covered with a compression garment to minimize swelling.

What to Expect After Surgery

  • Post-op Day 1 – Take antibiotics for the first 24 hours. Have someone assist you in getting in and out of bed for the first day sleep with your head elevated (first ten days). This will minimize swelling and improve wound healing. You should be having minimal to no discomfort for the first 24 hours. If you DO have discomfort, you must call us.
  • Day 2 – Remove facelift dressing and neck drains after two days. Get out of bed, walk and move frequently. You may have someone wash your hair.
  • Day 5 – Return to the clinic for a facelift follow up. Half of the sutures are removed.
  • Day 10 – Return to the clinic for facelift follow up. Remove all stitches. You can return to work 10 to 14 days after your facelift if all goes well.
  • Week 3 – Return to the clinic for facelift follow up. Recheck incisions. Resume 50% of previous activity and exercise regimen. Scar and wound care include a skincare regimen you will continue for at least six months to manage your incisions and ensure the best possible outcome.
  • Week 4 – Your face will feel numb and hard in cheek areas. Resume all activity and exercises enjoyed before your facelift. Numbness and hardness in cheek areas are normal for at least 8 to 12 weeks after a facelift.
  • Month 3 – Return to the clinic for facelift follow up. Take postoperative photos.

Face/Neck Lift Pre-operative Instructions 

  1. No alcohol starting three days before surgery.
  2. Confirm ride/caretaker.
  3. Start taking prescribed antibiotics on the morning of surgery.
  4. Shower and wash your hair.
  5. Please do not apply moisturizers, makeup, or other face products. Cleansing your face and brushing your teeth is fine.
  6. Take all your regular medications (unless otherwise specified by Dr. Schroeder).
  7. Eat a light meal.
  8. Wear comfortable, old clothing (sweats are great).

Face/Neck Lift  Aftercare Instructions

  1. After surgery elevate your head and shoulders on a 45° angle wedge rest (no pillows!). Don’t use any pillows as you want to avoid bending forward at the neck for the first 2 weeks.
  2. Avoid straining of any kind for the first 5 days. When awake in bed please flex your ankles and legs up and down 4-6 times every hour.
  3. Apply covered ice bags or Swiss eye masks (keep them cold or in ice) to the exposed areas of your face for the first 72 hours to reduce swelling post-operatively.
  4. If you have pain or discomfort, take the pain medication every 4-6 hours. It is best to take the pain medication with crackers, jello, etc. If you do not have pain, please do not take the pain medication. Do not drink alcohol while you are taking pain medication.
  5. A light diet is best following surgery that day.
  6. You may have drains in place under the skin, after surgery (in the neck.) These will be secured, and you will/can sleep in them – we will show you how to avoid pulling on them. The drains and head dressing are usually removed within 2 days.
  7. You can expect some swelling of the face after surgery. If you develop acute onset of swelling on one side of your face or neck, which is definitely more pronounced than on the other side, or if you are having pain, which is NOT relieved by the pain medication, please call Dr. Schroeder on her cell at (719) 648-5372 or the Perfect Skin Dermatology office at (719) 421-7132.
  8. Avoid turning your head to either side as this will pull on the stitch lines. To turn, move your head and shoulders as a unit.
  9. DO NOT SMOKE. This is very important.
  10. Facial movements (smiling, talking, chewing, yawning, etc.) should be kept to a minimum for the first week.
  11. After your dressings and drains have been removed you may wash your hair with baby shampoo. Lather your hair gently using the palms of your hands and rinse thoroughly until the soap is out. It may take several washings before all the crust and ointment is out of your hair. Do not use hairspray, conditioner, gels, etc. while the stitches and clips are in place. You may start washing your face gently and use a moisturizer on your face, being careful to avoid applying it to the stitch lines.
  12. Your hair may be dried with a blow dryer on a cool, not a hot, setting.
  13. Hair coloring should be delayed until 3 weeks after surgery when healing is completed, and no crust remains.
  14. Normal activity can be gradually resumed after 3 weeks but strenuous activity (heart rate above 100 beats per minute and lifting objects greater than 10 pounds) should be avoided for another week. This restriction includes sexual intercourse and sexual activity. The skin of your face is sensitive to sunlight after surgery. Protect your facial skin from excessive exposure to the sun for 8 weeks. Wear a wide brim hat and sunscreen (SPF 30 or greater with UVA and UVB protection) if you are in the sun for prolonged periods, or even on cloudy days for at least 6 months.

General Instructions and Scar Care

Your face/neck will feel tight but not necessarily look tight (it will look natural) and there will be a feeling of numbness in these areas for several weeks to months after surgery. This is normal and will disappear over time and the feeling will return.

  • After all, sutures have been removed, begin scar treatment: for the first 6 weeks apply a small amount of Strataderm over all incisions AM & PM. This product can be purchased through our office.
  • Cosmetics can be worn on the face as early as 10 days after surgery.
  • Take all medications only as directed.
  • If you have nausea, vomiting, rash, shortness of breath, or diarrhea after taking your medication, please call the office at (719)648-5372.
  • If you develop a fever (oral temperature greater than 101°), redness or increased pain at the site of your surgical incisions, please notify Dr. Schroeder immediately.

DO NOT WEAR PULLOVER CLOTHING OR HAIRPIECES FOR 3 WEEKS AFTER YOUR FACELIFT, AS YOU COULD DISRUPT YOUR EARLOBE OR HAIRLINE INCISIONS.

It is important to be seen by Dr. Schroeder after your initial post-op checks. She will see you in follow-up appointments at 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 6 months and 1-year post-op.

If you have any questions, please call Dr. Schroeder at (719) 421-7132 (after hours: (719) 648-5372).