Face Lift St. Louis - Rhytidectomy Missouri
As we age, the thin eyelid skin under our eye descends down due to the effects of gravity. This same gravity affects the cheek and also causes “jowl” formation and deepening of the nasolabial fold. This is worsened by loss of volume, or deflation, of the face and cheek. As a result, the eyelid skin which is usually over the cheekbone elongates and descends below the cheekbone, causing dark circles and giving a tired appearance. Also, the muscles of the neck weaken and fat accumulates in the neck. This produces neck “bands”, fullness in the neck and excess skin. Finally, the brow descends and extra skin develops in the upper eyelid. People raise their eyebrows to compensate, causing deep lines and furrows on the forehead. Fortunately, there are several options to improve these features.
Dr. Cabbabe always cautions his patients to be wary of advertisements for “minimal recovery” type of facelifts because often times the result is “minimal”. Most of the companies have gone out of business due to numerous lawsuits like the Lifestyle Lift Company.
Dr. Cabbabe incorporates his experience with reconstructive and cosmetic surgery of the face to give patients the best results possible to meet their desires. He is also an expert in minimally invasive cosmetic surgery of the face and has published on these topics. His patients have a natural, refreshed look after surgery. His patients do not have “surprised” or “windswept” appearances because Dr. Cabbabe uses the newest and best techniques for his patients, not just stretching or pulling the skin back and removing the excess skin.
As an innovator in plastic surgery, Dr. Cabbabe is always on the cutting edge of techniques. His techniques in face lift surgery have evolved over the years to place more emphasis on the appearance of the eyes and mouth after face lift surgery. To maximize the aesthetic outcome, Dr. Cabbabe often recommends fat injections to restore volume around the eyes, mouth and forehead, including the lips and chin. This is a subtle augmentation, not a “Hollywood” style augmentation.
Dr. Cabbabe has published on facial plastic surgery in the prestigious Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery:
Cabbabe S, Andrades P, Vasconez LO, “Lateral orbicularis oculi muscle plasty in conjunction with midface lifting for periorbital rejuvenation”, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, October 2009:124(4):1285-93
During your consultation, Dr. Cabbabe will carefully examine your entire face including the brow, upper and lower eyelids, face and neck. He will make recommendations in order to help you achieve your desired result while maintaining facial harmony. Some people who have early jowls but don’t need a full face lift may be a candidate for a midface/cheek lift which can be done in the office under local anesthesia. Dr. Cabbabe believes that the entire face should be in harmony and may recommend other procedures such as brow lift, upper blepharoplasty, lower blepharoplasty or neck lift to be done at the same time.
During this procedure, incisions are made on each side of the face from inside the hairline slightly above the ear, down in front of the ear and back behind the ear. The skin and fat of the face and neck are separated off of the deeper structures such as muscle. The cheeks are then elevated/re-positioned in order to restore fullness to the cheekbones, improve the jowls, improve/shorten the lower eyelid skin and to turn the corners of the mouth up. The deep tissues are tightened in order to improve the contour of the face and neck and give a long – lasting result. The skin is then re-draped and excess skin removed. No excessive pulling or stretching of skin is needed to accomplish this and this avoids an “operated” appearance. Fat is injected as needed into the forehead, around the eyes and mouth, and into the lips and chin. A droopy (witch’s) chin will also be addressed and lifted. Occasionally, a drain may be left in the face/neck overnight to prevent fluid from collecting.
This procedure is similar to a face-lift with the exception that the scars are generally minimized in terms of length to the front of the ear and sometimes slightly behind the ear if needed. Fat injections are often incorporated.
Some type of neck lift is almost always incorporated to maintain harmony of the face. This procedure will eliminate neck bands, provide a h3 jaw line and a nice contour of the neck.
An incision is made under the chin and liposuction is done as needed in the neck. The weak muscles are tightened after the skin has been lifted. The skin is then re-draped and excess skin is removed behind the ears. Neck bands are eliminated as needed.
Preparing for Surgery
Dr. Cabbabe will ask that you refrain from taking any aspirin, Plavix, Coumadin, ibuprofen or any other type of blood thinner. He will also ensure that your blood pressure has been properly controlled if you have high blood pressure. On the morning of surgery, Dr. Cabbabe will precisely mark the planned incision and injection lines.
The procedure(s) is approximately 4-6 hours in length depending on the additional procedures incorporated. This procedure is usually done under local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia. Fine sutures are placed at the time of surgery which will be removed 5-7 days later.
Patients are able to go home after surgery, but some choose to stay overnight depending on the length of the procedure. Pain medication and antibiotics will be prescribed as needed. Bruising and swelling will be present for 2-3 weeks. Dr. Cabbabe will ask that you keep ice on the area to decrease this. He will also ask you to keep your head elevated to decrease swelling and apply antibiotic ointment to the incision line. The head and neck will be wrapped after surgery for 24 hours. A drain may be left in the neck for 1-3 days. Patients are able to shower the next day after removing the bandages. Antibiotics ointment will need to be applied to all incisions.
Possible complications include bleeding after surgery or hematoma, asymmetry, irregular contours, nerve injuries, reabsorption of injected fat or fat embolism. These could potentially require additional surgery.