Specializing in facial plastic surgery and natural looking results

Facelift San Francisco

FACELIFT & NECKLIFT

See See My Take on Facial Rejuvenation

With the passage of time, facial shape and texture begins to change.  Laxity of the skin and the deeper facial tissues causes the face to sag, especially along the jawline and neck. A good facelift can easily reverse these the signs of aging, leaving your face looking refreshed, healthy, and even younger. The goal of the facelift is to restore a healthy facial structure by repositioning the deep facial tissues back to their native position. The goal is not to pull the face or to create a windswept, tight, or operated appearance.  When done well, the outcome is extremely natural yet dramatic. Our patients report that no one, including family and close friends can detect they ever had surgery.  Instead, patients often tell us that their friends and family comment on how fabulous they look and then ask if they’ve been working out, or if they got their hair done.  Our patients look rested and refreshed.

Depending on the individual’s anatomy, lifestyle, and the amount of downtime they are able to handle, there are two main facelift procedures that Dr. Chiu-Collins performs: the Mini facelift or Full facelift. If necessary, either of these facelifts are performed with a concurrent neck lift.  Each technique has a different aesthetic outcome, risk profile, and recovery time. It should be noted that every surgeon performs these procedures differently.  The best way to determine if a particular surgeon’s facelift approach is consistent with your personal goals and taste is to meet the surgeon in person, examine the surgeons before and after photographs, or even directly talk with past patients.

Mini Facelift

The Mini Facelift addresses the lower cheeks, jawline, jowls, and neck if necessary. It has a short recovery time, is low risk, lower cost, lasting, and can easily be done under local anesthesia.  It should be recognized that there are many different kinds of many facelifts be performed out there; some involve simply removing skin only. However, to create a meaningful and lasting results, the deep muscle layer (SMAS layer) of the face and neck needs to be involved. Dr. Chiu-Collins gently lifts and repositions the SMAS layer back to its more youthful position.  It is this SMAS layer that is the most meaningful part of any facelift.  Once these deep structures are restored to their more youthful configuration, the skin should elegantly redrape with no pulling or tension on the skin.  This approach is what prevents the “windblown” or “operated” look that so many patients are afraid of.

Full Facelift

The Full Facelift addresses the upper and lower cheeks, midface, jawline, jowls, corners of the mouth, and neck.  This is especially beneficial for patients with significant skin redundancy and muscle laxity, or heavy neck tissue.  By elevating a higher and more comprehensive SMAS layer at a deeper level, the upper cheeks and midface are able to achieve more lift.  Liposuction of the neck is performed and the loose neck muscle is tightened and repositioned, helping to reestablish the attractive native jawline.

Choosing Your Surgeon

When dealing with your face, you should choose a face specialist.  In particular, when you choose someone who is a facial plastic surgeon, you are choosing someone with a background in head and neck surgery. A facial plastic surgeon has performed surgery in the deepest layers of the face and at the level of the skull. They are experts at the entire facial anatomy and they understand how to respect the facial tissues and their associated vascular and nervous structures.  Most importantly, they know how to keep the surgery safe while achieving an excellent aesthetic result.

The spectrum of facelift types ranges from a mini facelift to a full facelift with extensive work in the neck.  Some patients are good mini-lift candidates while other patients truly require a deeper level facelift in order to achieve a good result. In the latter group, a mini facelift will not produce a good enough result, and the outcome that results will not be long-lasting.  Dr. Chiu-Collins understands the intricacies of the facial anatomy and will choose the facelift approach that is right and safe for you.

With her intimate understanding of the facial structure and anatomy, she is able to recreate for her patients the refreshed and healthy appearance of their own face— all while aiming to achieve only the most natural look.

Am I A Candidate?

For the patient, it is easy to get overwhelmed with the vast array of treatment choices. When you come in for your consultation, Dr. Chiu-Collins will ask you to put in your own words what your concerns are about your face.  She will perform an in-depth assessment of your soft tissue and bony facial architecture. She will custom formulate a plan that is unique to only you, and take the time to help you understand the issues, rationale, pros/cons, and expected recovery.

Surgery

Facelift surgery lasts anywhere from 2.5 to 5 hours, depending on what needs to be done.  Mini facelifts can be performed under local anesthesia, IV sedation, or general anesthesia.  Full facelifts are performed under IV sedation or general anesthesia.  Facelifts may be performed during the same surgical sitting as other complimenting procedures, like eyelid surgery, browlift or fat transfer.  The decision for anesthesia is based on patient preference, health status, and the duration of surgery.

Recovery from surgery

 The first 2 days are typically spent with the patient taking it easy at home.  The more extensive the surgery, the more time is needed for recovery.  Bruising and swelling may last for several days and most patients can return to work by 7-10 days.  Soreness and swelling may be worse in the morning, and are significantly reduced by sleeping with the head of bed elevated on extra pillows. Pain relievers help with post-operative soreness.