For many patients considering facelift surgery or mini facelift at our San Diego office, one of their chief concerns is the recovery period or downtime. By using twilight sedation and performing the procedure in a precise and custom-tailored fashion, we generally limit recovery to one to two weeks. This may vary of course if additional procedures such as eyelid lift or laser resurfacing and fat grafting are added- but even so, most patients fall within that range for facelift recovery.
On the first night after having a facelift at our La Jolla Center, patients often choose to have a professional nursing assistant stay with them. This can be at their own home if they live close by, or at the adjacent Sheraton Hotel. Other patients who have a comfortable or experienced family member or friend and had a relatively short procedure may choose to have this person stay with them instead.
Facelift sutures are removed between 5-7 days after surgery, and at this point swelling and bruising are becoming minimal. Makeup can usually be applied, and patients will start to resume some of their activities.
The important thing to keep in mind with any surgical procedure is that recovery times are estimates- everyone is different, and it is important to feel relaxed during this period, and to be able to take one or two extra days if needed.
In our San Diego plastic surgery practice we see a lot of patients who are interested in eyelid rejuvenation or blepharoplasty. Often, they are not sure what exactly they don’t like about their eyes- only that they look “tired” or “aged.”
It is the job of the facial plastic surgeon to make an accurate diagnosis and to also explain to the patient what they see as as the problem and what can be done to correct it.
In the past- plastic surgeons would address most lower eyelids the same way: removal of fat-as well as skin and occasionally muscle, to try to “smooth out” the lower lid area.
Unfortunately, not all eyelids respond well to “removal” of tissue, and in some cases this will create an artificial appearing “hollow” look around the eye.
In many cases, it is helpful to address the groove beneath the lower eyelids: this is called the nasojugal crease. It is formed due to thinning of the skin over the boney orbital rim, and leads to an aged appearance with a resulting shadow over the area.
The nasojugal crease can be addressed with fat grafting, fat repositioning, a midface lift, or with implants.
Fat repositioning can often be the most straightforward approach-as we are able to use tissue that is already there, avoiding liposuction or additional surgery. The fat that is herniated or bulging below the lower eyelashes is manipulated into a new position over the boney orbital rim, and often secured with sutures. The loose skin and muscle layers are then redraped over this, and excess skin and muscle may be removed.