Facelift

A facelift from Dr. Eric Okamoto can significantly reduce signs of age along the face and give you a more youthful, vibrant appearance. Our board-certified plastic surgeon custom-designs facelift procedures to suit your individual needs and goals. Dr. Okamoto also focuses on creating results that look beautiful with an emphasis on naturalness. Facelift surgery has been one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures for many years, and has helped both men and women all over the world enhance their appearance and feel great about the way they look.

What is a Facelift?

Although the name “facelift” seems self-explanatory, the term often has a different meaning to the plastic surgeon than for the consumer. Many patients come to a plastic surgeon with the notion that a “facelift” means refreshing the entire face, but this term is confined to specific anatomical zones including only the cheeks, jawline and also the neck. Some plastic surgeons call it a “face & neck lift” for clarity, but it has the same meaning as a “facelift.” However, it is critical to understand that aging in the forehead as well as the upper and lower eyelids are not addressed with a “facelift” and therefore must be corrected separately if these anatomical zones are on the consumer’s wish list.

When you consult with Dr. Okamoto for a “facelift,” he will generally talk about “facial rejuvenation” (i.e. the entire face and neck) instead and make certain that the two terms are differentiated. He will explain how your sagging cheeks, the depths of your nasolabial folds (depressions outlining the mouth), prominence of the jowls and loss of a well-defined jawline, and neck waddles contribute to your aged appearance – these are among the specific problems improved with a “facelift.” If asked, he will also analyze how your fallen brows, crowded upper eyelids and bagginess of your lower lids contribute toward your aging, all of which are fall outside the “facelift” zone and must be addressed separately.

What are the benefits of facelift surgery?

Facelift surgery offers a number of benefits for both women and men who would like to significantly reduce signs of age in the face and neck and achieve a more youthful, refreshed appearance. Some of the potential advantages of this procedure include:

  • Improvement of skin laxity
  • Reduction in the appearance of jowls
  • Reduction in signs of deep wrinkles and folds around the mouth (nasolabial folds)
  • Improvement of fat displacement in certain facial areas
  • Reduction of excess, lax skin along the upper neck and under the chin

In addition to these benefits, a facelift is known for its long-lasting results and its ability to take years off one’s appearance. In the hands of an experienced plastic surgeon such as Dr. Okamoto, the outcome of facelift surgery can also appear very natural, without an “overdone” look.

During your initial consultation, Dr. Okamoto will discuss the procedure with you and perform a comprehensive facial evaluation. If this procedure is right for your needs and goals, he will create a customized treatment plan. While a facelift can yield beautiful results on its own, this treatment can also be combined with other cosmetic enhancement options, such as BOTOX® Cosmetic, eyelid surgery, or other facial plastic surgery options, for a more comprehensive makeover.

What does the facelift procedure involve?

A full facelift can reduce the appearance of wrinkles, deep folds, excess fat, and other signs of aging along the face for a much smoother look. The traditional facelift surgery technique involves the creation of incisions above the hairline that extend to the front side of the ear and continue behind the earlobe, typically making any residual scarring well-concealed and often barely noticeable. Dr. Okamoto will tighten the underlying facial muscles and remove excess skin. The remaining skin is tightened and smoothed to create a more youthful appearance. At this time, excess skin and fat in the neck can also be addressed in order to provide a firmer, more contoured look in this area.

A full facelift surgery usually takes about three hours to complete; however, this will ultimately depend on your individual needs and goals. The procedure can be completed on an outpatient basis and is usually performed under general anesthesia.


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What is a Mid-Facelift?

Some patients may not have the need or desire for a full facelift procedure. In these cases, a mid-facelift may be the best option. Mid-facelift surgery focuses on signs of age in the cheek areas, and can often be a very good treatment for the reduction of deep lines between the nose and the upper lip, i.e the nasolabial folds. It is also helpful to diminish the crescent hollowing that usually is present between the lower eyelids and cheeks. During the initial consultation, Dr. Okamoto will talk with you about your goals and determine whether a mid-facelift, rather than a full facelift, can help you achieve them.

What can I expect during facelift recovery?  

There will be some degree of bruising and swelling after a full facelift procedure; however, these effects will fade as the healing process progresses. Bandages will need to be in place and your head will need to be kept in an elevated position for a few days. Dr. Okamoto will prescribe pain medication to manage discomfort after surgery. You will be advised to refrain from strenuous activities for about two weeks following facelift surgery. Most patients are able to resume work and other daily routines in a few weeks after surgery.

Will there be visible facelift scars?

Dr. Okamoto is extensively trained and experienced in advanced facelift surgery techniques and will do everything possible to minimize the appearance of scars. Fortunately, this procedure usually involves incisions that are made in fairly inconspicuous places within the hairline and behind the ear; therefore, any scarring from those incisions is typically barely noticeable (if noticeable at all) to others.

Is a facelift without surgery possible?

Effective facial rejuvenation without surgery is possible; however, it is very important to note that non-surgical facial enhancement procedures cannot accomplish the same outcomes as facelift surgery. If you have a milder level of wrinkles and other signs of aging along the face, or if you simply do not want to undergo a surgical procedure, you may be a candidate for less invasive options that can help you achieve a more youthful and well-rested appearance. For some individuals, a liquid facelift may be an ideal treatment. This procedure utilizes a number of advanced cosmetic injectables to smooth out wrinkles and enhance volume among facial features. Ultherapy® is another non-surgical facial rejuvenation option at our practice. Using state-of-the-art ultrasound technology, this treatment can be very effective at tightening and firming the skin of the face and neck for patients with mild to moderate aesthetic concerns. Laser skin resurfacing may also be appropriate for patients who would like to address signs of facial aging without the need for surgery.

While these alternative treatments will not provide outcomes that last as long or yield results that are as significant as those which can be achieved with facelift surgery, they can be very good options for the right candidate. Dr. Okamoto will talk with you about your needs and goals during the consultation and help you determine the options that can best meet your expectations.

What procedures can complement facelift surgery?

There are a number of treatments that can be performed in addition to facelift surgery to help you achieve a thoroughly comprehensive facial rejuvenation. In terms of other facial plastic surgery options, a treatment such as eyelid surgery may be of benefit. This procedure focuses on improving signs of age and exhaustion around the eyes, ultimately helping to smooth out the skin and provide a more refreshed appearance. Browlift surgery is another option that addresses the upper face. This treatment targets common concerns such as descended brows, furrows between the brows, and creases along the forehead. Non-surgical treatments such as injectable dermal fillers, BOTOX® Cosmetic, and other skin enhancement options can also serve as effective complements to facelift surgery. Our plastic surgeon will be happy to answer any questions you may have about procedures that can be included in your customized treatment plan to provide additional enhancement.

Dr. Eric Okamoto looks forward to answering all of your questions regarding facelift and facial rejuvenation procedures. Please contact us today for more information, or to schedule a consultation.