PROCEDURE TIME: 1-2 HRS
RECOVERY TIME: 5 DAYS
As we age, gravity and the environment take a toll on the look of our skin and face. Even with preventative measures such as BOTOX, skincare, and strict sunscreen wearing, the signs of aging eventually creep up on everyone. Various surgical and non-surgical procedures can correct and address aging. No procedure is as effective in treating the signs of aging present in the face as a facelift. Dr. Ludwig Allegra is a top facelift surgeon who has performed hundreds of facelift procedures. With a career that spans multiple decades, Dr. Allegra is one of the top plastic surgeons in the area. Northwest Face & Body provides the best facelift Bellevue offers.
OVERVIEW: THE GOALS OF FACELIFT SURGERY
Patients seeking facelifts typically range between their mid and late forties up to their seventies. While there are some patients beyond each end of the spectrum, a facelift best suits patients experiencing the more recognizable signs of aging. In general, Dr. Allegra performs facelift surgery to correct:
- Sagging skin in the lower face (jowls, chin, jaw) and neck
- Extra skin in the lower face and neck
- Loose skin and facial structures
- Descending fat
- Facial hollowing
- Visible, unconcealable aged look
A facelift can achieve many goals and carries many benefits. The procedure can reposition fat and facial structures, tighten the facial muscles, and restore the facial profile. It is not uncommon for patients to look years younger after a facelift. While not possible to stop aging, facelift patients often find that they look consistently younger than their peers.
History Of The Facelift
The history of the modern facelift goes back to the early 20th century. Early plastic surgeons performed facelifts on the elite classes to address their aging faces. A Polish surgeon performed the precursor to the modern technique in 1901. This procedure consisted of a skin excision to lift the patient’s cheeks and corners of her mouth. While this procedure was successful, the results were mediocre and did not last long.
In 1916, Dr. Erich Lexer, a surgeon and sculptor, pioneered the technique which would eventually evolve into the modern facelift. He lifted the skin from the fat, repositioned, tightened, and redraped the skin. This created the “windswept” result normally associated with an overdone facelift today. Regardless, over the next century, plastic surgeons refined this technique to become less invasive and provide more natural results.
TYPES OF FACELIFT
Traditional facelift surgeries are not one size fits all procedures. Some patients may need simple skin removal and tightening. Other patients may need more extensive surgery that consists of repositioning structures and a larger amount of skin removal. The types of facelifts all accomplish similar goals with variances in surgical technique. Dr. Allegra can determine the extent of your surgery during a consultation.
A mini facelift consists of a minimal incision. It is usually suited for younger patients who are beginning to see the advanced signs of aging. Typically the incisions are hidden completely behind or within structures of the face. As the least invasive type of facelift, mini facelifts are commonly sought by patients.
The standard technique for a facelift, a full facelift involves the typical facelift incision and is suitable for most patients. Customized for each patient, the procedure can involve skin tightening and removal, fat removal and repositioning, and tightening of the facial muscles.
Differing from a mini facelift, a full facelift may correct up to the midface and commonly treats the neck. Though, a midface lift is the best procedure to solely correct the midface. Dr. Allegra can usually perform a neck lift at the same time.
Some patients need more correction of their facial structures. Extended facelift surgery involves a larger incision than a standard facelift. Patients with advanced signs of aging and significant facial sagging may benefit from an extended facelift in Bellevue. This procedure is extensive and addresses all the facial structures including the skin, fat, and muscles.
There are non-surgical facelift options that use a variety of methods to provide results. Usually, these procedures use injections and skin procedures that temporarily create a younger look. Some procedures like BOTOX and RF microneedling can prevent aging of the skin and contribute to a younger look. Examples of non-surgical facelift procedures offered at Northwest Face & Body include:
- Liquid Lift: The liquid lift uses dermal fillers and BOTOX to relax wrinkles, fill in facial hollows, and reduce the appearance of creases for a more youthful look. This procedure is usually suited best for younger patients not yet ready for surgery.
- PDO Thread Lift: A thread lift uses biodegradable threads to lift the skin and structures of the face to provide a tighter, more sculpted look. The threads will eventually dissolve, but in their place, they promote collagen which can create longer lasting results. Still, these results are not as long lasting or effective as a surgical facelift.
BELLEVUE FACELIFT SURGERY FROM START TO FINISH
Finding the right plastic surgeon for your procedure can take time and research. At Northwest Face & Body, our renowned plastic surgeon, Dr. Ludwig Allegra performs multiple facelift surgeries every year. Our office makes every effort to ensure your comfort and safety during every appointment. To begin your Bellevue facelift journey, schedule a consultation with Dr. Allegra.
Consultation With Dr. Ludwig Allegra
During a consultation with Dr. Allegra, you will come to our Kirkland plastic surgery office. When you meet with Dr. Allegra he will ask about your concerns with your facial appearance and goals for the procedure. He then reviews your medical history and may ask about certain aspects of your lifestyle. Dr. Allegra will physically examine your face to determine if you are a good candidate for a facelift in Bellevue.
If you are a candidate for surgery, Dr. Allegra will describe the procedure and type of facelift he will perform. He will also explain the results you can expect. Before you leave the office, you will receive a price quote and financing information.
Preparing For Surgery
If you go through with a Bellevue facelift at Northwest Face & Body, you will receive instructions on how to prepare. This includes arrangements you may need to make and medical directions. Pre-operative instructions may include:
- Find a caregiver to drive you home and take care of you following surgery (this can be a family member, friend, or hired caretaker)
- Make travel, lodging, work, and childcare arrangements if necessary
- Stop smoking as directed by Dr. Allegra
- Temporarily discontinue medications at Dr. Allegra’s discretion
- Wear comfortable, loose fitted clothing on surgery day
- Obtain any necessary medical clearances
- Prepare to not eat or drink for several hours before surgery
- Shower the day of surgery
- Make sure to clean and prepare your living space so you can remain comfortable during recovery
Every facelift in Bellevue varies based on the needs and anatomy of the patient. For example, facelifts performed on men and women usually have different incision locations. Also, depending on the amount and depth of correction needed, this can determine the location and length of the incision.
After you are cleared for surgery and a licensed anesthesia provider places you under general anesthesia, Dr. Allegra will begin surgery. He starts with a small incision. Regardless of other factors, a facelift incision is usually located in front of or behind the ear. He may make additional incisions under the chin or in the hairline depending on your surgery.
Through this incision, Dr. Allegra will pull the muscles tight, remove and reposition facial fat, and remove extra skin. He may use a variety of techniques such as liposuction to achieve the ideal look.
Dr. Allegra will then remove extra skin to match the new contours of your face and correct sagging. Redraping this skin, he will stitch the incisions to finish off your facelift in Bellevue.
Recovery And Results
When you wake up from your facelift, you will likely be groggy. After a short recovery period in the office, Dr. Allegra will release you to your caretaker to drive you home. He will also prescribe medications to manage pain and discomfort.
You can expect some minor side effects after facelift surgery. This includes swelling, redness, pain, general discomfort, and bruising. Following Dr. Allegra’s instructions mitigates side effects and can promote a quicker recovery. Patients usually see their side effects subside after around five to ten days. Things you can do to help along your recovery include:
- Avoid strenuous exercise and activities
- Sleep with your head elevated
- Wear your head wrap per Dr. Allegra’s instructions
- Walk every few hours to promote healthy circulation
- Take your prescribed medications
- Stick to acetaminophen (Tylenol) based over-the-counter painkillers
- Attend your post-operative appointments
Patients usually return to work in a week or so. Any residual side effects the patient can usually hide with makeup, hair, or clothing. Exercise and more intensive activities will require more time off. However, most patients find that they are back to most forms of exercise in about two to three weeks.
When it comes to results, you will likely notice some change immediately after surgery. Usually, swelling and other side effects will disguise this in the days following surgery. In general, the final results of a facelift take anywhere from nine months to one year to settle fully. This is because the skin, muscles, and tissue structures need time to heal and move into their new positions. Many patients are happy with their results long before then and begin to enjoy them not long after surgery.
THE BEST FACELIFT SURGEON IN BELLEVUE AT NORTHWEST FACE & BODY
Dr. Ludwig Allegra is an experienced plastic surgeon who has performed facelifts in the Bellevue area for over three decades. His high level of skill and experience make him among the best plastic surgeons on the Eastside. Dr. Allegra performs all types of facial plastic surgery procedures. He also has a good understanding of facial anatomy and aesthetics. This allows him to custom tailor every facelift to each patient.
Northwest Face & Body is located on the shores of Lake Washington just minutes from downtown Bellevue and Kirkland. Our state-certified surgical center accommodates patients seeking plastic surgery of the face, body, and breast. Our facility also provides several non-surgical services including BOTOX and laser hair removal.