Many non-invasive methods of facial rejuvenation are available today, but few will have long lasting results. If you are a woman or man over the age of 40 who is experiencing the effects of aging and seek a natural looking result, similar to your appearance you had 5-10 years ago, then perhaps facial rejuvenation is a good option for you. Our goals in reversing the effects of facial aging are to restore firmness, eliminate sagging skin, and to provide a more youthful appearance. Many patients are concerned that their facelift will leave them looking unnatural or “pulled.” Dr. Gerstle could not agree more that the facelift should leave patients looking more fresh, contoured and natural.
Watch a video about Facelift surgery
Removal of excess skin and fat from the face and neck
Improving facial contour
Tightening muscles which have become lax over time
Smoothing deep lines and wrinkles
The first step in facelift surgery involves a confidential consultation with Dr. Gerstle. First, he will review your medical history and determine if undergoing facelift surgery is safe for you. Once the two of you decide to move forward, you can discuss your concerns and goals. Dr. Gerstle will utilize your input to create a computer-generated model using your own photographs to demonstrate the results that you can expect. After this is complete, the two of you can develop the plan to achieve the look you desire.
Depending on your desires, you may undergo general anesthesia or heavy sedation to keep you comfortable during the procedure. The procedure takes four to five hours in an outpatient surgery center, with most patients going home the same evening. We prefer our out-of-town patients or those traveling from abroad to stay at a local suite so that Dr. Gerstle can examine you prior to traveling home.
After surgery, there may be a thin tube called a drain placed under the skin to collect any fluid that might collect. Dr. Gerstle may also wrap your head loosely in bandages to minimize bruising and swelling, and may recommend that you keep your head elevated for a few days. Please refer to the Instruction sheets available on our webpage.
It is normal for bruising to last for up to three weeks. Dr. Gerstle recommends taking it easy for the first week or two after the surgery, but most patients are ready to return to work in about 10 to 14 days. If he placed a drain, it is usually removed during the first week after surgery. You’ll have a follow up appointment within a few days after the surgery, during which time you and Dr. Gerstle will discuss further follow up. Regardless of the timing of your scheduled appointments, Dr. Gerstle is always available for any questions or concerns via his cell phone and email.
It is also normal for patients to feel disappointed initially after the surgery, as the bruising and swelling can be significant. However, by the third week patients usually look and feel much better. Dr. Gerstle’s goal is to make you look more refined, youthful and enhanced, which most people experience after about a month.
Are the effects of a facelift permanent?
Nothing exists that can stop the aging process but a facelift can certainly slow it down. You can expect the results of your facelift to last about five to ten years. It is not uncommon for patients to decide to have the procedure repeated after that time.
Is the procedure very painful?
No surgery comes without some element of discomfort. Fortunately, most patients describe facial surgery as less painful than that of the torso, hands, or feet (mild pain and the inconvenience of bandages or head elevation). Within a day or two, we expect most patient’s pain to be controlled with Tylenol alone, although narcotic pain medication is usually prescribed unless otherwise not indicated.
When may I resume normal activities?
Most patients are ready to return to work in 10 to 14 days, are permitted light exercise at two weeks and vigorous exercise in about four to six weeks.
What our patients are saying…
Having a facelift was a big decision. As a director of a large non-profit arts organization, it was important for me to look my best. Dr. Gerstle and his staff put me at ease prior to the procedure. The facelift took 15 years or more off my looks. Dr. Gerstle did an excellent job.