The aging process affects various areas of the face. Face and neck skin begin to loosen. Lines appear at the corners of the eyes (crow’s feet) and on the forehead. The jaw line, chin, cheeks and eyelids are affected. As the march of time progresses, it is easy to see why rhytidectomy is the third most requested facial surgery.

If you are in the Annapolis area and considering a facelift, talk to Dr. Sandel first and discuss your expectations and the options available to meet those expectations.

Here are some talking points that will help guide you:

Your general health

Some considerations to discuss are your age, your physical condition, pre-existing conditions, as well as your skin type, ethnic background, bone structure and healing capabilities.

Social and psychological factors

Dr. Sandel will make it clear to you that a facelift is not a universal panacea for lack of self-esteem. He will discuss with you what you can realistically expect from the surgery.

Possible additional procedures

Rhytidectomy has limitations. It might be necessary to have additional procedures such as facial liposuction or cheek implants to achieve the look you want.

How the surgery is performed

Dr. Wheeler begins the procedure with an incision near the temple hairline, above and in front of the ear. He then continues around the lobe, circling the ear and then returns to the starting point in the scalp. He raises the skin outward before he repositions and tightens the underlying muscle and connective tissue. Fat and excess skin may be removed. On a man’s face, Dr. Wheeler’s incision is positioned to accommodate the natural beard lines. In all cases, the incision is placed where it will fall in a natural crease of the skin for camouflage.

Dr. Wheeler closes the incisions with fine sutures and/or metal clips. The procedure should take from two to four hours, depending on the extent of the surgery. This procedure is performed under a mild general anesthesia.

After the surgery

Recovery time is usually two to three weeks. Dr. Wheeler will give you a regimen for your activities during the recovery process. You should experience little pain or discomfort during this time, though some swelling and bruising are inevitable. Scars will be barely noticeable and are hidden by skin creases and, in some cases, makeup until the healing process is complete.

If you want additional information about facelifts, visit the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons.