How do Facelifts Work?

The enemy is gravity. When we are young, we have defenses against this nemesis. Our skin contains collagen and elastin, proteins which break down over time and become more and more defenseless in the face of gravity. In addition, as we age, the muscles beneath the skin lose some of their strength and provide less support to the skin, giving gravity still more power over the way we look.

How Do Facelifts Help?

The purpose of a facelift is to return the face to a more youthful appearance. During a facelift, Dr. Lakshman will make an incision around the hairline. Afterwards, he or she will separate the skin from the muscle tissue underneath it.

Several things may occur during this particular plastic surgery:

  • The muscles under the skin may be lifted and tightened.
  • Any excess fat may be removed through liposuction.
  • Fat may be repositioned to achieve a younger, sculpted appearance.
  • The skin by the ear may be lifted, allowing Dr. Lakshman to pull the cheek area upwards.
  • The tissue underlying the face may be reconstructed to give a contoured appearance.


Modern plastic surgery will not leave unsightly scars along the hairline, making a woman uncomfortable with up-dos and ponytails. However, a facelift only addresses the area from the sides of the eyes to the collarbone. It does not address the forehead or sagging eyebrows.

Special Considerations

  • Dr. Lakshman will ask smokers to stop smoking at least six weeks before the facelift and continue not smoking for at least two weeks after the surgery. This requirement is because smoking impedes blood flow to the skin.
  • Since blood flow is so important to recovery, may surgeons suggest that even non-smoking patients avoid second hand smoke for up to four weeks after the surgery.
  • Patients who take aspirin, NSAIDS or any other medicines or supplements that increase bleeding will be asked to refrain from using these medications before surgery.
  • Facelift patients can expect some swelling, but they usually are allowed to return to normal activities in about three or four weeks.
  • Because gravity is always with us, facelifts will change over time. However, even over time, patients will retain a younger looking appearance than if they had not experienced a facelift.


The best candidate for a facelift is a person in his or her 40s, 50s or 60s. The patient should be healthy and free from any blood clotting problems or high blood pressure. Since the aging process is dependent upon four areas, three of which are behavioral, a healthy lifestyle that minimizes sun exposure, yo-yo dieting and smoking is the best way to avoid premature aging.

For more information or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Lakshman, contact us today.

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