At his Dallas practice, Dr. Jeffrey Kenkel approaches facelift surgery as a custom procedure, performed differently for each patient. The men and women who consult with him about facelifts are a very diverse group, but share a goal of looking great for their age. Instead of wanting to look like they did in their 20s or 30s, these patients want to look refreshed and energized.
Am I a good candidate for the surgery?
Although many prospective patients have concerns about being "too young" or "too old" for facelift surgery, it's important to remember that we're all individuals who age at different rates and in different ways. For example, lifestyle habits and genetics may make one person a good candidate for facelift surgery in their 40s, while another person can postpone surgery until their 50s or later. Good candidates should be healthy enough to undergo anesthesia and be free of any existing medical conditions that could affect surgery.
Facelift surgery rejuvenates the lower two-thirds of the face, targeting characteristics including
- Loss of definition along the jawline
- Sagging cheeks and jowls
- Double chin or a "turkey neck"
- Marionette lines, nasolabial folds, and other wrinkles around the mouth
Keep in mind that other complementary procedures can further enhance your results. If you're more concerned by aging of your upper face, you may be a better candidate for eyelid surgery. In other cases, Dr. Kenkel can combine a facelift with eyelid surgery, injectables, or other treatment options for a full-face rejuvenation.
What should I expect from my consultation?
Your consultation is a comprehensive appointment during which you and Dr. Kenkel talk extensively about your lifestyle, your health history, and your goals for surgery. Dr. Kenkel also performs a physical examination of your face and neck to fully understand your concerns and to help him develop an appropriate surgical plan.
After your meeting with Dr. Kenkel, we'll take a few photos of your face to save in your file. You'll chat with Debbie, our coordinator, to discuss pricing and other logistical factors related to surgery. We understand that plastic surgery is a big decision, and we strive to make this appointment as low-pressure as possible. You can expect to be in our office for about an hour.
How is the surgery performed?
Facelift surgery can be extensively customized to meet each patient's specific needs, but most procedures begin with incisions around the ears and behind the hairline. In some cases, Dr. Kenkel may also use an incision under the chin.
Once he's made the incisions, Dr. Kenkel separates the skin from the muscles, fat, and other supportive structures below. Depending on the patient's specifications, he may reshape, add, or remove fat. He adjusts and repositions the tissue overlying the muscles before redraping skin and trimming away any excess, ensuring that it doesn't appear overly tight. He closes the incisions with sutures and adds a small drainage tube to prevent excessive fluid buildup. By keeping tension on the underlying muscles instead of the skin, he creates long-lasting surgical results without excessive scarring.
What happens the day of surgery?
Depending on the extent of your surgery, you may need to stay at the Medallion Suites for a night. This is a hotel-like environment that offers 24-hour nursing care for our patients. Dr. Kenkel advises you in advance so that you may plan accordingly. Facelift often requires general anesthesia, which is carefully administered by a board-certified anesthesiologist. Our pre-op facelift document details how you can adequately prepare your home and your body for surgery.
What is recovery like?
Dr. Kenkel recognizes that every patient handles discomfort differently. He prescribes pain medication to help manage symptoms after surgery, but many patients find that they don't need to use them for more than a few days. Numbness in your cheeks and near your incisions is common and takes some time to fully resolve.
Although it's important to stay mobile after surgery, don't strain yourself. Light walks around the house are a good way to promote circulation and help facilitate the healing process. It's important to have supportive friends or family members who can help you around the house with errands until you're able to do them yourself. It's also helpful to avoid eating foods high in salt, as they can exacerbate swelling.
Swelling and bruising are typical, and you may look worse than you feel for a couple of weeks. These symptoms may be more prominent on one side of your face than the other and may vary in severity from day to day. These are normal variables in the healing process. Dr. Kenkel encourages patients to reach out to his office during recuperation, since it can be an emotional time for many patients.
What should I know about my results?
Dr. Kenkel takes care to make incisions as discreetly as possible, leading to scars that aren't noticeable to most people. However, they can take several months to fade completely. It's important to follow your post-op guidelines and avoid unprotected sun exposure. Your skin may feel dry or rough throughout the healing process. This can be minimized with good skincare habits.
In general, the results of facelift surgery can last for a decade especially with proper follow-up care and healthy lifestyle habits. When you notice the signs of aging gradually beginning to return, you may choose to maintain your results with non-surgical treatments, such as injectable fillers or even a revisionary procedure.
How many visits do I have after surgery?
You'll return to our office within 4 days after surgery for drain removal, if applicable. In 7 to 10 days, you'll return for scheduled suture removal. During these visits, you'll discuss your results and concerns with Dr. Kenkel
How much does facelift cost?
Because each procedure is completely customized to your specifications, it's not possible to offer a quote without an in-person visit. During your consultation, you'll receive a written quote that includes all fees associated with surgery. If you decide to move forward with your procedure, we require a $500 deposit to reserve a time and date just for you.