Houston Facelift Surgeon

Named a top facelift surgeon in Houston by Realself, Dr. Etai Funk believes that a facelift should provide a refreshed, more youthful and vibrant appearance. Over time, many factors can age our faces from age itself to sun exposure and even stress. A facelift is a cosmetic procedure that improves your appearance and restores the youthful appearance to your face by tightening the muscles in the face. This procedure treats a sagging jaw-line, blunted neck, and falling cheeks. Dr. Funk commonly performs the following facelifts for jowling, neck skin laxity, neck muscle banding, mini lifts, SMAS lifts, deep plane facelifts, and vertical lifts.

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What Can A Facelift Do For You?

The goal of a facelift (also known as a Rhytidectomy) is not to change your image or visage, but to obtain a natural, rested and more youthful appearance to your face. At his Houston office, Dr. Funk will analyze your face and assess the type of facelift that would benefit you most to give the most aesthetic, natural, and long-lasting result. Dr. Funk uses advanced techniques to customize the facelift that is right for your face. He also uses advanced technology to minimize bruising and reduce recovery and downtime.

You may notice jowling (droopy jowls along the jawline) or that your jawline is not quite as sharp and defined as in the past. There are bands coming down your neck from your chin and there is lax skin in the neck. The angle of your neck has become more obtuse and less defined. A good test to see if the look of a face and neck lift appeals to you is to take a hand mirror and lay down flat in bed. Look at your jawline and neck in this position and this may give you a better idea of what a facelift can do for you.

What is a facelift?

A facelift is a cosmetic surgical procedure designed to provide a more youthful, refreshed, and rejuvenated appearance to the lower face and neck. A facelift is somewhat of a misnomer as it only addresses the lower face, neck, and sometimes the midface. It improves the jawline, reduces jowling, and enhances the skin laxity and banding in the neck.

Everyone wants a natural result without that pulled or windswept look. People's faces and necks age differently. You may have read or heard about different types of facelifts. The minilift, weekend lift, or lunchtime lift are some examples. These different trendy names and techniques are simply marketing tools and do not delineate exactly what this lift will do for you. It is essential to be evaluated by a trained professional facial plastic or plastic surgeon who can determine what type of lift is best for your particular case. A patient with prominent neck bands and a very obtuse neck angle would not benefit from a simple mini lift, but rather this patient needs a more extensive face and neck lift to obtain his/her aesthetic goals. Ultimately, you and your surgeon should see eye to eye and agree upon what is most important to you during the facial rejuvenation process.

Facelift Surgery Process

Consultation

When visiting our Houston office for a facelift consultation, you will meet with Dr. Funk to discuss your concerns regarding your neck, jowls, jawline, and midface.  Whether you are considering a neck lift, facelift, or mini facelift Dr. Funk will concentrate on the areas you want to focus on improving.  If you are amenable, he will give recommendations regarding other procedures such as a brow lift, eyelid surgery, or laser resurfacing that may complement your facelift procedure.

Dr. Funk will then examine your face and neck and assess the best treatment option.  Photographs will be taken and you and Dr. Funk will sit in his office reviewing these photographs and making digital changes to provide an approximation of what a facelift or neck lift will do for your jowls and jawline.  You and Dr. Funk will review before and after photos of facelift patients who have had surgery with Dr. Funk.  Once all your questions are answered, you will meet with our patient care coordinator to review the quote for a facelift, neck lift, or mini facelift. 

Preoperative Appointment

Your preoperative appointment will usually occur the day prior to surgery.  On this day, you will meet with Dr. Funk once more to re-discuss your goals for the surgery, review risks of a facelift, and discuss some of the healing process. The majority of the time will be spent with the patient care coordinator who will discuss preoperative and postoperative care.  They will review what you can expect after surgery, things that may cause concern, and what should appear as normal healing versus abnormal.  Your final payment will also be collected at this time.

Day of Surgery/Procedure

On the day of your facelift surgery, you will check-in at the facility and then move on to the preop area.  There you will change into a surgical gown and have an IV started.  Consent forms will be signed and you will meet the surgical team. You will then move on to the operating room. Your facelift will be performed in Houston usually at a surgery center.  Dr. Funk typically performs his facelift surgery under general anesthesia.  A mini facelift or neck lift will take approximately 3 hours while a full face and neck lift will take 4 hours. You will be taken to the recovery room after surgery.  Depending on how many hours of anesthesia you have and how many additional procedures you may have with your facelift, an overnight stay at the facility may be recommended. 

Recovery

Recovery after a facelift depends on the extent of work that is required and which procedure is performed.  A facelift is usually not painful.  You may feel tightness around your neck and slight tenderness around your ears.   You will have a pressure dressing the first night after surgery, which will be removed in the office the next day.  A new lighter dressing will be placed which will be removed 1-2 days later.  You will then wear a compression garment for 1-2 weeks after surgery and then just at night.

Will a facelift improve my eyes?

Some of my Houston facelift patients inquire as to whether a facelift or mini facelift will improve their bags under the eyes. Facelift surgery typically improves the jawline, neck, jowls and sometimes the mid face. It will not address the lower eyelids and not treat the bags under the eyes. Blepharoplasty or lower eyelid surgery will help lower eyelid bags and excess lower eyelid saggy skin. Lower eyelid surgery is commonly performed at the same time as a facelift.

What is the recovery after a facelift?

Depending on the type of facelift lift performed, recovery after a facelift is typically from one to three weeks.

Will I look pulled or windswept after a facelift?

A facelift should result in a natural, unoperated appearance that enhances your current facial features. A facelift improves jowling, skin laxity, deep wrinkles and folds, and enhances the jawline. A facelift in which the vectors are pulled straight back without a vertical component may result in a windswept or pulled appearance?

I've heard alot about different types of facelifts like Mini Lift, Short Scar lift, and Weekend lift that promise shorter recovery times? Are these facelifts worth it?

When it comes to a facelift or face and neck lift, there truly is no free lunch (so to speak).  Those patients in their mid to late 40's with minimal jowling and not much loose skin or do not have much neck work needed may be good candidates for these type of facelifts.  These types of facelifts will improve the jawline and jowling but not address much of the neck.  Recovery time is typically under 2 weeks.  These types of facelifts will not give the lasting result a Deep Plane Facelift or Extended SMAS facelift may provide.  A repeat facelift may be required in 5-7 years after these "shorter recovery" facelifts.

What are the different types of facelifts?

Everyone's face ages in a different manner and therefore there is not one specific type of facelift or procedure that is universal for each patient. Dr. Funk takes pride in the diverse repertoire of facelift techniques he possesses.

The most important aspect of a facelift is to undergo the type of facelift that results in an enhanced, refreshed appearance and provides you with the most aesthetic outcome. During your consultation, Dr Funk will analyze your face and neck extensively and discuss the aging process and the unique features of your face that can be improved with surgery. Your face is unique and deserves a unique type of facelift designed specifically to provide you with a refreshed, youthful appearance.

Mini Lift

The Minilift is a type of facelift that redefines the jawline and helps with mild jowling. This type of facelift is typically reserved for women in their mid 40's who do not want significant downtime and have lax jowls. The incision does not extend into the sideburn or significantly into the hairline behind the ear. Recovery is about 7-10 days.

SMAS Facelift

The SMAS is the fascia that lies under the skin and over the facial muscles. This is the tissue that is suspended to provide the long term effects of a facelift. Once the SMAS is suspended, the skin is redraped and trimmed to fit the initial incisions. The SMAS facelift is an excellent type of facelift for patients in their early 50's with moderate jowling, neck skin laxity, and mild muscle banding in the neck. Recovery after a SMAS facelift is typically 10-14 days.

Deep plane Facelift

A deep plane facelift is reserved for those patients with moderate to severe jowling, significant neck skin laxity, muscle banding, and midface descent. This lift not only addresses the jowls and neck, but also lifts the midface slightly to acheive aesthetically pleasing higher cheek bones. This type of lift is typically performed on patients in their 60's and provides long term enhanced results. Recovery is typically 2-3 weeks.

Vertical Facelift

Some patients develop jowling while at the same time have a deflated appearance above the jowls and below the cheek. In these patients, the SMAS and fat that have resulted in jowling have descended from this area. A vertical lift suspends this SMAS and fat from the jowls in a vertical direction into the deflated area. This also can help with mild neck skin laxity. The recovery for a vertical lift is typically 14 days.

Can I just do a Neck Lift or do I have to have a facelift?

Many patients are simply interested in improving the appearance of their neck.  Whether the is significant neck skin laxity or banding of the muscles, most patients simply want a neck lift and not a facelift.  The issue is that suspending the neck muscles to the bone behind the ear will leave significant redundant skin in the area in front of the ear and not address the jawline or any jowling.  The skin and soft tissues simply do not drape appropriately when we only do a neck lift in someone typically over than 50.  If Dr. Funk finds that the only issue is muscle banding or simple skin laxity, a neck lift may be appropriate but in most patients in their 50's, a facelift is necessary.

What kind of facelift does Dr. Funk perform most often?

The type of facelift or neck lift you may require will depend on your anatomy, how your face and neck have aged, and your desires.  Most of Dr. Funk's facelift patients are in their late 50's or 60's and have significant neck laxity, jowls, and sometimes muscle banding in the neck. Therefore, Dr. Funk often performs a deep plane facelift with a vertical vector and may address the neck muscle and fat depending on the severity of the anatomy there.

If I have had a previous facelift, can I have another facelift or necklift?

Many of Dr. Funk's patients have had previous face or neck work. You may be unhappy with your previous surgery or just feel that you have aged since your last facelift and require further rejuvenation. Dr. Funk finds these surgeries challenging but frequently finds he can improve the scars, and still provide a nice lift with a more youthful and rejuvenated appearance.

Do I need fat injected during my facelift?

A facelift alone may provide significant improvement in skin laxity, jowling, and neck fullness. However, as we age, we begin to lose collagen and fat which may lead to a gaunt or deflated appearance in our face. Combining a facelift with fat injection or filler injection complements a facelift and provides for a more youthful, cherubic, and full appearance rather than a sharp, angled one with a facelift alone.

Will people know if I have a facelift?

Friends and family who are unaware that you had a facelift may make comments such as, "You look refreshed." "Did you lose weight?" "Have you changed your hair?" Dr Funk prides himself on providing natural and unoperated aesthetic results. The goal in cosmetic surgery is to provide an improvement in your appearance without anyone knowing you had surgery!

What is the difference between a facelift and a neck lift?

A facelift addresses the jawline, jowls, neck, and sometimes the midface (depending on the type of facelift). Although all women age differently, this is typically for women over the age of 50. A neck lift on the other hand, mainly addresses the neck and a small amount of jowling. In general, women in their 40's may notice a changes in the laxity of their neck with banding of the muscles down the neck. They are  excellent candidates for a neck lift.

How much younger will I look after a facelift?

If you are 50 or 60 years old, it is unrealistic to think that your face will appear as it did at the age of 25 or 30. You likely also do not want to appear this way as it may look unnatural or operated. A facelift, performed properly and tailored to the specific needs of your face and neck, should enhance your facial appearance by about 10-15 years.

How long will my facelift last?

Dr Funk's facelifts typically last approximately 12 years before a small touch up may be needed. Nevertheless, your face and neck will appear more refreshed and enhanced 12 years after your facelift, than they did before your facelift.

Do Fillers Help after a Facelift?

Recently, a new term has entered into the facial plastic lexicon. “Deflation” describes the appearance that many individuals notice in their cheeks, temples, and areas below the eyes. A filler can help improve this appearance to a certain degree. Make no mistake, a filler is not a substitute for a face/neck lift, blepharoplasty, or browlift. In order to achieve the volume necessary to correct this deflated appearance, a surgeon must use multiple syringes, a procedure which can become quite costly. Dr Funk feels that injectable fillers can be used to complement facial rejuvenation surgery. Surgery reshapes the face and redrapes lax skin and tissue, and once your face has healed, we can use the filler postoperatively, if needed.

Depending on the extent of the lift, typically most patients can get back to work and social interaction within two to three weeks.

Do men get face lifts?

A facelift or neck lift is typically thought of as a surgery for women, but today more and more men are interested in neck lifts to address their neck, submental fullness, or double chin. Men who are over 55 typically will need a neck lift to address the excess skin and muscle laxity of the neck.

A neck lift for a male is different than that for a female. Close attention must be placed on incisions to assure that the hair bearing skin is not brought onto the ear cartilage so that the patient will not need to shave his ear after a neck lift. In addition, it is important not to feminize the male face when performing a neck and facelift.

How much is a facelift?

The average surgeon’s fee for a facelift can range from $7,500-$15,000 depending on how many other additional procedures are performed and what type of facelift is being performed. This may or may not include the anesthesia and facility fee. 

Am I candidate for a Facelift?

If you have noticed increased jowling, a saggy neck, or flat cheeks and feel as though your entire face has started to descend and lose volume, you may be a candidate for a facelift or neck lift.  Of course, this is assuring you do not have an existing major medical issues that would preclude you from undergoing anesthesia and surgery.  Facelift patients must be patient regarding their results.  Recovery after a facelift is usually 2-3 weeks until you are social and final results may take 3-6 months until all the swelling has subsided.

Can you combine facial procedures?

It is not uncommon for a facelift patient to undergo other concomitant facial procedures during their facelift surgery.  These frequently may include liposuction of the neck, upper eyelid surgery, lower eyelid surgery for lower eyelid bags, brow lift, and laser resurfacing.  During your consultation, Dr. Funk will discuss your concerns and if you are amenable, will help make some recommendations to other areas that will benefit the overall appearance of your face and neck. This way, you can choose the best option or combination of surgeries that will provide the most aesthetically pleasing result for your face and neck.