How to Know When You’re Ready for a Facelift Surgery

With age comes wisdom, but also wrinkles and sagging skin. If you look in the mirror and aren’t happy with parts of your face looking hollow or your skin not being as taut as you’d like, you might be considering getting a facelift.

A facelift (or rhytidectomy) is a general term that refers to any procedure that improves signs of aging in the face or neck. This can be done by removing or repositioning skin, fat, and/or muscle.

Facelifts can improve the look of:

  • Sagging or relaxed skin
  • Fallen or lacking facial fat
  • Drooping skin on the cheeks and/or jaw (the jowls)
  • Deep folds or crease lines that appear between the corners of the mouth and the nose
  • Loose skin and fat below your chin that looks like a “double chin”

It’s an exciting thought to get rid of these, isn’t it? But you might be intimidated by the prospect, and hesitating because you’re just not sure if you’re ready to commit to the procedure. 

Read on to find out how to know when you’re ready for facelift surgery.

You’re in Good Overall Physical and Mental Health

Plastic surgery shouldn’t be considered a “fix-all” solution to physical problems. It’s always recommended that prospective patients should make healthy lifestyle changes before considering surgery.

Many “problems” can be fixed by making lifestyle changes and don’t require surgery. For example, if you think your skin looks a lot older than you are, perhaps you could change your (or in some cases, start using) skincare routine. You could stay out of the sun more, or wear sunscreen more often.

This also extends to your mental health. If you’re always looking in the mirror and feeling worthless or ugly, ask yourself: Is this really because of my physical appearance? Or is this a deeper issue?

Sometimes, surgery doesn’t make people feel any more beautiful because the problem isn’t how they look, but their insecurities and issues with self-worth.

Being in good physical and mental health can increase the chances that your surgery will be successful. When you’re in good health, your body can power through the recovery phase of your procedure and the results will be far more impactful.

  • You might need less work done. Dropping a few extra pounds, working on your mental health, and/or changing your skincare routine can all mean that you will probably need less work done to be satisfied with the results. 
  • Smokers can’t undergo surgery. This is because nicotine interferes with blood supply.

You’re Emotionally Prepared to Change Your Facial Appearance

You might be aware of the financial and physical implications of getting a facelift surgery, but there are plenty of emotional preparations that need to be done as well.

Your face will be changed pretty much permanently. You might be thinking that’s obvious, but a lot of patients that undergo facelifts aren’t prepared for exactly what that means, and what that means is different for everyone.

Facial appearances can be tied to a lot of things – identity, heritage, and even culture. For some, when they look in the mirror after their surgery, they no longer feel connected to their idea of themselves. Additionally, because getting a facelift takes years off your face, you might not feel that your face matches your age anymore.

Try and think of how your facial appearance changing might affect you and prepare yourself for it happening. This way you can be sure that when you’re ready for these emotional effects, you’re one step closer to being ready for your facelift.

You’re Aware of the Average Age that a Woman Gets a Facelift

Many people wonder when the best age to get a facelift is. While there is no hard and fast answer, the average age for women is the mid-40s to early-50s. You must be aware though that the decision to have a facelift is a very personal one, not only because you must be ready to have the procedure in your own time, but also because the “right time” is different for everyone.

If you’re over 40 and thinking about getting a facelift, it’s a good idea not to wait too long. This is because your skin will still have sufficient elasticity to get optimum results from the procedure, and will until you’re about in your early 50s.

Excellent results can still very much be achieved for women in their 60s or 70s, and even older if you’re in good health and general fitness.  

The typical facelift lasts around 7-10 years, so the most ideal plan is to get a facelift in your mid-40s to early-50s, then have a sort of ‘refresher’ secondary facelift when you’re in your 60s.

You’ve Lost Some Volume to Areas of Your Face and They Seem Sunken or Hollow

One of the main goals of facelift surgery is to restore volume to parts of your face that seem sunken or hollow. Fat levels in the body drop as you age, and it can often be most apparent in the face.

While some people like the look as it flatters their cheekbones or jawline, you might feel like it makes you look gaunt or older than you’d like.

It can also make you look permanently sad. Since the upper part of the face (the eyes and forehead) are such huge impactors on how we express ourselves, drooping brows and frown lines can make you look sad all the time. A facelift can help your face to again be able to relay how you actually feel.

A part of facelifts can be to transfer small amounts of fat from one part of your face to another via liposuction techniques, for example taking some fat from one area and placing it to the cheeks, mid-face, or just beneath the eyes.  

You Have Drooping Skin Along Your Jaw and Neckline

Also with age usually comes drooping skin along the jaw and neckline. This can add years to your face and make you look a lot older than you actually are.

Neck lifts are usually done alongside or within facelift surgeries and are ideal for you if you’d like a more defined jawline. Sometimes, even without making any other changes to the face, a neck lift can dramatically improve the appearance and help patients look many years younger and/or much slimmer.

Neck lifts can also help restore balance to your facial features because just like eyebrows, your jaw frames your face.

The surgery usually involves tightening underlying muscles, removing excess skin, and removing fat. In cases where liposuction is involved, it’s usually best that the patient is younger, anywhere from their 20s to early 50s, as the skin needs to have good elasticity in order to contract evenly and smoothly after the liposuction.

Contact an Expert for a Consultation

Your confidence is paramount to us. We want you to feel and be the best you that you can be, and if your face is holding you back from being that, then it might be time to do something.

It can be daunting to not only prepare for a facelift but feel like you have all of the information that you need in order to make this very personal and profound decision.

With Dr. Sidle, you’ll be receiving a consultation that’s incredibly thorough so that you can ask any questions that you have, no matter how big or how small. You can obtain all of the information that you’d like and decide on the best path for you.

During your consultation, Dr. Sidle will meet with you personally and discuss your individual needs and goals. The entire process will be tailored and customized to you.

He will listen to all of your desires and concerns, expectations, and recovery period limitations, then perform a detailed examination and discuss your treatment options with you.

Dr. Sidle is a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon that practices at Northwestern and has special expertise in facial plastic surgery. His experience and compassion have made him one of Chicago’s leading reconstructive surgeons, while his excellent results and impeccable care have made his reputation precede him.

Contact us or call our office at (312) 695-8182 for a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Sidle.

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