“Doctor, how long will my facelift surgery take ?”
Before surgery, most ask how long the procedure will last? Behind the question lie mixed emotions. Although the anesthesiologist and I are trusted, you relinquish all control over your face, your body, and your life during a procedure under general anesthesia. Your trust in us is total and complete.
So how safe is general anesthesia?
Is a short procedure safer? Given the choice between a shorter facelift or “mini” lift and a longer facelift, should you be afraid of a long surgery? The answer is, NO, you should NOT be afraid of a longer facelift, YOU SHOULD WANT IT. General anesthesia is VERY SAFE, and longer procedures offer the best, safest, and longest-lasting result, generating true value for many years afterward.
Consider an analogy: If you hire painters for the exterior of your house and the job lasts six hours vs. twelve or twenty-four hours, assuming the same number of workers, the results would be significantly different. Looking in all of the corners, the window panes, around the foundation and gutters, the shorter job will have skipped and missed areas. The coat will not be as thick or durable. Quality always takes time and effort, and higher quality takes more time and effort.
Similarly, not all facelifts are created equal. Our ability to correct aging features has advanced dramatically in recent years. Contemporary facelift offers more natural and beautiful results than ever before. Details of anatomy and technique that improve your result demand from your surgeon extra knowledge, more time to execute successfully, and greater attention to detail. Facelift procedure time is longer, but your result is improved and your procedure is safer. Better outcomes require longer procedures. Advances in anesthesia have allowed this progress without increasing risk or compromising your safety.
If your surgeon plans a “quick lift,” a “lunchtime lift,” a “mini-lift,” or other abbreviated version, you will likely see improvement, but how much will this be and how long will it last compared to the longer version? The answer to this question varies, but in general, you are losing value with the “abridged” or “condensed” version. Often marketed as “new and improved,” quick lift is actually the 1960’s model: cut & pull. Minimal surgery means minimal results. Longer lasting, modern facelift incorporates many advances. Today’s facelift is not just an operation, it is a masterful work of art individualized to reverse aging features by re-positioning sagging tissues into their youthful location and by securing them for a long-lasting correction. During the operation, localization of important structures like nerves, vessels, and ligaments adds time but improves the safety of your procedure by preventing complications.
Quick surgery shows in the quality and durability of the result. Quick surgery glosses over details. The surgeon who performs “quick” or “mini” surgery is focused on time and likely on business, NOT on YOU and YOUR RESULT. Quick surgery is never as thorough, careful, or comprehensive as state-of-the-art. If you’re only planning one facelift, for your own sake, DON’T make it a quick one!