The term “Full facelift” is misleading, and can have multiple definitions. When most people refer to a “full facelift”, they just mean a traditional facelift with simultaneous rejuvenation procedures on the upper and midface, such as eyelid surgery, brow lift, or cheek implants. Generally speaking, facelifts don’t include the procedures on the upper and midface, and it actually focuses on the rejuvenation of lower face and neck and come in different sizes, small, medium, and large. The more aging a patient has sustained, the larger the facelift required.
Patients with more pronounced aging need a more extensive procedure to correct that aging. We call the larger procedures “an extensive facelift”. Extensive facelifts are essentially large minilifts.
Almost all extensive facelifts (large facelifts) require 2 more procedures known as a platysmaplasty or submentoplasty and chin/neck liposuction. A more natural, tighter, longer lasting facelift will result from the three procedures together. A facelift without addressing the midline deep tissues will be fine for a year or two, but after that, the neck bands and sagging may return, prompting another facelift. Dr. Shu addresses this muscle by tightening the platysma muscle in the center of the neck and lateral platysma, creating a natural appearing, but still long lasting lift. Submentoplasty involves tightening the deep tissues of the floor of the mouth, which is very important regarding the aesthetics of the chin and neck. The liposuction on the chin and neck will remove the extra fat deposited in these areas and creates the sharp cervicomental angle and younger looking.
Recovery time for an extensive lift will last between 10-14 days. Recovery time may vary as all patients swell and bruise to different degrees. The incision of large sized lifts is made in front and back of the ear. The incision is hidden in the hair in the sideburns and behind the ear itself. So really, very little of the incisions are actually visible to people.