Undergoing facelift surgery is a serious decision that you should make after weighing the benefits of the procedure against the disadvantages. Understanding the initial and long term results of the procedure can help you make this decision.

What the Procedure Can Improve

A facelift can target both fine wrinkles and deep creases on the face and neck, particularly in often problematic areas such as on either side of the mouth and under and next to the eyes. The procedure can also correct sagging skin, such as what appears to be jowls along your jawline that can appear during aging (as fat in the skin sinks and/or muscles become less toned). You can also get a lift to correct some forms of double chin, particularly the double chin that results from accumulated fatty deposits and loose skin, which you can get both with and without significant weight loss. The goal of the lift is to tighten skin, smooth out lines and provide you with more youthful-looking, smoother skin.

Initial Results

The facelift is actually one of the fastest ways to get smoother, firmer skin when you compare the procedure to facial fillers, skin tightening treatments and ointments and creams. The lift is also one of the longest-lasting and most guaranteed ways to get results. However, the procedure is also one of the most invasive of its types. Because it's so invasive, the recovery process is longer and more involved than that of other procedures.

Immediately after your surgery, you will have bandages on your face to help keep incisions clear of infection and reduce the bruising and swelling. You will also possibly have thin tubes in your face and neck to help drain the fluid. For a period of about ten days to two weeks, you will have to remain home from work and keep physical activity to a minimum. (There are some lifts, such as endoscopic lifts, that require significantly less recovery time.) During this time, your face will be swollen and bruised, but should become clearer as the days pass. After about two weeks, your face should appear clear and quite visibly improved, although you may still have some restrictions on vigorous physical activity.

Long Term Results

Once you've recovered from your facelift surgery, you should notice much tighter skin that's free or relatively free of wrinkles and creases. However, immediate results are not the ideal results of the procedure because there may still be lines made from the incisions and some swelling may still occur. As your skin continues to heal and adjusts to the changes made during the procedure, your appearance will improve. You can expect to see ideal results no more than six months after the procedure.

In the long term, your lift will provide these ideal results for many years to come. However, aging and sun damage may cause some of these problems to reoccur over time. You can keep the results of your lift as long as possible by protecting your skin with sunscreen at all times, using cosmetic specialist-recommended skin creams and exercising regularly.

A cosmetic specialist can pinpoint in more detail what kind of results you can expect in the short and the long term from your facelift surgery. The size of the area of your face to be worked on, as well as the significance of your imperfections, can impact how long you'll have to wait to see results.