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Facelift

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Dr. Thomas Mustoe performs facelift surgery in Chicago to smooth lines and wrinkles around the mouth and chin, eliminate loose skin and jowls, and correct sagging in the neck. His extensive research in wound healing has guided his development of innovative facelift techniques. Using these techniques, Dr. Mustoe achieves beautiful, natural-looking results with reduced discomfort, scarring, and downtime. Dr. Mustoe has recently published his facelift techniques in the premier plastic surgery journal, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. This text details his technique which was considered sufficiently original to merit publication in this scientific journal, and was performed in 742 patients over a 10 year period.

If you would like more information about face lift surgery in Chicago with Dr. Thomas Mustoe, request a consultation online. Or you can call us at (312) 788-2560 and one of our helpful staff members will schedule your appointment.

Why Choose Dr. Mustoe

Dedicated to advancing the field of plastic surgery, Dr. Mustoe has developed several innovations for a better facelift and neck lift procedure and result. These include:

  • Full results with a "mini" recovery
  • More natural-looking, lasting outcomes
  • Smaller incisions and less tissue trauma
  • Minimal bruising
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How the Face Ages

Although the signs of aging eventually appear in all areas of the face, for many people the mid to lower face and neck tend to fare the worst. As skin and tissue lose elasticity, gravity begins to pull them downward. The cheeks lose volume and start to droop, deepening nasolabial folds and creating hollows or indentations beneath the eyes. All of this descending tissue and lax skin accumulates in the lower part of the face, obscuring the clean line of the jaw and creating wrinkles and jowls. In addition, the neck typically takes on a saggy, banded appearance and begins to blend in with the lower face. To correct these signs of aging in the face and neck, Dr. Mustoe can perform a full face and neck lift, a neck lift alone, or a modification of either procedure depending on your specific needs. He also offers the mini facelift for patients who have less advanced facial aging.

Modern Facelift Techniques

The facelift results of today are far superior to those of a few decades ago. In the past, a facelift mainly involved pulling the skin tighter, which created an unnatural, tight appearance. Dr. Mustoe focuses on restoring the underlying muscle and tissues to their more youthful position, for results that are natural-looking, beautiful, and long lasting. The modern facelift can:

  • Re-create a clean, defined jaw line
  • Restore the more youthful contours of the cheeks
  • Smooth and firm wrinkled, sagging skin in the lower face and neck

To fully address the aging changes in a completely natural way, Dr. Mustoe has developed his own technique for lower facelift or neck lift in which the deeper tissues are fully released at their critical attachments (deep plane approach). This allows full repositioning and natural tightening of the superficial facial musclulature and fatty tissue their youthful position. The skin is only selectively undermined, and is carried along with the deeper tissues to completely avoid the stretched or pulled look. Drawing from his experience with approximately 1,000 patients, Dr. Mustoe tailors the technique based on the individual patient's aging changes, previous surgeries and desired outcomes.

View before-and-after photos of Dr. Mustoe's face lift patients.

Recovery and Results

Dr. Mustoe uses small incisions hidden within the hairline that are practically undetectable once they have healed. The degree of correction needed will influence the extent of the incisions. His years of experience and research have helped him to develop innovative techniques to minimize tissue trauma and allow for a shorter, more comfortable procedure and recovery. Dr. Mustoe's Chicago facelift surgery patients are almost always back to work or everyday activities within 10 to 14 days. For neck lifts, and short scar mini-lifts, the recovery can be even faster.

In addition to offering a more complete operation with quick recovery, Dr. Mustoe is able to perform the procedure under local anesthesia with sedation with improved safety. His techniques also allows future procedures 10 to 15 years later with the same natural appearing outcome. He has lectured on his techniques to plastic surgeons nationally and internationally.

Minimal Bruising

Dr. Mustoe's techniques minimize bruising, which is largely resolved within a week and fully resolved in 10 days for most patients. For the occasional patient who has more bruising or who desires an accelerated recovery, he now offers a state-of-the-art laser treatment which dramatically improves bruising with one brief treatment performed during a postoperative visit.

Patient Beware

Many highly marketed techniques, including the popular "alternative facelifts" called by a variety of catchy names, provide limited or minimal repositioning of the deeper tissues including facial fat and superficial facial musculature. They may rely on sutures to pull or drag the deeper tissues into a more youthful position. However, the deeper attachments are fully released, which can result in uneven tension and an "operated on" look in which the patient may look younger, but different. In addition, the neck is corrected in part by a submental incision which pulls the neck's superficial muscles centrally, while the cheek tissues are pulled laterally. These opposing vectors can also create unnatural tension at the jaw line, and irregularities in the neck. Finally, techniques that rely on sutures to drag tissues to the desired position rather than release and reposition gives results that may not be as long lasting.

It is a common misconception that a facelift restores a more youthful appearance to the entire face. While it is true that a facelift can take years off of your appearance, it is important to understand that a facelift addresses only the lower half of the face and the neck. It does not address concerns such as a sagging or wrinkled forehead or drooping brows. These can be corrected through a brow lift performed separately or at the same time as your facelift. Some patients will choose to have eyelid surgery to correct puffiness, wrinkling, or sagging of the eyelids and to compliment their facelift results.

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