Classic Facelift

If you’re considering a facelift...


If you’re considering a facelift...


Aging of the face is inevitable. As the years go by, the skin begins to loosen on the face and neck. Crow´s feet appear at the corners of the eyes. Fine forehead lines become creases and then, gradually, deeper folds. The jawline softens into jowls, and beneath the chin, another chin or vertical folds appear at the front of the neck.


If you’re considering facial lift, this information will help provide a basic understanding of what a facelift can and cannot achieve. Because facial aging affects each individual patient differently no amount of written information can replace a personal consultation with Dr. Gomez Mendoza and his team.


The following information is strictly the opinion of Dr. Gomez-Mendoza and pertains to his personal technique of facial lift and other facial lift procedures as performed by him.


There is no ideal in a facelift. Rather, the goal is to improve the overall facial appearance. Skin type, ethnic background, degree of skin elasticity, individual healing and basic bone structure are factors affecting the final results. This procedure is sometimes performed on patients in their thirties, and successful surgery has been performed on patients in their eighties. No aesthetic procedure can stop the aging process. What facelifts can do is to "turn back the clock" by improving the facial descent and deflation that occurs over time. Facelifts can be done alone or, more commonly, in combination with other facial aesthetic procedures.


Dr. Gomez Mendoza frequently performs facial lift of the eyelids, browlift and limited laser resurfacing or peeling in combination with facelift procedures.


The main goal of a facelifts is to help your face look its best and give you a look of health and more youthful appearance. The overall effect will be more successful if additional changes are made in the chin and neck areas through other facial surgery. Many patients decide to have facial liposculpture to remove excess fatty deposits in conjunction with a facelift. If several flaws need correction, more than one procedure may be necessary for the best overall result.


The risks in this kind of surgery are related to the following medical situations: high blood pressure, a tendency to scar, smoking and any deficiency in blood clotting.



What is a facelift?


The procedure as performed by Dr. Gomez-Mendoza is a multi-layer, multi-vector repositioning of the "SMAS" layer and some other internal soft tissue structures that may require adjustments separately from the overlying skin.


Depending on the extent of the surgery, the process can take from two to five hours. This procedure is designed to lift the cheek, reduce the jowl, shorten the lower eyelid and soften the nasolabial fold. By restoring a more sinuous facial curve the tired, look of age is reduced as the more square aged face is shaped toward the more triangular shaped face of youth.



Where are the incisions for a facelift?


Keep in mind that many patients requesting a facelift are very good candidates for a minimal-incision face lift.  The surgery begins with an incision in the area of the temple hair, just above and in front of the ear, and then continues around the lobe, circling the ear before returning to the point of origin in the scalp. The choice of placing the scar in the crease just in front of the ear or within the ear itself is determined by individual patient anatomy. An alternative incision is to place the incision along the temporal hairline, rather than within the temporal hair; in order to minimize the incision at the earlobe area and avoid distortion of the sideburn.


The skin is raised outward before the surgeon repositions and tightens the underlying muscles and connective tissue. Some fat may be removed, as well as excess skin. For men, the incision is aligned to accommodate the natural beard lines. In all cases, the incision is placed where it will fall in a natural crease of the skin for camouflage.


After trimming the excess skin, the surgeon closes the incisions (we only use absorbable sutures placed in a intradermal running fashion so you will not see them and they do not need to be removed). This technique obviates the need for external skin sutures and circumvents the possibility of suture marks.

Following the surgery, a light dressing to protect the entire area where the incisions have been made will be applied.


Even thought most patients experience very little pain after surgery, we will still prescribe medication. Some degree of swelling and bruising is unavoidable, and we may instruct you to use cold compresses to keep swelling to a minimum. If a dressing has been applied, it will be removed within one to two days. You must keep your head elevated when lying down and avoid as much activity as possible; please report any undue discomfort.


In some cases, a drainage tube may have been inserted during surgery; this also will be removed on the first or second day after surgery. 



Who are the best candidates for facelifts?


The best candidates for this kind of facial and neck lift are patients over 50 years old that need important correction of loose and sagging skin and soft tissue in the full face and neck.


Dr. Gomez-Mendoza has performed minimal-incision face lift in patients substantially older than 60 years in certain circumstances (when the patients do not need a important correction of loose and sagging skin and soft tissue in the neck). With his personal technique of short-scar lift named “G-Z” usually performed in younger patients.



What type of anesthesia is used?


Dr. Gomez-Mendoza performs most Facelift procedures, including minimal-incision face lift  under sedation some patients refer to this as "twilight" type anesthesia (gentle, short-acting medication is administered by a board certified anesthesiologist to insure comfort and security for our patients) and local anesthesia. Patients are under monitored anesthesia care since they arrive to the operating room till they leave the recovery area; ensuring that you receive the safest care possible. The expert care you deserve.


Our patients recover more quickly and with less discomfort than when general anesthesia is used.


It's important for you to keep in mind that healing — of any form — is a gradual process during the initial phases of recovery, you'll experience minor pain and discomfort along with swelling and bruising around the operative areas in some cases. This is normal. You'll be given medications to handle the pain, and in time, the swelling and bruising will disappear. It's also not unusual to feel depressed in the days following surgery. Again, keep in mind that this is normal and will subside as you begin to look and feel better.


Full recovery usually takes two to three weeks, though some patients go back to work in ten days. Scars are usually not noticeable after enough time has passed for them to mature. In any case, they are easily disguised in a natural skin crease, by the hair or by makeup until total healing has occurred. Bear in mind that the aging process continues after surgery and that some relaxation of tissue will occur later.



Where will your facelift be performed?


Although Dr. Gomez-Mendoza has been granted staff privileges at most of the local hospitals and outpatient surgery centers, he performs most face lift procedures at the modern Puerta de Hierro Medical Center. Whether you choose to have your procedure done in the peaceful seclusion of our state-of-the-art Medical Center or an area hospital; rest assured that you'll receive the finest care available. In Puerto Vallarta you can choose the hospital of your preference.



How do I prepare for my facelift?


Face lift must be individualized for each patient; Dr. Gomez-Mendoza will evaluate your face, including your skin, and with your assistance, make recommendations as to the specific procedures that will most likely help you achieve your aesthetic goals. A detailed history of medical conditions that could affect your surgery will be obtained including use of medications, vitamins, etc.


You will be given detailed written instructions on how to prepare for your surgery including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and avoidance of certain vitamins and medications. If you smoke it’s especially important to stop (and also to avoid second-hand smoke) for at least two weeks prior to surgery because of the deleterious effect of smoking upon the healing process. Carefully following these instructions will help your surgery go more smoothly. In addition, we'll also be available to answer any questions you might have or any concerns that arise. Please don't hesitate to call us.



Are there any risks?


When a Facelift is performed by a qualified plastic surgeon certified by the Board of Plastic Surgery, complications are infrequent and usually minor.


While Dr. Gomez Mendoza and his team make every effort to minimize risk, individuals vary greatly in their anatomy, their healing ability as well as in their reactions to surgery and anesthesia. Complications that may occur include haematoma (a collection of blood beneath the skin), infection, poor healing, reactions to medications. You can reduce your risks by closely following the advice of your surgeon concerning your pre- and post-operative care.


To contact plastic surgeon Dr. Carlos Gomez Mendoza about any cosmetic surgery procedures, please fill out our contact form.