The effects of time, gravity, and sun exposure can significantly age your appearance. If you are frustrated that the way you look no longer reflects the way you feel, you may be a good candidate for a facelift.

A facelift procedure targets aesthetic concerns in the mid-to-lower face by eliminating excess skin, restoring youthful fullness to features, and re-supporting the underlying structure of the face. Patients often have the surgery in combination with brow lift, eyelid surgery, and other treatments to get more comprehensive rejuvenation.

Dr. Michael Zenn is one of the most experienced board-certified plastic surgeons not only in the Raleigh and Durham area, but the country. As the former Vice Chief of Duke University’s Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery division and Director of the Duke’s Plastic Surgery Residency Training Program, he has trained hundreds of aspiring plastic surgeons, many of whom currently practice in the Raleigh and Durham area. His background is somewhat unique for a plastic surgeon, as it includes a fellowship in head and neck procedures at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in NYC, following plastic surgery training at the Mass General Hospital in Boston. Patients benefit from his extensive knowledge of and experience with intricate facial anatomy and advanced surgical techniques.

Dr. Zenn’s Approach to Facelift

Patients choose Dr. Zenn for their care based in part on his expertise and his artistic eye. His guiding principle with a facelift is to provide a subtle, natural-looking result designed around the patient’s individual aesthetic goals while maintaining the highest level of patient safety.  Facelift represents the most involved and delicate procedure in plastic surgery.  The face has critical structures like muscles, nerves, and blood vessels and intimate knowledge of the anatomy and experience operating on the face are paramount. Not all plastic surgeons have this level of expertise.

To achieve this result:
  • Dr. Zenn lifts and repositions the underlying facial support structures that have sagged over time.
  • He avoids an unnatural-looking “windblown” effect by creating a proper foundation over which the skin can be gently re-draped—not tightly overstretched.
  • He harvests fat from unwanted areas of the patient’s body and uses it to restore youthful fullness to facial features.

This combination of facelift techniques creates a smoother, youthful appearance and restores more youthful contours to the face as they existed at an earlier age. Elevating the supporting structures of the lower face also aid in giving patients a more defined neck and jawline. Keep in mind the procedure “facelift” is not uniform and is performed significantly differently by different surgeons. This is a great example where less is not more.

“Dr. Zenn’s kindness and skill has changed my life. It is amazing to me that someone who is so talented and skilled and confident can also be as approachable, kind, genuine and nice as Dr. Zenn is.”
-Happy Patient

Your Facelift Consultation

When you meet with Dr. Zenn for your initial consultation, he will learn about your aesthetic concerns and discuss different treatment options, which may include a facelift. As part of your visit:

  • Dr. Zenn will conduct a thorough examination of your face. He will assess your skin and the supporting tissue to determine whether a facelift is the right solution for you.
  • If you are a good candidate for the procedure, Dr. Zenn will show you before and after photos of similar patients.
  • Contrary to popular belief, a facelift is not a full-face procedure. Instead, it specifically addresses sagging, lack of fullness, and excess skin in the mid-to-lower face. Depending on your desired improvements and specific areas of concern, Dr. Zenn may suggest a brow lift, eyelid lift, or other procedures along with or instead of a facelift.

Dr. Zenn will create a personally tailored treatment plan based on his aesthetic evaluation, your desires, and the amount of downtime you have available for recovery. When you are ready to move forward, you will schedule your pre-operative appointment and surgery.

Your Experience with Facelift

For your safety and comfort, your facelift will take place in an accredited medical facility in the Raleigh and Durham area. Dr. Zenn will review your treatment plan with you on the day of your surgery and answer any questions you might have. In a typical procedure:

  • For maximum safety and prevention of complications, Dr. Zenn only performs facelifts with a general anesthesia at accredited facilities, not in an office OR.
  • Dr. Zenn will use liposuction to harvest body fat, which will serve as natural filler for facial features that have lost volume. There is often an aesthetic benefit at the site of harvest.
  • He will lift and reposition the underlying support structure of the mid-to-lower face and remove and excess skin that exists after. This approach promotes a smooth appearance without tension or a “windblown” look and does not rely on simply pulling the skin, which does not last.
  • Dr. Zenn will carefully place incisions in the natural folds of the ears and at the hairline. This will help conceal and minimize scars.

Facelift is an outpatient procedure and most patients will be able to leave their surgical facility after an hour. For the first week after your procedure, you can expect to have some soreness, swelling, and bruising. Discomfort is minimal. You will want to rest at home, sleep on your back, and avoid wearing makeup while you heal. After a week, you should receive clearance from Dr. Zenn to ease gently back into your normal routine. Patients can return to work two weeks after surgery. Full activity, including use of the gym, is not recommended for the first 4 weeks after facelift.

A facelift can give you back a smooth, youthful appearance by subtly revising signs of aging. Patients in the Raleigh and Durham area can contact Zenn Plastic Surgery online or by phone at (919) 480-3885 to schedule an initial consultation.

Request Consultation