A facelift tightens and lifts sagging facial skin and muscles to rejuvenate your face, turning back the clock by about a decade. Unfortunately, age-related damage to your face and neck is not confined to sagging skin. It also shows up as age spots, rough skin texture, hyperpigmentation, and wrinkles. For these signs of aging, you’ll need laser skin resurfacing to achieve the rejuvenation you want.
Combining a facelift with CO2 laser skin resurfacing is a popular option for many people facing the full gamut of facial aging. But which procedure should you start with? Is it better to have CO2 laser first or a facelift first? Does a CO2 laser help with saggy skin, too? Keep reading for answers to these and other facial rejuvenation questions.
What Does a Facelift Procedure Involve?
At Weiler Plastic Surgery, Dr. Jonathan Weiler performs his innovative Timeless Facelift technique using local anesthetic and oral sedation. Dr. Weiler will make three small incisions: one under the chin and two in well-hidden areas around the ear. They will then tighten the muscles and remove excess fat in the face and neck. Once the facial sculpting is complete, they will drape your facial skin over your newly contoured face and close the incisions.
This procedure can take a few hours, depending on the surgical technique used. You may experience some swelling, bruising, and numbness, which can be managed with ice packs and pain medication.
Areas That Can Be Improved With a Facelift
A facelift can improve the following facial concerns.
- Facial lines
- Weakened facial muscles
- Deep nasolabial folds
- Sagging cheeks
- Loose neck skin
- Excess fat under the chin
What Facial Concerns Can’t Be Improved with a Facelift?
Certain skin concerns cannot be remedied by a facelift.
- Acne scars
- Other facial scars
- Sun damage
Laser Resurfacing for Age-Related Skin Concerns
As we already mentioned, you can use laser skin treatments along with a facelift to address other signs of aging affecting the skin. Men and women seeking a facelift do so to achieve a more youthful appearance, and laser skin resurfacing addresses many of the concerns that a facelift cannot.
Laser skin treatments are incredibly diverse, though, and you have many options. Some of the different light-based treatments you might consider include:
CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing
This treatment uses a carbon dioxide laser to improve issues such as scarring, fine lines, age spots, and wrinkles. It is an ablative laser that removes old, damaged skin cells and promotes collagen production to improve skin elasticity and firmness.
This laser treatment may not work on all skin tones as it has the potential to create hyperpigmentation in darker skin. Patients with darker skin will have more success with a procedure such as microneedling.
IPL uses light energy to target specific skin concerns such as discoloration, rosacea, and hyperpigmentation. This is a gentler treatment as it only heats the area below the skin to break up the pigment and collapse visible blood vessels.
Is It Better To Have CO2 Laser First or a Facelift First?
There’s no need to stagger your treatments at different times. At our practice, we commonly perform our Timeless Face procedure and CO2 laser skin resurfacing at the same time so you can enjoy the benefits of both as soon as possible. You will have only one recovery period and can bypass the hassle of scheduling your laser treatment once you’ve healed from your facelift. Be mindful that you may need more than 1 laser skin resurfacing session to achieve your desired results.
How Do You Prepare for a Facelift and CO2 Laser Treatment?
Preparing for a facelift and CO2 laser treatment is fairly straightforward:
- Protect your skin for at least a few weeks before your facelift and laser procedure with a quality moisturizer and broad-spectrum sun protection.
- Do not use harsh or abrasive skin products on your skin for at least a week before your procedure. This includes exfoliating, retinol, astringent, or vitamin C products.
- If you smoke, stop smoking before your procedure; it can impair healing after your facelift and increase your risk for blood clots.
- Avoid aspirin or herbal supplements before your procedure. Aspirin can increase bleeding and bruising after your procedure, while herbal supplements can have unexpected side effects that impact your recovery.
We’ll provide you with any additional pre- and post-op care instructions before your procedure.
How Long Is the Recovery After a Facelift and CO2 Laser Treatment?
Your skin may need up to 6 weeks to fully heal from the laser treatment. During this recovery period, you may notice some swelling, redness, and itching. Continue using a gentle moisturizer after the procedure and resume sun protection once your skin has healed.
Your Timeless Face procedure recovery should take around 2 to 3 weeks. Keep your head elevated during the first few days and wear a compression garment continuously for 5 days and then at night for 3 weeks.
At our practice, we feel strongly that combining a facelift and CO2 laser skin resurfacing is a great way to achieve a radiant and youthful appearance. Our patients love their facelift results as seen in these before and after pictures. If you are ready to try a facelift and CO2 laser skin treatment for total facial rejuvenation, request a consultation or call us at (225) 399-0001 to schedule an appointment.