Dr. Kevin Smith is one of Houston’s most respected and trusted board certified facial plastic surgeons, having performed more than 3,500 facelifts. Each facelift is uniquely customized to the individual patients based on their ethnicity, skin type and bone structure.
For two decades, Dr. Smith’s reputation and expertise has placed him in the upper echelon of facial plastic surgeons. When choosing a plastic surgeon for your face, it is imperative that you choose an expert with years of experience, training and board certification to provide the foundation of trust and security you deserve.
His results give a very natural and refreshed look. His careful attention to detail in medical school provided the foundation for his surgical precision. Dr. Smith’s level of expertise and meticulous hand far exceeded his experience, which caught the attention of may of his peers and superiors.
Although the policy was that medical students could not repair any facial lacerations, Dr. Smith was made an exception. His Chief Resident gave him the responsibility of suturing all facial injuries while he was on duty.
The facelift is medically known as the rhytidectomy, a Greek combination of two words meaning “wrinkle excision.” The facelift was created to diminish the effects of aging and gravity by removing excess skin and fatty tissue through liposuction from around the neck and face. According to Dr. Smith, the art of the facelift is understanding skin laxity, skin types, texture of the skin, the supporting structures underneath the skin, the muscles and bone structure, jawline, and neck. He is careful not to over-tighten the skin, or pull the face to where it appears unnatural. Each patient requires a unique approach, and Dr. Smith is an expert in identifying exactly what a patient needs. He uses innovative equipment and technology, along with his advanced level of expertise to gently tighten the skin for a more youthful and refreshed aesthetic result. There are three types of facelifts performed at the Smith Center. Each commonly depends upon the age of the individual and the effects aging has taken on the face. The following are the three types and what is usually conducted during each:
Mini-Facelift – This is much like a traditional facelift but modified for younger patients who do not require a full traditional facelift. It commonly addresses one particular problem area, such as the jowls, cheeks, or upper neck. These minor signs of aging are easily addressed. Oral sedation and local anesthesia is used during the mini-facelift and typically takes one hour to perform. For patients who are in good health and take care of their skin, this facelift could last six to eight years. For longer lasting results, it is advised to avoid excessive exposure to sun, tobacco, and alcohol intake.
Mid-Facelift – This procedure addresses the center third of the face, around the cheeks, and is most beneficial for those who have hollow or saggy cheeks rather than excessive saggy skin around the face or heavy bags under the eyes. The focus is to tighten the skin enough to help remove the signs of aging and stress to provide a more youthful appearance.
Traditional Facelift – A traditional, or full, facelift is usually chosen because of excessive sagging of the skin on the face and around the neck. This procedure removes excess skin and fatty tissue. Dr. Smith stretches the skin in various places to remove wrinkles around the mouth and eyes, as well as on the cheeks and forehead. The goal behind this more extensive procedure is to diminish the looks of aging by 15 to 20 years.
A facelift requires incisions along the face and neck and the removal of excess skin. Due to the pulling of skin, there will be bruising and swelling. A facewrap is provided to each facelift patient to help with these conditions and is removed four to five days post-surgery.
The recovery time varies for facelifts though it usually lasts about one week. Sutures are removed by the first week. Since there is bruising and swelling after the procedure, the time for these to subside is a case-by-case basis. On average, however, the bruising goes away after three weeks and the swelling takes two to four weeks, which is why Dr. Smith recommends using cold compresses and keeping the head elevated. Though the entire swelling won’t be gone by this time, by two months post-surgery it should be 90 percent alleviated.
Patients can usually return to normal activity within seven to 10 days. The best results from the surgery are usually noticeable by week eight.