LA Lift®

The LA Lift® is an innovative, minimally invasive technique developed by Dr. Wyatt To of The Cosmetic & Skin Surgery Center. This technique provides many of the same benefits as a traditional facelift without the associated down time or recovery period.

The “LA” stands for “Local Anesthesia” – patients are not “put to sleep” for the procedure. Rather, patients stay relaxed and awake, much like at the dentist’s office. Using local anesthesia helps avoid the down time and recovery period associated with general or sedation anesthesia.

Meet Dr. Wyatt C. To

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What are the goals of the LA Lift®?

Dr. To strives to provide his patients with a more youthful and refreshed, yet natural appearance without changing the underlying characteristics of the face. After surgery the patient should look like a younger, more rested version of herself or himself rather than looking like someone else. Most of our patients wish to avoid an “operated”, pulled or windswept appearance.

What kind of recovery time will I need?

Because the LA Lift® is completed in just a few short hours, and is not performed under general anesthesia, you’ll feel better very quickly. Most people return to daily activities within 24-48 hours, looking and feeling younger and more vibrant. Patients typically “look” worse than they feel immediately after surgery. A certain amount of bruising and swelling is to be expected.

How painful is the procedure?

Many patients experience very little pain after surgery. Medication for pain is prescribed, however some patients require nothing more than Tylenol for the majority of the post-operative period.

Where are the incisions placed for the LA Lift®?

Almost all of the incision is hidden in the hair or behind the ear. The incision is started in the temple, in the sideburn hair, extending to just above and in front of the ear, continuing around the earlobe and behind the ear. A short incision may be made in a natural crease underneath the chin if access is required to this part of the neck. The skin is elevated for a short distance and liposuction is performed in the neck and chin. The deeper tissues of the face are supported and re-suspended, after which the incisions are carefully repaired.

Will I continue to age after an LA Lift®?

No treatment or surgery can totally stop the effects of aging. A lifting procedure can restore a youthful appearance, however continued stretching and settling of the skin and soft tissues of the skin will occur. Thus after surgery, patients will continue to age, but retain the improvement gained from their procedure. Facelift surgery will not cause a patient to age more quickly.

What sort of pre-operative evaluation is necessary?

Routine medical clearance from the patient’s primary care doctor and standard laboratory tests are required. It is also necessary for patients to avoid certain medications, aspirin, herbal remedies and alcohol for 10 days prior to surgery. Patients are also instructed to take certain vitamin and herbal supplements to decrease bruising and assist in the healing process.

What is the typical post-operative course for the LA Lift®?

After surgery a fluffy head dressing is also placed to decrease swelling. Patients typically return home that afternoon. The fluffy head dressing is replaced with a smaller dressing the following day. Sutures are removed as early as three days after surgery and all sutures are removed within a week.

What are the limitations of the LA Lift®?

The LA Lift® will not rejuvenate the eyes or brows, nor will it significantly improve the quality of the skin itself. Thus complimentary procedures such as a browlift, blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), laser skin treatments or Ultherapy® may be necessary to achieve the maximum improvement.

What are the alternatives to the LA Lift®?

Patients with only minimal signs of facial aging may be candidates for Ultherapy®, a non-surgical technique that helps tighten the skin.

  • Chemical peels, laser or ultrasound treatments may be used to reinforce or substitute for surgical lifting, however the degree of lifting achievable with these methods is significantly less.
  • BOTOX® Cosmetic may be used to reduce the action of certain muscles to reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles and frown lines, however this is a temporary treatment that will have to be repeated every several months, and does not elevate the facial tissues.
  • Injectable fillers, such as Restylane® may be applied to “fill in” facial wrinkles, but these treatments are temporary and are unable elevate the facial tissues.