Dr. Zachary Gerut has achieved national and international recognition for his innovative Rapid Recovery Facelift, and he remains THE authority on this procedure. As a result, Dr. Gerut has vast experience performing face lifts, which gives him an invaluable level of expertise and proficiency. Dr. Gerut’s technique is not a catchy named, “fast food” procedure. It is a real and credible procedure that accomplishes a proper rejuvenation and lasts many years, and patients recover in a fraction of the usual time. Thus, it is a full facial rejuvenation with a mini-recovery. Dr. Gerut’s procedure was featured on every major television network and many cable channels over several years. Although the media emphasized that patients could be wide awake and comfortable while Dr. Gerut performed surgery, patients can be and of course, most patients choose to be, asleep for the surgery. The technique is equally effective with all types of anesthesia.
As with all facial procedures, Dr. Gerut believes that the results of a face lift should look as natural as possible. The best way to judge your surgery is, when you return to your normal life, your casual acquaintances and others who don’t study your face in detail tell you that you look “well-rested” or “much better.” If anyone can tell you had “work done”, or worse, if you do not look like yourself after a face lift, it is not a good result. Dr. Gerut says “No one has yet come into my office seeking to enter the Witness Protection Program!” With rare exceptions, people want to look like themselves after surgery and his techniques are carefully geared toward this end.
When you visit with Dr. Gerut at his New York plastic surgery practice to discuss your facelift, you may be surprised how much time is dedicated to your consultation. Attention to detail is of the utmost importance in trying to please every patient. Your photographs will be studied and reviewed with you before your surgery. A great deal of consideration will be given to your individual desires. No two faces are the same and, therefore, every surgery should be uniquely different from all others.
A full facelift at Dr. Gerut’s NYC practice generally means that face and the neck are treated. The incisions are on both sides of the face beginning at or above the top of the ears, either in the hair or in front of the hairline. The incision then goes in front of the upper ear, then behind the little piece of cartilage known as the tragus, then around the earlobe and then behind the ear in the crease between the ear and head. In some cases it stops there and in others it then crosses the skin behind the ear and goes toward the hair. There is usually a small incision under the chin to address the hanging neck or double chin problem. Through the small incision under the chin Dr. Gerut lifts the skin and fat from its attachments to the muscle called the platysma. The platysma muscle, which spans the entire neck from chin to clavicles, tends to contract with age. As it shrinks, it forms the shorted distance between the chin and clavicles, which is a straight line, causing the “turkey-neck” stripes in the center of the neck. Muscle shrinkage on the sides pulls fat down from the lower face into the jowl area. These problems are commonly seen with aging changes. Treating these muscle bands and jowls properly gives the neck and jawline a more youthful look. Through the incisions above, around and behind the ear, the loose skin and scalp are lifted to expose the deeper layers surrounding the face muscles. This deeper layer is called the “SMAS” by surgeons. These letters stand for Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic System. This layer is often but not always tightened. When the deeper layers are lifted and pulled back, the cheekbones are often highlighted and the contour of the facial soft tissues are improved. Finally the skin is repositioned upward and backward and the excess trimmed. Whichever parts of your face or which layers are treated, Dr. Gerut will choose the procedure(s) to suit your particular needs.
In conjunction with your face or neck lift Dr. Gerut may recommend some extra procedures such as fat injection, lip plumping or a skin peel. To learn more about these procedures, please go to that section on our web site.
The anesthesia for your procedure will be according to your preference. The options range all the way from fully asleep to fully awake. Please click here to see Dr. Gerut on NBC News on this subject. Once the exact procedure is chosen, the preparation for and aftercare of your surgery will be quite meticulous and detailed.
When will I learn about the cost of surgery?
It is understandable that you would like to have information about the cost of surgery as soon as possible. Dr. Gerut must first complete a thorough evaluation before your individualized surgical plan can be developed. Following this, the fees required for your surgery will be discussed with you.
Your Surgical Experience
The goal of Dr. Gerut and his entire staff is to make your surgical experience as safe and comfortable for you as possible. Face lifts can be done either in the hospital or in Dr. Gerut’s accredited ambulatory facility. Dr. Gerut’s facility is accredited by the American Association for the Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgical Facilities; a national organization that inspects facilities across the country on a regular basis and holds them to the highest of safety standards. Regardless of your choice, you will be able to go home the same day as the surgery. All your options will be discussed at length during your consultation. Wherever your surgery is done, careful attention to every detail will provide a safe and comfortable experience.
How should I prepare for surgery?
Please help us make your surgical experience as perfect as possible. Good preparation by you is crucial to achieving a good result. If you are a smoker, you must stop smoking well in advance of surgery. Two weeks before surgery you must stop taking Aspirin and certain other anti-inflammatory drugs as they can cause increased bleeding. You will need blood tests and a medical Dr.’s examination prior to surgery. A few days before your surgery, you must prepare your skin by washing with special antiseptic soap. Dr. Gerut will give you PAGES of instructions and information regarding what to do and not to do before and after surgery. Please read the instructions more than once and please review them with whichever friend(s) or relative(s) that will assist you after surgery. We will have a “pre-op” visit with you to review and explain everything. You will have many opportunities to ask questions and you should feel free to call the office whenever you wish.
Day of Surgery
On the day of your surgery, we will try to keep you as comfortable and stress-free as possible. In our facility, we have a bit more control of your experience. After you arrive and are “admitted” for surgery (all the paperwork is done by our staff), you will meet with Dr. Gerut and the person that will administer anesthesia. When you come into the operating room, an intravenous will be placed – a tiny needle and it will be the only thing that hurts. All medications are administered through that needle for your comfort during the surgical procedure. For your safety during the operation, various monitors will be placed to check your heart, blood pressure, pulse and amount of oxygen circulating in your blood. You will drift off to a pleasant sleep while talking to us about your going on a wonderful vacation.
When surgery is completed, you will wake up asking if we started the surgery as you will think only a few seconds have passed. You will be taken into a recovery area where you will continue to be closely monitored until you feel ready to leave. You probably will go home after an hour or two.
How will I look and feel initially?
It is important to realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly from one person to the next. Recovery after a face lift is rather quick for most patients in terms of bruising and swelling that casual acquaintances or strangers notice. Friends will be more critical and usually you, the patient are the MOST critical about how long it takes to look good. While others are not observant about tiny bruises, bumps or swellings, you will notice most or all of them. Therefore while strangers might think you look good in a few days or a week, it may take months before you are happy. Generally, face lifts are painless; patients may feel throbbing or soreness after surgery but rarely is there pain. Most patients feel good within a day or two but many stay home for a week because of bruising and/or swelling. Some surgeons will use tight bandages and/or drains but Dr. Gerut’s techniques usually do not require either. Careful attention to details during the surgery as well as the anesthesia, recovery room care and postoperative care can minimize postoperative bruising and significant swelling. There are many over the counter products that supposedly prevent bruising and swelling. If you wish to take arnica or bromelaine or other such items, Dr. Gerut will allow it but there is no proof at all that these things provide any benefit at all.
Your face will feel tight and numb for quite some time after surgery. Most people find this annoying at worst but others are troubled by it. There are medications that minimize these sensations and if necessary, these treatments will be discussed with you.
When can I resume my normal activities?
Straining, bending and lifting should be avoided during early postoperative period. In many instances, you may be able to return to work within a week or ten days after surgery. Most normal activities can usually be resumed within a week. Exercise or heavy lifting at work must wait at least two weeks. It will be a year before you can expose your incisions to lots of direct sunlight and you must be conscientious about using a sun block to protect your scars.
Occasionally, a touch-up procedure may be desired to further improve the results. If this is the case, the additional procedure is less extensive than the original operation.
How long will the results last?
The results of face lifts are permanent, but a face lift does not stop the clock, it turns the clock back and then the clock moves forward. If one of two twin sisters has a face lift, she will always look younger than her sister that did not have surgery. However both will age with time.
Maintaining a Relationship with Dr. Gerut
You will return to Dr. Gerut’s office for follow up care at prescribed intervals, at which time your progress will be evaluated. Once the immediate post-operative follow up is complete, Dr. Gerut will ask you to come back for periodic check-ups to observe and discuss the long-term results of surgery.
Please remember that your relationship with Dr. Gerut does not end when you leave the operating room. If you have questions or concerns during your recovery, or need additional information at a later time, you should contact us.