A facelift, also known as rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure designed to tighten the sagging skin, remove excess fat and tighten underlying muscles in the lower two-thirds of the face and neck. While a facelift cannot stop your face from aging, it can improve your appearance by “setting the clock back.” Surgeons at the Plastic Surgery Group perform the traditional facelift surgery as it achieves more dramatic and longer-lasting results compared to alternative facelift methods.
IS A FACELIFT
RIGHT FOR ME?
At the Plastic Surgery Group, facelifts are routinely performed on both men and women who are in overall good health and who are experiencing signs of aging including: lack of tone and firmness in the face, sagging skin, and an increase in wrinkles. During your consultation, your surgeon will go over realistic outcomes that you can have for your procedure and smoking restrictions.
YOUR FACELIFT SURGERY
Our plastic surgeons will see you in an initial consultation. The consultation offers you an opportunity to meet with the surgeon of your choice to ask questions. Your surgeon will also review your health history and facelift goals to determine if a facelift, or a combination of facial rejuvenation procedures, is right for you. Computerized imaging is available for all of our facial cosmetic procedures.
Day of Surgery
Your facelift will be performed in our fully accredited in-office surgical suite or in a same day surgical facility as an outpatient procedure. Normally, IV sedation with local anesthesia will be used for your procedure. A facelift procedure typically takes approximately 3 hours.
You can expect to be in recovery for 45 minutes to 1 hour before being dischargedFor the first week following your facelift, it is recommended that you rest and keep your head elevated to minimize swelling. Beginning 3-5 days after your facelift, stitches will begin to be removed and you can wash your hair. You can resume light activity after one week and patients can expect to return to work 2-3 weeks after their facelift procedure.
You may be a candidate for a facelift if you are in overall good health and have enough excess skin or sagging in the face and neck to make the operation beneficial. The average facelift patients are in their 40’s to 60’s, but a facelift can be successfully done on people in their 70’s or 80’s, as well.
A facelift cannot stop your face from aging, but it can improve your appearance by “setting the clock back.” Factors such as bone structure, heredity, skin texture, sun exposure, smoking history and others all play a role in the extent of improvement one obtains, as well as influencing how long it will last.
A facelift tightens the skin, removes excess fat and tightens underlying muscles in the lower two-thirds of the face and neck, providing a more youthful, fresher appearance. The end result of a facelift will look natural; it is not designed to pull the skin so tight that it would alter the corners of your mouth.
The facelift does not alter the appearance of the upper third of the face, in particular the excess skin and lines around the eyes, nor does it help sagging of the brow. If you are concerned about the appearance of your eyes or brow, a brow lift or eyelid surgery may be right for you. Your surgeon will review your aesthetic concerns with you and recommend the facial rejuvenation procedure, or combination of procedures, right for you.
Incisions for a facelift usually begin above the hairline at the temple and extend in a natural line just inside the cartilage at the front of the ear and continue behind the earlobe to the lower scalp inside the hairline. These are generally hidden behind the hairline or in a natural crease. Once the scars have softened and matured over a period of several months, they are generally not very noticeable. If work is being done in the neck area, a small incision made under the chin may also be used.
When the incisions are placed back behind the hairline, a small amount of hair is shaved. At the end of the procedure, when the skin is pulled back and tightened, the area that has been shaved is removed so there is no missing hair.
A facelift usually takes several hours, depending on the extent of the work that is done. The average length of a facelift is between 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours. Frequently, procedures such as blepharoplasty and forehead lift are combined with a facelift, making the procedure several hours longer.
After your facelift procedure, some numbness of the skin in the cheek area and neck is quite normal. Feeling will usually return in 1-2 months.
For the first few days after a facelift, your activities should be significantly restricted and you should rest with your head elevated. As a general rule, you should plan on taking it easy for the first week after surgery. In several days your dressing will be removed and you may be allowed to wash your hair gently but have to be especially careful around your incisions. Most surgeons recommend avoiding any type of strenuous activity for the first 2-3 weeks after surgery. You should limit your exposure to the sun for several months and allow plenty of time for rest, so your body can heal the various incisions.
Immediately after surgery your face will be swollen and bruised. Your features may be distorted from the swelling and your facial movements may be slightly stiff as well. Some of the swelling and bruising may persist for 2-3 weeks. Most patients are back at work 10-14 days after surgery; however, you still may have some residual bruising and swelling that may need to be camouflaged with makeup.
FEES AND FINANCING INFORMATION
At your initial consultation, you will have the opportunity to meet with one of our surgery coordinators to discuss fees and payment options. Click here to learn more about financing options available at the Plastic Surgery Group.