What is a Facelift?
Over time, the effects of gravity, exposure to the sun, and stress begin to show on our faces. Deep folds near the nose and lip as well as jowls and saggy neck skin demonstrate aging.
To turn back the signs of aging, an individual may choose to have a facelift procedure (Rhytidectomy). This procedure lifts the cheek and neck skin in an up and backward direction thereby decreasing the hanging neck skin and jowls. In some cases, other procedures are combined along with a facelift in order to attain optimal results, such as a forehead lift, eyelid surgery, or nose surgery.
A good candidate for a facelift possesses the following qualities:
- Skin on the face and neck that has begun to sag
- Good skin elasticity
- A bone structure that is still strong and well-defined
- Good physical health
To determine if this is a good procedure for you, a plastic surgeon of the Women’s Institute of Cosmetic & Laser Surgery will evaluate your health during a consultation.
Some of the risks and uncertainties involved with a facelift:
- Hematoma (collection of blood under the skin)
- Injury to the nerves that control facial muscles (often temporary)
- Reaction to anesthesia
- Poor healing of the skin caused by smoking
What to expect during your initial consultation:
It is important that you discuss all of your questions and concerns during an initial consultation with our plastic surgeon. She can evaluate the condition of your face (and underlying bone), as well as discuss your expectations and goals for surgery. In addition, a surgeon will discuss your medical history and any current medical conditions you are facing. This is also the time when you will need to give important information, such as if you smoke, take any drugs, or medications; as these will affect your surgery and healing process.
How is a facelift performed?
The surgery will be performed in an office-based facility, an outpatient surgery center, or a hospital. Either local anesthesia or general anesthesia will be given to the patient.
The procedure will take several hours to be performed. In most cases, the plastic surgeon will make an incision along the hairline at the temples, extending from the natural line in front of the ear and continue along the earlobe. She will then separate the skin from the fat. The fat will be trimmed or suctioned out from around the neck and chin (i.e. liposuction). The muscles are then tightened and the skin is pulled back; excess skin is trimmed. The surgeon then stitches up the incision.
There will be some discomfort after surgery and numbness of the skin is normal but it is only temporary, lasting only a few weeks. You will be able to be up and around after two days, and be able to resume to regular activity after about two weeks.