Facelift surgery, technically known as a “rhytidectomy,” is a surgical procedure designed to provide a more youthful facial appearance. Over time, heredity, gravity, stress, and environmental conditions take a toll on our skin and cause us to look noticeably older. A facelift improves signs of aging in the face and neck, including fine lines, wrinkles, sagging skin, jowls, marionette lines, nasolabial folds, and hollows beneath the eyes.
Benefits of a Facelift
Facelift surgery can provide a significantly more youthful, rested appearance, which allows patients to feel better about themselves, boosting both confidence and self-esteem.
Previous facelift techniques only tightened the skin, resulting in a pulled or “wind-blown” look. Current facelift techniques tighten the skin as well as the underlying structures of the face, providing very natural-looking results that are longer lasting.
Whether you desire a more subtle wrinkle correction or complete facial rejuvenation, there are various facelift options to meet any and all of your needs.
How do I know if I’m ready for a facelift?
If you can relate to any of the following, a facelift may be the right option for you:
- You have fine lines and wrinkles on your face or neck
- You are bothered by sagging tissues on your face or neck
- You may appear tired, sad, or angry because of deep-set wrinkles
- You may think you appear older than you feel or older than your actual age
Types of Facelifts
A traditional facelift addresses fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin in the lower face, jowls, and neck. The surgeon tightens the facial muscles and removes sagging skin to provide a more youthful appearance. The surgeon may also redistribute or remove fat with liposuction to provide the most aesthetically pleasing results.
A traditional facelift provides the following benefits:
- Achieves the most significant improvement
- Eliminates common signs of aging in the lower face and neck
- Produces a very natural appearance
Limited Incision Facelift
A limited incision or short-scar facelift is a less-invasive alternative to the traditional facelift. It is an ideal procedure for men and women who seek a more subtle improvement to the lower face.
A limited incision facelift provides the following benefits:
- Uses fewer and shorter incisions than a traditional facelift
- Improves fine lines and wrinkles in the lower face
- Allows for a shorter recovery time than a traditional facelift
A neck lift is often performed along with a traditional facelift procedure. The neck muscles are tightened and sagging skin is removed to produce smoother, more youthful-looking neck contours. The surgeon can also remove fat deposits in the neck during this procedure.
A neck lift provides the following benefits:
- Eliminates wrinkles, “neck bands,” and sagging skin in the neck area
- Improves the appearance of a double chin
- Produces a more youthful-looking neck
Who is an ideal candidate for a facelift?
Ideal candidates for a facelift are unhappy with the appearance of wrinkles and sagging skin on their face and/or neck. The best candidates do not smoke and have realistic expectations for the procedure.
Where are the incisions for a facelift located?
The incisions for all techniques are usually hidden within the hairline. With the traditional facelift, the incision begins in the hairline at the temples, continues around the ear, and ends in the lower scalp. The limited incision facelift involves shorter incisions along the same area, sometimes along with a small incision within the lower eyelids or beneath the upper lip, depending on the needs of the patient. The neck lift incisions often wrap behind each earlobe and end in the lower scalp.
What is recovery like?
You should arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery and assist you for the first 24 to 48 hours of recovery. You will be prescribed medication to help minimize pain and keep you comfortable during this time. Swelling and bruising may last from a few days to a few weeks. Most patients can return to work within one to two weeks.
When will I see the final results of my facelift?
Most patients see significant results from their facelift within six months, although subtle changes may continue to occur for up to a year after the procedure.