The Facelift (rhytidectomy) is a surgical procedure designed to smooth the loose skin on your face and neck, and to reduce the most apparent signs of aging in the facial area, giving you a more youthful appearance. The procedure involves reducing the creases from the nose and mouth, the slacking jaw line and sagging jowls and fat deposits around the neck by removing excess fat and tightening underlying muscles, then redraping the skin on the face and neck. Although the procedure cannot stop the aging process, it can turn back the clock on your facial appearance, giving you a younger, fresher look, which can also have a positive effect on your self-confidence.
The best candidates for a facelift are those who:
- Have face and neck skin that has begun to sag, but still possess good skin elasticity and whose bone structure is strong and well defined.
- Experience the loss of a well-defined jaw line
- Have deep wrinkles in the cheeks
- Have loose skin, wrinkles or excess fatty tissue in the neck
A face-lift is performed by generally making an incision around the natural contour of the ear, and around your earlobe along your hairline. This helps keep any scarring from being visible. Any incision can be easily masked by make-up or hair. If a neck lift is performed, you may have a small incision under your chin. After your cosmetic surgery you may have a drain tube to allow excess fluid to drain from the incision. Your bandage will stay in place for 1 to 2 days. You may experience some increased swelling in the first 24 to 48 hours after your surgery. Most bruising will subside in about 2 weeks. Some numbness may occur, and your stitches will remain till your 1-week visit.
Since each individual has his or her own unique facial features, physical reactions and healing abilities, the results of a facelift vary with each patient and they are never 100% predictable. During a facelift, complications are infrequent and usually minor. Some complications that may arise include hematoma (blood under the skin that must be removed by your doctor), injury to the nerves that control facial muscles (usually temporary) infection, and reactions to the anesthesia. Smokers are more likely to experience poor healing of the skin.