Facelift Surgery or Rhytidectomy

Common wisdom may say, “You’re as young as you feel,” but does your mirror say something different? Sagging skin, deep creases along the nose, a furrowed brow or a double chin can play havoc on your self-image. If your face is aging faster than your body, mind and attitude, maybe it’s time for a facelift. A facelift can tighten your skin, refresh your appearance and boost your self-esteem.

The first step is to discuss your facelift options with your Plastic & Hand plastic surgeon. Depending on the degree of change you’d like to see, your choices might include a traditional facelift (with or without a necklift), a short scar facelift,  or a mini-facelift (with limited incisions).

What a facelift involves: in performing a traditional facelift, your surgeon will remove excess fat, tighten underlying muscles, and re-drape the skin of your face. While there are many facelift techniques, this surgery generally involves making an incision that is hidden in the natural contour of each ear, then extends around the earlobe and back into the hairline, minimizing visible scars. Through these incisions, your plastic surgeon separates the skin from the underlying tissues, pulls the skin up and back, removes the extra skin and fat, and tightens the muscles. Your surgeon will also reposition the deeper tissue for a more thorough lift, improving the jowl region.

If you have a necklift in conjunction with your facelift, we will make a small, discreet incision underneath your chin. This incision allows us to remove extra fat and tighten the loose muscles in your neck.

An alternate to facelifting techniques would be an  “open necklift” or platysmaplasty, where neck skin is directly excised. It is a bit less to go through, though at the expense of a scar in the front of the neck.

Your facelift procedure can also include facial implants, soft tissue augmentation, resurfacing techniques to improve the tone and texture of your skin, and wrinkle-reducing injections. For best results, a facelift may include a brow lift and eyelid surgery as well.

A facelift can take 2 to 3 hours, depending on how many areas of the face are involved. We perform this procedure using either local or general anesthesia in the comfort of our state-of-the-art surgical center.

Call us at 775-3446 to schedule a consult with one of our plastic surgeons. Questions? Click here to Ask Bonnie!

Full Facelift 3-D Animation

Lower Facelift 3-D Animation

Mid Facelift 3-D Animation

Mini Facelift 3-D Animation

Short Scar Facelift – The MACS Lift.

A newer very effective procedure has recently been developed in Europe, and involves short scars together with innovative soft tissue suspension techniques. It is ideal for people with not too much excess skin. The MACS Lift (Minimal Access Cranial Suspension) uses purse string suspension suturing to the deep temporal fascia, and an incision that only goes from the temporal hairline to the earlobe. It is less invasive and has a more rapid recovery

What a mini-facelift involves.

We often recommend a mini-facelift for younger patients with early signs of aging, or for people who want a more subtle effect. Think of a mini-facelift as a freshening up, not as a radical change. This procedure is most effective in fixing jowls and neck fat in patients with relatively little excess skin. It does not reverse sagging skin at the neckline.

A mini-facelift takes less time, causes less swelling and bruising and has a shorter recovery time than a traditional facelift. The incisions are limited and are usually very easy to conceal.

What to expect after surgery.

Unlike some other cosmetic surgeries, a traditional facelift involves some down time — and a little patience. After surgery, you can expect to feel mild discomfort for several days. You’ll be dressed in bandages and possibly  drainage tubes to help reduce the swelling. We will remove your bandages and drainage tubes a day or two after your facelift, and remove your sutures within a week. Most likely, you’ll be able to return to work within two weeks of a traditional facelift. It may take several months for the swelling to go down and up to six months for incision lines to fade. These lines can be concealed by your hair or with a touch of makeup.

A facelift  gives you a fresh, youthful appearance that you can enjoy for years. It’s important to understand, however, that no facelift can stop your face from aging indefinitely. Eventually, you skin will loosen and sag again. At that point, you might want to adjust your look with a secondary facelift.

Potential risks and complications.

Happily, facelifts rarely cause any significant complications. Some potential –  but unlikely — risks include hematoma (an accumulation of blood under the skin that may need to be removed), infection and adverse reactions to anesthesia, and nerve injury (which is usually temporary). Scarring is generally minimal since we’re careful to make incisions where they are least conspicuous. But because all skin heals differently, the results can vary. Smokers are at increased risk of scarring, so we strongly recommend that smokers quit at least several weeks before surgery.

The best candidates for a facelift.

A facelift is most effective on people whose skin has some elasticity and who have well-defined bones. Most patients are in their forties, fifties or sixties, but older patients can benefit as well. An in-depth consultation at Plastic and Hand will help you determine if a facelift is right for you.