Facelift (rhytidectomy) is a cosmetic surgery procedure designed to help both men and women achieve a more youthful and vibrant facial appearance. Age unfortunately does a number on the elasticity, suppleness, and sheen of the skin. As we age, gravity takes its toll and our skin slowly begins to sag. This process over years can leave your face looking tired and worn. Deep wrinkles, hollow cheeks and eyes, jowls, and loose skin can all accompany this aging process. For many, a facelift is a great option that can address all of these issues and help turn back the clock.
The Facelift Procedure
Despite different techniques and variations, most facelift procedures share certain elements. First, you will be provided with general anesthesia, local anesthesia or conscious sedation, in which you are numb but in a twilight state. In my practice, for most cases I recommend general anesthesia in our accredited operating facility. Most patients will find the greatest amount of comfort by having general anesthesia and the recovery process is also typically better for those patients as well.
Second, incisions will be placed along your hairline and around your ears by your skilled surgeon. He or she will then lift your skin away from your face, reassemble the underlying tissue in a higher more lifted position and remove any excess skin. Fat grafts might also be added during this stage in order to increase volume loss in certain key areas of the face. Lastly, your surgeon will close any incisions with sutures.
A facelift can produce incredible outcomes. However, the procedure only focuses on certain parts of the face — the mid-face, lower face and jawline. You may find that other areas of concern may require attention in addition to the areas addressed with a facelift. In this case, your surgeon may recommend additional procedures in order to achieve your goals.
- Neck lifts are often combined with facelifts. These procedures are used to remove excess fat, tighten sagging skin, and eliminate wrinkles to create a smoother, more defined appearance.
- Upper and/or Lower Eyelid surgery is performed with a facelift to address sagging in the upper eyelids and bagging lower eyelids, which can cause you to appear older and more tired than you feel.
- Brow lift surgery can lift sagging eyebrows as well as wrinkles on the forehead.
- Facial fat grafts can be placed in your chin, cheek, jaw, and eye area to improve your overall facial symmetry and proportion.
- Chin surgery can reduce or enlarge the size of the chin by removing bone or enhancing the chin with implants.
- Rhinoplasty can reshape the nose to help bring it into better proportion with your face
- Otoplasty (ear surgery) is performed to reduce the appearance of protrusive ears.
Your Facelift Consultation
If you are interested in undergoing a facelift procedure, first learn as much as you can about the procedure and your options. Next, schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Only a plastic surgeon with these credentials has the training and experience necessary to help ensure the best patient outcomes possible.
During your consultation, your surgeon will discuss your general health, examine your facial structure, and inquire about your goals for surgery. Be as prepared as possible to clearly describe your concerns and the look you desire. Your surgeon will likely show you some photos of patients taken before and after facelift surgery.
Prior to booking your surgery, be sure to discuss all aspects of surgery with your surgeon, including what to expect during and after your facelift procedure. In addition, fully evaluate facelift cost and make sure you have taken everything into account, including financing options.