Facelift surgery, or rhytidectomy, is designed to restore a more youthful appearance by removing major wrinkles and sagging skin. It involves tightening of the facial and neck muscles, as well as the removal of excess skin and fat.
The skin begins to wrinkle and sag as a result of age, sun exposure, and genetics. Children and young adults have smooth, round faces due to evenly distributed fatty tissues in facial contours. Over time, the skin sags and folds around the chin, jawline and neck become prominent. Not only does a facelift improve facial appearance but also may have a dramatic effect on the neck, enhancing its contour and profile.
A facelift can make a patient look 5-10 years younger
Dramatic as the end results may be, this is not a simple procedure, and adequate time must be allowed for recovery.
We will evaluate your medical history in order to determine your overall health.
We will discuss with you how your face can look and what you can expect from surgery. Our objective is to create a natural appearance that is pleasing to you. Before and after photographs will reveal what the surgery has accomplished.
Preoperative Instructions: Avoid drugs that contain aspirin or antiinflammatories several weeks prior to surgery to minimize excess bleeding. You may be required to take antibiotics to prevent infection. You may be instructed to shampoo your hair the night before surgery.
A facelift is sometimes performed in conjunction with blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), forehead lift, chin augmentation, and/or liposuction, to create an overall rejuvenation of the face. The procedure can be repeated as gravity continues its effects after the first surgery.
Facelifts are performed in outpatient surgical centers. General anesthesia is most commonly used. The surgeon will make incisions inside the hairline at the temple, in front of the ear, then around the earlobe and behind the ear, ending at the scalp area. Excess skin is removed and sagging muscles and connective tissues are tightened. In some cases, fatty deposits are removed from beneath the chin and neck. Incisions are closed with small sutures.
The procedure may take up to five hours depending on whether any other procedures are performed at the same time.
Initially, you will have a soft dressing wrapped around your head. You will likely have surgical drains attached to bulbs attached to the dressing. These will be removed in 1-3 days. Stitches around the ears will be loosened or removed in a few days. The scalp sutures will be removed in 7-10 days.
To minimize scarring, the doctor may remove the sutures in stages. Scarring fades quickly. Swelling and discoloration decrease within two weeks. Tightness in your face will be present for several weeks, and there may be slight changes in your hair pattern around the incision.
We recommend you avoid the sun for several months after surgery.
Complications following facelift are rare. These include bleeding, infection, loss of skin (especially behind the ears), facial nerve injury, discoloration of the skin, numbness, asymmetry, and scarring, among others. Infection is rare due to the large blood supply to the face. As mentioned, the risk of bleeding is greater if you take aspirin or blood thinners within two weeks of the surgery. The risk of wound complications increases in diabetics, persons with a history of radiation, autoimmune and collagen disease, and in smokers.
By following pre- and postoperative instructions, you will minimize potential problems. Absolute avoidance of nicotine in the weeks before and after surgery is critical.
Recovery: What to Expect
In the weeks following surgery, the facial skin and area around the ear may be numb. There may also be some temporary discoloration as healing begins, which may take a few months to disappear. Occasionally, the facial nerve is bruised during surgery, resulting in temporary loss of function or sensation. However, actual permanent damage to the facial nerve is rare