The facelift, technically known as rhytidectomy, is a plastic surgery procedure designed to tighten loose or sagging skin in the face and neck and reduce jowling. This is achieved by surgically removing excess fat and skin, tightening the underlying muscles, and re-draping the skin. Dr. Stephen Smith and Dr. Scott Smith are highly qualified, experienced plastic surgeons and facial enhancement specialists. Through a consultation, they will be able to recommend a facelift technique and tailor your treatment to enhance your natural beauty and take years off your appearance for a beautiful, long-lasting result.
Candidates for the facelift are generally in good health and have realistic expectations for improving the appearance of loose, sagging skin in the face and neck and/or jowling. The best results are typically achieved in patients whose skin still retains some elasticity. Younger patients who are just beginning to experience the signs of aging may be candidates for less extensive facelift techniques such as the Mini Facelift or Mid-Facelift.
The facelift surgery generally lasts several hours and is performed with either general anesthesia or a combination of local anesthesia and sedation. Incision patterns may vary; however, for the traditional facelift, the incision begins above the temples in the hairline and then continues in a natural line in front of and behind the ear, ending in the lower scalp. In some cases, a small incision may also be made under the chin to address the neck area.
Working through the incisions, the skin is separated from the underlying fat and muscle. Fat suction from the neck and tightening of the underlying muscles may be necessary. The skin is gently re-draped and excess skin is trimmed. The incisions are then closed with fine sutures.
The head is often wrapped loosely in a bandage after surgery and this may remain in place for anywhere from one to two days. It’s very normal for the face to have a puffy, swollen appearance after the facelift. Bruising and numbness may also occur. Any discomfort that patients experience can be managed with pain medication. It can take anywhere from two to three weeks for the bruising to fade, and the swelling will slowly subside over the course over several weeks to months. Male patients may find they need to shave behind the ears after surgery if beard-growing skin has been re-positioned to this area.
Stitches are usually removed within five to seven days of the facelift. Many patients find that they are well enough to return to work and many other normal activities after ten to fourteen days. Strenuous activities should not be resumed for at least two weeks or more. Sun exposure will need to be minimized for several months. The results of the facelift are generally long-lasting but the face does continue to age. Some patients find that they can benefit from a touch-up procedure after about ten years.