A facelift, also called a rhytidectomy, smooths the loose skin on your face and neck, tightens underlying tissues and removes excess fat. The results of a facelift can be dramatic or subtle, depending on how the patient looked before surgery and what the specific goals of the procedure were.
Results of a facelift are individual – no two facelifts are identical. Although there are many variations to the facelift procedure, generally an incision is hidden in the natural contour of the ear, and then extends around the earlobe and back into the hairline. There may also be a small incision hidden underneath the chin. Through discreet facelift incisions, the plastic surgeon is able to free the skin from the underlying tissues to the extent necessary for the particular surgical technique suggested. After the skin has been pulled up and back, the excess is removed. In some instances, deeper tissues may be involved. If necessary, a small incision beneath the chin permits the removal of fatty tissue in that area and smoothing of the cord-like structures of the underlying muscle in the neck.
- The patient’s face will appear firmer and fresher. Restores smoother, more pleasing contours to the face and neck. Patient satisfaction is reported for many years following a facelift.
- Significant complications from facelifts are infrequent.
- In many instances, the patient is able to return to work and resume most normal activities within two weeks and may begin to exercise three to four weeks after surgery.
- Incisions can be easily concealed by hair or makeup.
- Recovery time varies among individuals. Generally, the greatest amount of swelling occurs 24 to 48 hours after surgery, but it may take several weeks before all puffiness is resolved. Most bruising will disappear within two weeks. The patient may also experience numbness in the facial area, which may be present for several weeks or longer.
- Heredity and lifestyle factors influence how long results last.
- A facelift cannot correct conditions such as sagging eyebrows, excess skin and fatty deposits in the upper and lower eyelids, or wrinkles around the mouth. A facelift is frequently combined with a forehead lift, eyelid surgery, nose reshaping or skin treatments such as a chemical peel, dermabrasion or laser resurfacing.
- Every surgical procedure carries some risk. Potential complications may include hematoma (an accumulation of blood under the skin that may require removal), infection, and reactions to anesthesia.
- Injury to underlying structures is possible, though it is usually temporary.
- Facelift incisions are usually inconspicuous, but are not predictable due to individual variations in healing.
- Patient must temporarily avoid exposure to direct sunlight and, for the long-term, be conscientious about the use of a sunblock to protect their skin.
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body. ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.
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