What is a facelift?
A facelift, or rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure that improves visible signs of aging in the face and neck, such as:
- Sagging in the middle of your face
- Deep creases below the lower eyelids
- Deep creases along the nose extending to the corner of the mouth
- Fat that has fallen or has disappeared
- Loss of skin tone in the lower face that creates jowls
- Loose skin and excess fatty deposits under the chin and jaw can give even a person of normal weight the appearance of a double chin
The loss of youthful contours in the face can be due to a variety of factors, including heredity, gravity, environmental conditions, and stress.
Rejuvenation procedures typically performed in conjunction with a facelift are brow lift, to correct a sagging or deeply furrowed brow, and eyelid surgery to rejuvenate aging eyes.
What a facelift won’t do
As a restorative surgery, a facelift does not change your fundamental appearance and cannot stop the aging process.
A facelift can only be performed surgically; non-surgical rejuvenation treatments cannot achieve the same results, but may help delay the time at which a facelift becomes appropriate and complement the results of surgery.
Facelift Procedure Steps
A facelift procedure includes the following steps:
- Anesthesia – Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia.Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.A variety of other procedures can further enhance the outcome of a facelift. They include:
- The Incision – Depending on the degree of change you’d like to see, your facelift choices include a traditional facelift, limited incision facelift or a neck lift. A traditional facelift incision often begins in the hairline at the temples, continues around the ear and ends in the lower scalp. Fat may be sculpted or redistributed from the face, jowls and neck, and underlying tissue is repositioned, commonly the deeper layers of the face and the muscles are also lifted. Skin is redraped over the uplifted contours and excess skin is trimmed away. A second incision under the chin may be necessary to further improve an aging neck. Sutures or skin adhesives close the incisions.
An alternative to a traditional facelift uses shorter incisions at the temples, continuing around the ear and possibly within the lower eyelids or under the upper lip.
Sagging jowls, loose neck skin and fat accumulation under the chin may be corrected with a neck lift. The neck lift incision often begins in front of the ear lobe and wraps around behind the ear ending in the lower scalp.
- Closing the Incision – Once healed, the incision lines from a facelift are well concealed within the hairline and in the natural contours of the face and ear.
- See the Results – The visible improvements of a facelift appear as swelling and bruising subside. Your final result should not only restore a more youthful and rested appearance, but also help you feel more confident about yourself.
Preparing for facelift surgery
In preparing for a facelift, you may be asked to:
- Get lab testing or a medical evaluation
- Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
- Stop smoking
- Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding
Special instructions you receive will cover:
- What to do on the night before and morning of surgery
- The use of anesthesia during your facelift
- Post-operative care and follow-up
A facelift will be performed in an accredited hospital. Dr. Gregg Guilfoyle offers overnight support in Coordinated Health’s spa-like care unit after your surgery. Ask for details!
Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.