Over time, gravity and sun exposure take their toll on the face and neck. Deep creases that run from each side of the nose to the corners of the mouth appear, the jawline slackens, and the neck develops loose folds and fat deposits. A facelift (rhytidectomy) counteracts these signs of aging by tightening muscle, removing fat, and trimming excess skin.
A facelift improves the look of the lower and middle areas of the face, and the neck. It is most effective for correcting the following:
Although facelifts remove or reduce signs of aging, over time, they will gradually reappear. A facelift does not improve the look of the brow, eyelids, nose, and some parts of the mid-face. A patient who wants to improve those areas might combine a facelift with a brow lift or eyelid surgery, and/or with injectable soft-tissue fillers and skin resurfacing.
The best candidates for a facelift want to correct one or more of the signs of aging indicated above, have some facial sagging, but still have elasticity in their skin; are generally healthy, do not smoke, and have realistic expectations about what a facelift can do.
It is very important that the surgeon ascertains whether the patient is only interested in getting a facelift because of pressure from someone else.
A facelift is typically performed as an outpatient procedure in our private surgical suite. Patients may have a choice of IV sedation or general anesthesia. The procedure takes about 2 hours. The way a facelift is performed depends on the surgeon, the patient’s facial structure, and the extent of correction desired.
A traditional facelift is a “full” facelift that rejuvenates the face, jowls and neck. It includes sculpting and redistributing of fat, lifting and repositioning of muscle and deeper tissues, and trimming and re-draping of skin. The incision begins at the temples and travels down to the front of the ear, around the earlobe and behind the ear to the lower scalp at the hairline. Sometimes, another incision is made under the chin.
A limited-incision facelift improves the area around the eyes and mouth by reducing nasolabial folds and other deep creases. Short incisions are made at the temples and around the ear, and possibly in the lower eyelids and/or under the upper lip.
In both methods, incisions are closed with stitches or tissue glue. Scars are hidden in the hairline and natural contours of the face.
After a facelift, the surgeon wraps the incisions in bandages, and may insert drainage tubes. If so, they are taken out the next day. If surgical clips are holding some incisions closed, they are removed, along with any stitches, 1 week after the procedure.
Post-facelift, swelling, numbness, bruising and a feeling of tightness or tension in the face and neck may be felt. The face may look uneven or distorted, and facial muscles may feel stiff. Most of these side effects resolve within 3 to 6 weeks, and sensation typically returns to normal within a few months. Scars become less red, raised, lumpy and itchy over time. Many patients return to work by the third week. Camouflage cosmetics can be used to minimize the appearance of bruising.
Results of a facelift are not permanent, and some patients choose to undergo another in 5 or 10 years. In some sense, however, effects are permanent; years later, the face continues to look better than if a facelift had not been performed.
Some possible facelift complications include bleeding, infection, bruising, swelling or discoloration, allergic reaction to the anesthesia, and others.
Our surgeons are at the top of their field, and our private surgery center has an immaculate infection rate record. Such complications are extremely rare, particularly when your surgery is performed by our team of experts. We take all possible precautions to ensure your safety and surgical results are flawless.
If you are considering plastic surgery in Fairfield County or anywhere in Connecticut, contact us to schedule a one-on-one consultation with one of our expert plastic surgeons.
722 Post Rd, Suite 202, Darien, CT 06820