Face Lift

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 face lift (rhytidectomy) counteracts these signs of aging by tightening muscle, removing fat, and trimming excess skin.

A face lift improves the look of the lower and middle areas of the face, and the neck. It is most effective for correcting the following:

  • Mid-face sagging
  • Deep creases under the eyes
  • Nasolabial folds
  • Jowls
  • Sagging fat
  • Loose skin and fat under the chin and jaw

Although face lift removes or reduces signs of aging, over time, they will gradually reappear. face lift does not improve the look of the brow, eyelids and nose, and some parts of the mid-face. A patient who wants to improve those areas might combine face lift with a brow lift or eyelid surgery, and/or with injectable soft-tissue fillers and skin resurfacing.

Candidates For A Face Lift

The best candidates for face lift 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 face lift can do.

It is very important that the surgeon ascertains whether the patient is only interested in face lift because of pressure from someone else.

Types Of face Lift

A face lift 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 face lift is performed depends on the surgeon, the patient’s facial structure, and the extent of correction desired.

Traditional Face Lift

A traditional face lift is a “full” face lift that rejuvenates the face, jowls and neck, and 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.

Limited-Incision Face Lift

A limited-incision face lift 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.

Recovery From Face Lift

After face lift, 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-face lift, 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 Face lift

Results of a face lift 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 face lift had not been performed.

Risks Associated With A Face lift

Possible complications of face lift include bleeding, infection, bruising, swelling or discoloration, allergic reaction to the anesthesia, skin blistering (usually only in smokers), nerve injury, and temporary or permanent loss of sensation in the face.


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