Facial Rhytidectomy (Facelift)

A facelift is performed in order to correct the wrinkles and the sagging of the face. As we age, there is absorption of our facial muscles and bones, therefore, an aging face looks thinner and the overlying skin begins to sag resulting in jowls and increased prominence of the smile lines. Also, as we age, there is less elasticity to the skin, therefore resulting in more wrinkles. A facelift is therefore performed to minimize or correct these changes. There are different methods of facelifting, but the most popular one is a full facelift which consists of making an incision which begins in the hairline above the ear, continuing in front of the ear and around the ear to the back of the ear and into the hairline. A full facelift also consists of performing a necklift at the same time as well. With the incision made, the skin of overlying the face and neck is pulled away from the muscle. In some cases, liposuction is also performed in the neck. The muscles of the face and neck are then pulled back to make them tighter and elevating them to a higher position. Next, the excess loose skin is removed and the remaining skin is suture closed. In some cases, a small drain is placed under each side of the neck which is removed in two days. The surgery is performed in an outpatient surgery center under general anesthesia and is approximately four to five hours in length. A mini facelift is a facelift with the incision just like above but not extending to the back of the ear. It therefore does not include a necklift. The procedure is approximately three hours long and there are no drains. In both cases, the sutures are removed one week and two weeks after surgery. Short term recovery is one to two weeks. A face strap is worn for one to three weeks. Risks and complications include infection and bleeding which are extremely rare. This procedure cannot be performed on smokers or untreated diabetics, because in rare cases, there is also a chance of gangrene in these patients. Patients in general look ten years younger, but the goal is not to look younger but to look better for your age.