What is a facelift?
Rhytidectomy, a surgical procedure commonly known as a facelift, involves the removal
of excess facial fat, the tightening of facial muscles, and the trimming or redraping
of facial skin to approximate a smoother, firmer facial appearance. The procedure
takes place on either the face, neck, or both.
Depending on the area of the face or neck where the "lift" is to take place, the surgeon
will separate the skin from the underlying fat and muscle. The fat is then removed.
Sutures are used to elevate the supporting fascial layers of the face and neck, and
the skin is pulled back into place with any excess removed.
Possible complications associated with facelifts
Possible complications associated with facelifts may include, but are not limited
to, the following:
Nerve injury. Facial nerve injury or weakness may occur along with numbness or changes in skin sensation.
This may be temporary or permanent.
Infection and anesthesia reaction. As with any type of surgery, there is a risk of infection and a reaction to the anesthesia.
Hematoma. A hematoma, blood that collects under the skin, could occur. They are generally removed
by the doctor.
Slower healing process (for some people). Smokers, in particular, may find that the healing process following a facelift is
slower than normal. Smoking in the period leading up to surgery, or after surgery,
can contribute to skin injury and permanent scarring. Your surgeon may not perform your
surgery if you are currently smoking.
Scarring. The scars may not heal properly and be more visible or thick than desired. This
may require further treatment or revision.
Who are candidates for facelift?
The best candidates for a facelift are those whose face and/or neck have begun to
sag, but whose skin still has some elasticity. The procedure also works best on persons
whose bone structure is strong and well-defined.
About the procedure
Although each procedure varies, generally, facelift surgeries follow this process:
Location options may include:
Anesthetic options may include:
Average length of procedure:
Some possible short-term side effects of surgery:
Pain after surgery is not unusual, though generally well-controlled with medication
Temporary numbness of the skin