What is a Facelift?
A facelift, or rhytidectomy, is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures available, designed to treat wrinkles, sagging and skin laxity for a younger, more refreshed appearance.
In time, gravity, sun exposure, and the stresses of daily life take their toll on our faces and necks. Deep creases appear beside the mouth, the jaw line slackens and becomes jowly, and the neck develops loose folds and fat deposits.
A facelift procedure counteracts these signs of aging by tightening muscle, removing fat, and trimming excess skin, giving your face a fresher, youthful look. Facelifts, technically known as rhytidectomies (literally, “removal of wrinkles”), rejuvenate the mid- to lower face, including the cheeks, mouth, chin and neck.
What a facelift corrects
Facelifts are most effective for patients who want to correct:
- Midface sagging
- Deep creases under the eyes
- Deep creases between the nose and mouth (nasolabial folds)
- Jowls due to loss of muscle tone
- Sagging areas of fat
- Loose skin and fat under the chin and jaw
Facelifts can produce a dramatic improvement in appearance for patients. However, facelifts do not stop the aging process; in time, signs of aging will gradually appear once again. Further, facelifts will not rejuvenate the brow, eyelids, nose, and some of the midface. Patients who want to improve these areas may consider combining a facelift with a brow lift or eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty). Injectable soft-tissue fillers, fat grafting and skin resurfacing can also enhance the effects of a facelift.
Am I a Candidate For a Facelift?
At Claytor Noone Plastic Surgery, Dr. Claytor performs facelift surgery on both male and female. The best candidates for facelift surgery:
- Wish to improve one or more of the signs of aging indicated above
- Are men or women whose faces have begun to sag, but whose skin still has some elasticity
- Are generally healthy
- Do not smoke
During your consultation, Dr. Noone or Dr. Claytor will discuss whether a facelift is right for you.
Facelifts are typically outpatient procedures and may be performed in an office-based facility, surgery center or hospital. Patients may have a choice of IV sedation or general anesthesia. The way a facelift is performed varies depending on the patient’s anatomic changes due to aging.
During the facelift procedure, an incision is made around the ear, sometimes extending into the scalp. There are several different techniques that may be used depending on each patient’s facial structure and goals, but most include sculpting, lifting and repositioning the underlying fat, muscle and tissues, while also trimming and reshaping the skin for dramatic yet natural-looking results.
Does a Facelift Hurt?
If your procedure is at the hospital, you will receive anesthesia before surgery. You will be asleep during the procedure and feel no pain. The procedure lasts about 2-3 hours depending on whether you are also have an eyelid lift or necklift. When you wake up, you will still be have some numbness at your cheeks and ears and will have a compression bandage on.
What to expect immediately after facelift surgery
It is normal to have drainage from the incisions for up to 24 hours. You will return to the office the next day to have drains removed should you need drains. Stitches will be removed at approximately one week. After surgery, a compression bandage will be applied and you will be taken to recovery. The in-office procedure alleviates the recovery from anesthesia as well as the associated fees.
Facelift Surgery Recovery
Following your facelift, or rhytidectomy, you will be bandaged and may have drainage tubes. The tubes will then be taken out the next day in the office. At first, you may experience swelling, numbness, bruising, and a feeling of tightness or tension in the face and neck. These feelings resolve within 3-6 weeks. Scars continue to fade with massage and sun screen. Many patients return to work by the 2nd week. During this time, camouflage cosmetics can be used to minimize the appearance of bruising. You should be gentle with your skin and hair as you recover.
Facelift Surgery before and after
Optimally, you will look and feel younger with your refreshed and rejuvenated look.
Scars are typically hidden in the hairline or near the ear. Dr. Claytor recommends the patient’s use a scar cream that helps minimize scarring.
With good maintenance, your facelift results will last between 8-10 years. Skin continues to age, so it is important to have a regular skincare regimen to maintain your results.
Risks Associated with Facelift
Possible complications of facelift include: bleeding, infection, bruising, uneven swelling or discoloration, allergic reaction to the anesthesia, skin blistering (usually only seen in smokers), and temporary or permanent loss of sensation in the face. Dr. Noone or Dr. Claytor will discuss the risks and benefits of a facelift at your consultation.
How Much Does a Facelift Cost?
A Facelift varies in price depending on the look you wish to achieve and your body’s specific needs. The complete cost for a surgical procedure will include the surgeon’s fee, the hospital or surgery center fee, and the anesthesia fee. To determine the cost of your specific procedure, please schedule a consultation today.
For the neck, SmartLipo, laser-assisted neck rejuvenation may be an option. There are non-surgical rejuvenating options such as Pellevé, Fraxel, IPL and fillers, but nothing will have the effect of a surgical facelift. There are several options within the facelift or rhytidectomy which will dictate whether Dr. Claytor will perform your surgery in our AAAASF surgical facility or at the hospital. Sometimes, facelift patients require a blepharoplasty or neck lift to achieve their desired result.