Fancy a Facelift?

Get the Facts About Rhytidectomies

Look 10-15 years younger. Getty Images

There’s not much you can do to stop the aging process, but you can turn back the clock a bit with the help of a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon. Also known as a rhytidectomy (meaning “removal of wrinkles”), a facelift can help you achieve a more youthful, rejuvenated look.

Is a facelift right for me?

Facelifts are ideal for both men and women who experience sagging in the middle of their faces, deep creases below the lower eyelids and along the nose extending to the corners of the mouth, fat that has either fallen or disappeared, loss of skin tone in the lower face that creates jowls, and/or loose skin and excess fatty deposits under the chin and jaw.

Good candidates for facelifts are non-smokers, in good general health, and although their skin is beginning to sag, still have some elasticity. Just like with all procedures, good candidates for facelifts have realistic expectations of what the surgery can do for them.

What are realistic expectations?

A facelift can help address the signs of aging in the mid to lower face and neck due to the effects of gravity, heredity, stress, and environmental conditions. Post-facelift, some patients look 10-15 years younger.

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 procedure takes approximately two hours.

It is important to note that the aging process with not cease after a facelift. Over time, the signs of aging will certainly appear again. Since facelifts do not address the brows, eyelids, nose, and some of the mid-face, the procedure is often performed in conjunction with a brow lift and/or eyelid surgery.

  Facelift results can also be enhanced with injectable soft-tissue fillers, skin resurfacing, and facial implants.

What is the difference between a traditional and limited-incision facelift?

The two most common incision techniques are traditional and limited-incision. The technique used by the surgeon depends upon the patient’s facial structure and the extent of correction desired.

Although they differ, both methods involve incisions that are closed with stitches or tissue glue. The scars are hidden in the hairline and natural contours of the face.

A traditional facelift 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. Occasionally, another incision is made under the chin. This type of lift rejuvenates the face, jowls, and neck, including fat sculpting, lifting and repositioning of muscle and deeper tissues, and skin trimming and re-draping.

A limited-incision facelift involves short incisions that are made at the temples and around the ear, and possibly in the lower eyelids and/or under the upper lip. This technique is for limited rejuvenation around the eyes and mouth, including nasolabial folds and other deep creases.

How much does a facelift cost?

According to 2014 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of a facelift is $6,550. Read more about the cost here.

What is the recovery from a facelift like?

It’s not unusual to experience swelling, bruising, numbness, and a feeling of tightness post-facelift. However, over the following three to six weeks, these issues usually resolve themselves.

Typically, patients return to work about three weeks post-procedure.

What are the risks of a 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.

Is a facelift right for you? Make an appointment with an experienced plastic surgeon to discuss the pros and cons, and whether or not you're a good candidate for this procedure. 

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