Facelift, or Rhytidectomy, is a procedure that restores the contours predominantly of the mid to lower face and neck.
The standard facelift procedure involves an incision placed behind the hairline and follows the natural crease at the top of the ear and curves inside the ear, around the earlobe and extends into the posterior ear crease, and at times, into the hair bearing scalp. The length of the incision varies depending upon the degree of facial and neck laxity.
Facial and neck superficial muscles are then tightened and excessive fat, if present, is suctioned or excised.
After tightening and contouring of deeper tissues, excess skin is pulled upwards and back and excised, followed by suturing of the incision.
A mid-facelift or cheek lift is a procedure which provides improvement for the cheek, lower eyelid and to a degree the nasolabial fold region (line and fold running from the corner of the nose to the corner of the mouth). This involves an incision in the hair bearing temporal scalp and an incision inside the mouth. The entire cheek and mid-facial area are elevated at the level of the bone and sutures are used to suspend the skin, fat and muscle flap at a higher level. This is a powerful technique that leaves no visible scars.
A brow lift or forehead lift is a procedure designed to raise the position of a sagging brow and upper lid as well as improve the vertical glabellar wrinkles or “frown lines”. This is performed as a separate procedure or in conjunction with the facelift. This procedure is generally performed with an endoscopic technique involving several small incisions just behind the hairline. The muscles creating the frown lines are reduced and the forehead and brow are elevated without removing any skin or hair bearing scalp.
- Patients without significant medical conditions who have realistic expectations.
- Patients who have developed “jowls” which obscure the well defined jaw line
- Patients with deep lines running from the corner of the nose to the corner of the mouth (nasolabial folds).
- Patients with sagging wrinkled skin in the cheeks creating a hollow eye appearance and loss of cheek bone prominence.
- Patients with loose, wrinkled skin the neck with or without excess fat.
After facelift surgery the face and head will be wrapped with a bandage. On the first postoperative day the bandage is removed and no further bandages are necessary. In bed the head should be elevated to minimize bruising and swelling. You may shower and wash your hair in forty-eight hours. Some sutures dissolve and others are removed in 7-10 days. Within 2 weeks significant swelling and bruising has resolved and your appearance will be acceptable in public. You may wear makeup to conceal bruising prior to this. In two weeks non strenuous work and light exercise may be resumed. Strenuous exercise should be avoided for four weeks. The face will feel numb for up to several months after surgery.
Risk and Complications
Risks and complications of facelift may include but are not limited to unfavorable scarring, infections, bleeding (hematoma), skin necrosis and facial nerve injury resulting in facial weakness. Smoking significantly increases the risk of skin necrosis and delayed wound healing. Aspirin and similar nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents should be avoided prior to surgery to reduce bleeding problems.
Significant complications, although possible, are uncommon. If you have any face lift questions or concerns, please contact our Philadelphia plastic surgeon and we would be happy to discuss the procedure with you.
Facelift can be performed under local anesthesia with sedation or under general anesthesia and, depending on the extend of the individual procedure, may or may not involve an overnight stay.
Schedule an initial facelift consultation to discuss with Dr. Bottger and his team how a facelift can give you the look you desire.
For answers to your questions about a facelift, view our common questions:
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