Facelift - Rhytidectomy Surgery in Philadelphia


A traditional facelift, also known as rhytidectomy, primarily addresses the lower face. It corrects sagging skin, jowls, and "turkey neck," and is a great way to reverse signs of aging in a very natural manner. A good facelift will leave you looking refreshed and rejuvenated, but still like yourself.Facelift, Cheeklift, and Mini Lift Surgeon | Philadelphia

If you are interested in a facelift procedure, contact Dr. Bottger at 610-355-1929 today to schedule your initial consultation. We serve patients in Newtown Square, Philadelphia, and nearby areas of Pennsylvania.

What Is a Facelift?

A facelift is a surgical procedure that contours the lower face and neck, resulting in a more defined and youthful jaw line. It is a common misconception that a facelift addresses the entire face; however, separate procedures are needed for the eyes, brow, or cheeks.

Facelifts can be beneficial for both men and women who have begun to experience significant sagging and jowling. Dr. Bottger has many years of experience performing facelift surgeries, and he knows how to create optimal results for each patient, taking into account their unique goals and facial anatomy.

The Facelift Procedure

The standard facelift procedure involves an incision placed behind the hairline, which follows the natural crease at the top of the ear before curving inside the ear, around the earlobe, and into the posterior ear crease. In some cases, the incision will extend into the hair bearing scalp.

During the facelift, the superficial muscles in the neck and face are tightened, and excess fat is removed. After the tightening and contouring of the deeper tissues, the skin is pulled up and back and excess skin is removed. The skin is then sutured.

Dr. Bottger is careful to not put too much tension on the sutured incisions, in order to facilitate smaller and cleaner scars.

Some patients may be candidates for a modified facelift procedure which uses shorter incisions, sometimes called a "mini facelift," "S-Lift," or "MACS lift". Dr. Bottger will discuss your options and which type of facelift would best benefit you during your initial consultation.

Cheek Lift and Brow Lift Procedures

A mid facelift, also called a cheek lift, is a separate procedure from a traditional facelift. A cheek lift provides improvement to the cheek, lower eyelid, and nasolabial fold. It involves two incisions, one in the scalp and one inside the mouth. The entire cheek and mid facial area are then elevated, and sutures are used to suspend the skin, fat, and muscle flap at a higher level.

A brow lift, or forehead lift, is a procedure designed to raise the position of sagging brows and upper eyelids. It can also improve "frown lines" in between the brows. A brow lift can be performed on its own or in conjunction with a facelift.

Dr. Bottger performs brow lifts using the endoscopic technique, which results in far less scarring than the traditional method. An endoscopic brow lift utilizes several small incisions at the hairline, through which an endoscope is inserted and the brow lifted. This method does not require removing any skin or raising the hairline.

Who Is a Facelift Candidate?

In general, ideal facelift candidates:

  • Are between the ages of 40 and 70
  • Are in good health
  • Are non-smokers
  • Have significant jowling
  • Have loose, wrinkled, or sagging skin in the neck region ("turkey neck")

If you are a smoker, you may still be able to have a facelift if you are able to quit for at least four to six weeks prior to your surgery. Smoking significantly increases the chances of complications, and it may also adversely impact your results and delay healing.

If you are trying to quit smoking, having a facelift may actually help you in your endeavor. Studies have shown that many smokers who undergo a facelift are able to either quit completely or significantly reduce their cigarette consumption following their surgery.

Benefits of a Facelift

A facelift can essentially turn the clock back on your face, allowing you to achieve a younger appearance that will last for a long time. Among the benefits of a facelift are:

  • Younger, refreshed appearance
  • Long lasting results
  • Safe and effective
  • Increased confidence in your appearance

While there are non-invasive skin tightening devices available, a surgical facelift will always provide the best and longest lasting results. If you have significant jowling or turkey neck, a facelift is the best option to achieve a clean and youthful jaw and neck contour.

Facelift Risks and Possible Complications

While facelifts are considered very safe when performed by an experienced and skilled plastic surgeon, they are still a surgical procedure, and as such there is some risk involved. Risks of a facelift may include:

  • Unfavorable scarring
  • Infection
  • Hematoma
  • Skin necrosis
  • Nerve injury

Significant complications, although possible, are uncommon. The risk of complications is much higher in smokers, which is why it is so important to refrain from smoking for at least four to six weeks before and after your procedure.

You should always choose an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon for any cosmetic surgery procedure, including a facelift. This will greatly reduce your risk of complications. Dr. Bottger is dual board certified in both general surgery and plastic surgery, and has performed enough facelift procedures to know how to reduce the risk.

Recovery After A Facelift

One of the most pressing questions most patients have when considering a facelift is what recovery is like and how soon they can go back to work. Facelift recovery is often easier than expected, with more discomfort than actual pain. Dr. Bottger will prescribe pain medications for use at home, but most patients find that they only need them for a few days.

Each patient heals differently, but we have generally found that most people are able to return to work within two weeks. During your recovery, you may experience:

  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • A feeling of tightness or discomfort
  • Numbness

Most of the bruising and swelling should dissipate within the first few weeks, and makeup can be used to cover up bruising or scars. The feeling of numbness may last longer, but full sensation should eventually return.

Facelift scars are well hidden, and usually heal to fine lines that can barely be seen. The scars will be red at first, but over the course of a year will soften and fade to their final appearance.

Do You Need to Stay In the Hospital After A Facelift?

Depending on the extent of your facelift, whether you are combining it with other surgeries, and your general health, it may be recommended to stay overnight in the hospital following surgery. However, in many cases, patients are able to undergo a facelift as an outpatient procedure, and do not need to stay in the hospital overnight.

During your facelift consultation in Philadelphia, Dr. Bottger will go over your options and recommend a plan he thinks is best for your individual case.

Can You Combine A Facelift With Another Cosmetic Procedure?

It is possible to combine multiple surgeries, and many patients choose to have a facelift along with another facial rejuvenation procedure for more comprehensive results. Popular procedures to have along with a facelift include:

In addition to other surgical procedures, non-invasive treatments such as dermal fillers can also be performed at the same time. A facelift addresses sagging skin but not volume loss, so many patients find that a facelift to tighten the skin and dermal filler injections to restore some lost volume creates beautiful results.

Fat grafting is also very popular to combine with a facelift. Fat grafting is very effective at reducing the appearance of dark circles or eye bags, which can have a great impact on how bright and awake you look.

How Long Does A Facelift Last?

Unfortunately, no cosmetic surgery procedure can stop gravity or the process of aging. However, a facelift resets the aging clock, and you will always look better than if you had never had the procedure done. In addition, you can preserve your results through following a good skin care regimen and limiting your exposure to the sun.

Most people who have a facelift never feel the need for another one, while others may decide that they want to touch up their results with a second facelift or mini facelift ten or twelve years later.

Schedule  Your Facelift Consultation In Philadelphia

If you are thinking about a facelift or other cosmetic facial plastic surgery procedure in Philadelphia, don't hesitate to contact Dr. Bottger at 610-355-1929 to schedule your consultation today.

We serve patients in Philadelphia, Newtown Square, and other nearby areas of Pennsylvania. 

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