The Facelift (rhytidectomy) is a surgical procedure used to smooth the loose skin on your face and neck, and to reduce the most apparent signs of aging in the facial area, giving you a more youthful appearance. The procedure involves reducing the creases from the nose and mouth, the slacking jaw line, sagging jowls and fat deposits around the neck by removing excess fat and tightening underlying muscles. The remaining skin is then redraped on the face and neck. Though the procedure cannot give you a completely new look, it can give you a younger, fresher look, and can also have a positive effect on your self-confidence.

The best candidates for a face-lift are those who have:

  • Face and neck skin that has begun to sag, but still have skin elasticity and a strong well defined bone structure.
  • Lost their well-defined jaw line.
  • Deep wrinkles in their cheeks.
  • Loose skin, wrinkles or excess fatty tissue in the neck.

A face-lift is generally performed by making an incision around the natural contour of the ear and around the earlobe along your hairline. This helps to keep scarring hidden. Any incision can be easily masked by make-up or hair. If a neck lift is performed, you may have a small incision under your chin. After surgery, you may have a drain tube to allow for excess fluid drainage from the incision. Your bandage will stay in place for 1 to 2 days, and you may see some increased swelling in the first 24 to 48 hours after surgery. Your stitches will remain until your 1-week office visit. Most bruising disappears in about 2 weeks.

During a face-lift, complications are infrequent and usually minor. Each individual will vary greatly in his or her anatomy, physical reactions and healing abilities, and thus outcomes are never 100% predictable. Some complications that may arise include hematoma (blood under the skin that must be removed by your doctor), injury to the nerves that control facial muscles (usually temporary) infection, and reactions to the anesthesia. Smokers are more likely to experience poor healing of the skin.