Facelift (also known as rhytidectomy) is the use of surgical means to correct the changes which occur in the natural process of aging. Facial skin can sag because of weight loss, the lifelong effects of gravity, genetic predisposition and sun damage. Skin folds and fat deposits appear in the jaw area and under the chin.
There is a great deal of thought that goes into the planning of a face lift. A face lift generally takes about 3 to 4 hours to perform because of the many steps involved.
From Left to Right: Illustration 1 Incisions usually begin above the hairline at the temples, follow the natural line in front of the ear, curve behind the earlobe into the crease behind the ear, and into or along the lower scalp. Illustration 2: Facial, neck tissue and muscle may be separated; fat may be trimmed or suctioned and underlying muscle may be tightened.
From Left to Right: Illustration 1: After deep tissues are tightened, the excess skin is pulled up and back, trimmed and surured into place. Illustration 2: Most of the scars will be hidden within your hair and in the normal creases of your skin. Illustration 3: After surgery, you’ll present a fresher, more youthful face to the world.
A facelift is generally performed to rejuvenate an aging face. Facial skin can sag because of weight loss, the lifelong effects of gravity, genetic predisposition and sun damage. Skin folds and fat deposits appear in the jaw area as jowls and under the chin in the neck. Usually rejuvenation of the neck is included. By dissecting the tissues under the facial skin, drooping facial skin is both elevated and the excess is removed. Often 1 to 1-1/2 inches of facial skin is removed from each side of the face. Underlying muscles are tightened, and tissue is moved from sagging lower areas to higher areas such as the check bones to give more definition to desirable areas. Fat grafting to the check bones may be done to further enhance this area.
A droopy neck is tightened at the same time and often unwanted fat is removed during this part of the procedure. I usually perform a corset platysmaplasty to further tighten the muscles of the neck, and in addition I sculpt the undersurface of the jaw line to create better definition in this area.
During your consultation, careful examination will be done to distinguish the various culprits of facial aging. We will explain the different considerations based on the degree of sun damage causing deterioration of the quality of skin versus aging that has an impact on the quantity of skin. Advanced skin care products and resurfacing techniques will help improve the quality of the skin, whereas a face and neck lift will help eliminate excess quantity of skin. Fat injections often help restore volume that has been lost during the aging process.
The diagnosis of sun damage is also important because the damaged collagen and elastic fibers may not allow a face lift to maintain itself for a long enough period of time. In patients with severe sun damage, we have had disappointment because of an early recurrence of facial laxity. At times, an advanced skin care program may be more helpful in these situations. A face and neck lift can be expected to last 5 to 10 years or more. A twin with a face lift can expect to look more youthful for a long period of time compared to the twin that did not have the face lift. Repeat face lifts can be done.
The incisions in front of and behind the ear usually heal quite well and are usually inconspicuous.
We enjoy doing this surgery because patients feel better about themselves, and have improved self-image. The face reflects the youthfulness they feel in their heart, and patients often return years later thanking us. It is especially meaningful to have received a number of wedding announcements and a little “thank you” note attached!
The best candidates for a Facelift
The best candidate for a facelift is a man or woman whose face and neck have begun to sag, but whose skin still has some elasticity and whose bone structure is strong and well defined. Most patients are in their forties to sixties, but facelifts can be done successfully on people in their seventies or eighties as well.
Thousands of men and women have achieved excellent results with this procedure. A facelift can make you look younger and fresher and it often enhances your self-confidence in the process.