A facelift, also called a rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure typically used to garner a more youthful appearance for the face. This type of cosmetic surgery reshapes the lower third of the face by removing excess facial skin while tightening the underlying tissues.
The plastic surgeon typically begins the incision in the area of the temple hair, just above and in front of the ear. Next, it continues under the earlobe, follows the back of the ear, and blends into the hairline. For men, the incision is aligned to accommodate the natural beard lines. Actual placement of incisions varies from patient to patient and is dependent on the surgeon’s judgment for that patient. In all cases, the incisions are placed where they will fall in a natural crease of the skin for camouflage.
After trimming the excess skin, the surgeon closes the incisions with fine sutures and/or metal clips. The skin is gently lifted as the surgeon repositions and tightens the underlying muscle and connective tissue. Some fat may be removed, as well as excess skin.
Depending on the extent of the surgery, the process can take from two to four hours. The procedure is typically performed with a combination of mild sedatives, local anesthesia, and a mild intravenous anesthesia to reduce any pain or discomfort. Some surgeons will prefer general anesthesia for their facelifts. Following the surgery, the surgeon will apply a dressing to protect the entire area where the incisions have been made.
To achieve the best result, the procedure often overlaps with a neck lift.
A neck lift can help you redefine and rejuvenate your face. With a quick recovery time, a neck lift provides a simple way to look younger and more beautiful by removing excess fat and tightening underlying muscles and the skin around the neck. These results are especially dramatic when combined with a face lift.
Incisions usually begin in front of the earlobe and wrap around behind the ear, ending in the lower scalp. A small incision may also be made under the chin. The surgeon then tightens the underlying muscle and membrane, pulls the skin back, and removes the excess skin and fat. Stitches secure the layers of tissue and close the incisions; metal clips may be used on the scalp.
After the surgery, you may have swelling and bruising that can last for several days. You may feel tightness or tingling, along with different sensations including burning or pulling. Severe or persistent pain or a sudden swelling of your face should be reported to your surgeon immediately.
Most people can return to work in around 10 to 14 days. You will have to wait at least three weeks, if not longer, to resume sports activities. Taking care of yourself during the healing process should be your priority. Dr. ChiChi Berhane will give more specific guidelines for gradually resuming your normal activities during the consultation pre-op process.
When a neck or face lift is performed by Dr. ChiChi Berhane, complications are infrequent and usually minor. Still, individuals vary greatly in their anatomy, their physical reactions, and their healing abilities, and the outcome is never completely predictable. Patients who plan on having either of these procedures are strongly advised to not smoke several weeks before and after the procedure. Contact us today for a consultation.