How is Rhytidectomy (facelift) performed?
Facelifts range in size from "mini" to "standard", depending on location and extent of skin laxity. The procedure is done on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia with sedation, or under general anesthesia. Incisions are made within the hairline (or along the hair margin) above the ear, extending down around the lobe and ending in or below the hairline behind the ear. The subcutaneous layers and neck muscles are tightened, the facial skin is re-draped and lifted, and the excess skin is removed.
Facelift surgery is effective at supporting relaxed tissues and skin. It does not restore youthful elasticity. It has the greatest benefit in the upper neck, along the jawline, and in the region of the smile lines. A patient can simulate the procedure by lifting the cheek and neck with fingertips. Ultimately, we elevate the cheek and neck structures and remove the surplus above and behind the ear. Often, the hairline will be moved upward.
These patients are usually fitted overnight with a large and compressive bandage. This dressing reduces the chance of bruising, and in general, facelift patients will look well a few days after the operations. Most have little bruising. However, the operation is still likely to produce great fatigue for weeks and cause swelling.
The degree of benefit and the duration of the benefit of this operation cannot be known in advance.
Who is a good candidate for Rhytidectomy (facelift)?
You may be a candidate for a Rhytidectomy (facelift) if you have experienced a loss of skin elasticity and muscle tone of the face and neck. A facelift may also be desirable if you have the appearance of jowls and deep creases between the base of the nose and the corners of the mouth, or developed facial and neck wrinkles. If you believe you lack youthful chin and neck contours and/or feel you have a tired facial appearance, a facelift may be the answer. A facelift is intended to give you a more rested and youthful contour to the face.
Recovery time for Rhytidectomy (facelift) procedure
This procedure requires serious limits on activity for two weeks. Pain is mild. Fatigue is usually significant. Most can resume light work in one week.