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Facelift (Rhytidectomy)

Important Note: Every single patient is different, and has a different scenario. Because of that, it is very important that prior to making a decision, you contact a board certified plastic surgeon, and consult with them about your goals, desires and to see if you are a good candidate for this plastic surgery procedure.

Face lift is a surgical procedure which improves skin on the face which sags. This is done by removing extra fat on the face and tightening the muscles. The goal of this plastic surgery procedure is the set the clock back in reference to aging, by reducing the most visible parts of it. This plastic surgery procedure takes a good amount of time, usually numerous hours. Most patients are back to work within 2 weeks. Consult your plastic surgeon for details about your specific recovery time as every patient is different. This procedure is very common for men and women, 35 years or older.

Are you a Good Candidate?

The best candidates for Facelift (Rhytidectomy) are men and women who:

Is this you?
  • Are you physically healthy?
  • Do you have realistic expectations in reference to plastic surgery?
  • Has your face and neck begun to sag?
  • Do you feel like your face looks "old" or noticeable in reference to the aging process?
If you:
  • Have unrealistic expectations this may not be for you. You should discuss this with your plastic surgeon.
  • Are not physically healthy, you would not be a good candidate for rhinoplasty.
  • If the patient is over 70 years old, you should consult with your plastic surgeon in reference to your specific case.
  • Reaction to the anesthesia.
  • Hematoma a collection of blood, under your skin, the must be removed by your plastic surgeon.
  • Nerve Injuries that control facial muscles usually temporary
  • Poor skin healing
  • Infection
The Procedure

A Facelift procedure typically will take several hours, sometimes longer. In some cases, your plastic surgeon may schedule two different sessions, depending on how extensive your case is.

Plastic surgeons use different approaches for facelift, depending on your bone structure and there technique. The location of the incision will also depend on your bone structure, but will be discussed with you during your consultation. Some plastic surgeons will complete one side of the face first, and then move on to the other side, and other plastic surgeons will move back in forth between the sides. This is dependent on the surgeon's technique.

Your plastic surgeon will typically make incisions above your hairline near the temples, extend it to the front of the ear, and continue to the rear of the earlobe to the lower scalp. If your case requires work on the neck, the plastic surgeon may also make an incision below the chin. The plastic surgeon will then separate the skin from both the fat and the muscle. The plastic surgeon will then tighten, after removing the fat, will tighten the main muscle and membrane, pull the skin back and then remove the excess skin. Stitches then secure the layers of tissue, and the incisions are closed. Depending on your specific case, metal clips may be used on the scalp.

A temporary tube, very small, will usually be placed under the skin, in order to drain any blood that may build up. Typically, your head will be wrapped up in bandages in order to reduce bruising and minimize swelling.

After surgery, your recovery

Discomfort is typically not very significant after surgery, usually just some numbness of the skin. Your plastic surgeon will prescribe you with some medication for this pain. If you do have severe or constant pain, or your face swells up rapidly, you should report this to your plastic surgeon immediately.

Your plastic surgeon will give you specific directions to help recovery, such as keeping your head elevated to prevent swelling, stay away from bright sunlight and not perform strenuous activity are a few. The drainage tube that was inserted to help with built up blood will typically be removed within 2 days. Stitches are typically removed within a week.

Most of your stitches will be removed after about five days. Your scalp may take longer to heal, and the stitches or metal clips in your hairline could be left in a few days longer.

You will become active again typically after 2 days, and able to return to work within two weeks.

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