American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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Facelift Surgery

Rhytidectomy

A facelift, or rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure to improve visible signs of aging in the face and neck.

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What are the steps of a facelift procedure?

A facelift procedure includes the following steps:

Step 1 – Anesthesia

Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.

A variety of other procedures can further enhance the outcome of a facelift. They include:

Step 2 – The incision

Depending on the degree of change you'd like to see, your facelift choices include a traditional facelift, limited incision facelift or a neck lift.

A traditional facelift incision often begins in the hairline at the temples, continues around the ear and ends in the lower scalp. Fat may be sculpted or redistributed from the face, jowls and neck and underlying tissue is repositioned, commonly the deeper layers of the face and the muscles are also lifted. Skin is redraped over the uplifted contours and excess skin is trimmed away.

A second incision under the chin may be necessary to further improve an aging neck. Sutures or skin adhesives close the incisions.

Traditional Facelift

facelift traditional incision

An alternative to a traditional facelift uses shorter incisions at the temples, continuing around the ear. "Mini-lifts" are usually reserved for patients with less skin relaxation, as the results are less rejuvenating than a full facelift.

Limited Incision

Facelift limited incision

A necklift addresses the sagging jowls, loose neck skin and fat accumulation under the chin. The neck lift incision often begins in front of the ear lobe and wraps around behind the ear, and ends in the posterior hair behind the ear.

Neck Lift

Facelift neck lift incision

Step 3 – Closing the incisions

The incisions will be closed with sutures that may dissolve or may need to be removed after a few days. Some surgeons use skin glues to seal the incisions. Once healed, the incision lines from a facelift are well concealed within the hairline and in the natural contours of the face and ear.

Step 4 – See the results

The visible improvements of a facelift appear once swelling and bruising subside. Your final result should not only restore a more youthful and rested appearance, but also help you feel more confident about yourself. Get more information about facelift results.



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