Facelift and Neck Lift (Rhytidectomy)
What is a Facelift?
Signs of aging of the face are inevitable and as years go by the skin begins to loosen on the face and neck. Changes related to aging are due to a loss of collagen that causes thinning of the skin. There is also a decrease in facial volume due to a decrease of fat under the skin and there are changes in the facial skeleton as well. In some people, the jawline sags and jowls and marionette lines appear. The skin under the chin can also lose elasticity and start to droop down.
A facelift and neck lift, also called a rhytidectomy is a surgery for tightening and smoothing the skin of the lower third of the face and neck. A rhytidectomy will address the loose and sagging skin of the lower face and remove the excess skin.
Benefits of a Facelift & Neck Lift
A facelift is most effective in correcting the following signs of aging:
- Mid-face sagging
- Deep creases under the eyes
- Nasolabial folds
- Loose skin under the chin and jaw
Who Is a Good Candidate For a Facelift?
The best candidate for a facelift/necklift is someone who is looking to correct one or more signs of aging on their face and have facial sagging. They should have elasticity in their skin, be in good health, and do not smoke. It is important to have realistic expectations about what a rhytidectomy can do.
Dr. Fisher does not perform facelifts on active smokers. This is because smoking impairs and slows the healing process and increases the risk of skin loss. In order to not be considered an active smoker, you must not smoke for four weeks before surgery. You must also commit to not smoking for four weeks after surgery. Hopefully, by this point, you will be able to quit smoking altogether! The health benefits of this cannot be overemphasized.
Your safety is extremely important to Dr. Fisher. She performs facelift procedures at an accredited outpatient surgery center under general anesthesia along with a highly qualified anesthesiologist. The procedure takes approximately 2 hours.
There are multiple rhytidectomy techniques, and which technique is utilized depends on the particular person. The surgery has to be customized to the individual’s face and neck type. The two possible techniques are traditional facelift and limited-incision facelift. With both techniques, incisions are closed with stitches.
Facelift Before and After
Can a Facelift Be Combined With Other Procedures?
A facelift will tighten the lower face, but will not make the face look fuller or add volume to the cheeks and midface. In order to accomplish this, fat grafting is often performed at the same time and adds volume to the face. Normally the fat is taken by liposuction from the abdomen and is injected into specific areas of the face.
Facelifts cannot improve wrinkles or sagging around the forehead, brows, eyes, nasolabial folds, chin, or mouth. In order to address these areas, other procedures can be performed such as brow lift, eye lift, fat grafting, facial fillers, and laser resurfacing.
Recovery After Facelift Surgery
Dr. Fisher will wrap bandages on the incisions and may place tubes for drainage. These are removed the day following surgery and any stitches or surgical clips are removed a week after surgery. Patients may experience swelling, bruising, and some tension in the neck and face. A facelift will always leave a scar in front of and behind the ear. The extent of the scar behind the ear will depend on the extent of skin laxity.
Good skin care is very important for maintaining the results of your facelift. Just because you had a facelift does not mean that you will stop aging. You will continue to age, but with a reset starting point that is more youthful. The result of your facelift will last about 10 years. Using good skin care products including sunscreen everyday is essential. It is crucial to avoid smoking and overexposure to the sun.
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