In time, gravity, sun exposure, and the stresses of daily life take their toll on our faces and necks. Deep creases appear beside the mouth, the jaw line slackens and becomes jowly, and the neck develops loose folds and fat deposits. Facelifts counteract these signs of aging by tightening muscle, removing fat, and trimming excess skin, giving your face a fresher, youthful look. After surgery, some patients look 10 to 15 years younger.
Facelifts, technically known as rhytidectomies (literally, “removal of wrinkles”), rejuvenate the mid- to lower face and neck. Facelifts are most effective for patients who want to correct:
Facelifts can produce a dramatic improvement in appearance for patients with the problems mentioned above. However, facelifts do not stop the aging process; in time, signs of aging will gradually appear once again. Additionally, a facelift cannot change your fundamental appearance.
Further, facelifts will not rejuvenate the brow, eyelids, nose, and some of the midface. Patients who want to improve these areas may consider combining a facelift with fat transfer to the midface or cheeks, a browlift or eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty).
The best candidates for rhytidectomy:
During your consultation, Dr. Salemy will discuss whether a facelift is right for you.
Facelifts are typically outpatient procedures and may be performed in an office-based facility, surgery center or hospital. At our Seattle plastic surgery office, patients may have a choice of IV sedation or general anesthesia. The procedure takes about 2 hours.
The way a facelift is performed varies depending on the surgeon, the patient’s facial structure, and the extent of correction desired. The 3 most common incision techniques are the following:
While there are many ways to perform a facelift, Dr. Salemy’s goal is to technically produce the most natural result with the least risk during the procedure. During your consultation, he will discuss the best method for you to achieve your desired results.
After your rhytidectomy, Dr. Salemy will wrap the incisions in bandages. No draining tubes are required in most cases. Your bandage will be removed in 3 days, sutures in a week and surgical clips in 14 days.
At first, you may experience swelling, numbness, bruising, and a feeling of tightness or tension in the face and neck. Your face may look uneven or distorted, and your facial muscles may feel stiff. Most of these usually resolve within 3 to 6 weeks, and sensation typically returns to normal within a few months. Scars become less red, raised, lumpy or itchy in time.
Many patients return to work by the second week. Camouflage cosmetics can be used to minimize the appearance of bruising.
You should be gentle with your skin and hair as you recover. Men may need to shave behind the neck and ears where areas of beard-growing skin have moved.
Results of a facelift typically last around 10 years or so, but this varies depending on the individual. However, no matter how your skin ages, your jawline and neckline will continue to look much better than they did prior to your procedure.
Possible complications of facelift include: bleeding, infection, bruising, uneven swelling or discoloration, allergic reaction to the anesthesia, skin blistering (usually only seen in smokers), and temporary or permanent loss of sensation in the face. Dr. Salemy will discuss the risks and benefits of a facelift with you if you elect to undergo this plastic surgery in Seattle.