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Rhytidectomy – The Facelift

What is a Facelift?

A facelift, or Rhytidectomy, addresses sagging tissue, deep lines and wrinkling in your mid-face, jowl and neck area. The facelift has become one of the most popular cosmetic operations performed for the head and neck.

facelift

 

The goal of a facelift is to reposition the support structures and muscles that the skin rests upon, as well as to take up excess skin while re-suspending the nasolabial folds (the lines that run from your nose to the corners of your mouth), jowls and lax neck tissues. A facelift is not meant to address fine lines or pigment changes in your skin, but to restore a youthful appearance to your face by reducing sagging cheeks, mid-cheek wrinkles, and to better define the jaw and neckline. You should not have an artificial pulled back or stretched look. Also, a facelift does not address any problems you may have with your forehead and eyebrows, but you may combine a facelift with a brow lift or blepharoplasty.

Who is a good candidate for a facelift?

The typical facelift patient is a male or a female in their early 50’s and older who is concerned about an aged appearance- sagging, loose skin, jowling, and a face that is becoming more square looking rather than the youthful oval or heart shape, with loose skin underneath the chin and in the neck. The ideal candidate does not have excessive sun damage to their skin, or has an active protocol to correct sun damaged skin.

Not everyone is a good candidate for facelift surgery however. Those with serious medical problems are usually excluded, and patients currently smoking cigarettes and cannot stop for a specific time period are not be good candidates. It is also important to have realistic expectations.

What should I expect during my facelift?

Depending on the needs of the individual and the extent of surgery, a face lift may be done under general anesthesia or it can be done under twilight anesthesia (IV sedation). Each face is unique, so the facelift surgery addresses the specific needs of the individual patient. Normally a facelift takes anywhere from 3 to 4 hours. Incisions are strategically placed in hidden areas so they will not be obvious during the healing process or later. For the first twenty four hours afterwards, an absorbent dressing is applied to your face and neck.

What should I expect after my facelift?

On the first day after your surgery, the absorbent dressing is removed and surgical incisions are inspected and cleaned. You may wash your hair on this first day as well. You’ll probably experience swelling and a feeling of tightness and possibly bruising during the first week to ten days following the procedure. Much of this subsides however within two weeks, and if you have bruising, this may be covered with light makeup. You are given detailed post operative instructions, and your recovery progress is noted as you come in for post surgical Hivamat therapy treatments. Patients are generally able to return to normal activity within three weeks after a facelift.

How long will it last?

The duration of a face lift result depends on each individual. However, typical results should last 7 to 10 years. The aging process does continue after a face lift. Persistent ongoing sun exposure, poor skin care, smoking and poor nutrition will mean your results won’t last as long as they could.

The major benefit of a face lift is that it will restore a youthful, natural appearance to your facial and neck contours: and depending on your personal situation, a brow lift and/or blepharoplasty might also be appropriate.

Dr. Coundouriotis is devoted exclusively to procedures that involve the neck and face. As with any procedure that involves the neck and face, only a Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon, is your best choice to perform a Facelift.

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