Face Lift Surgery
A rhytidectomy, more commonly known as a facelift, is an elective plastic surgery procedure that helps to decrease the effects of aging on a patient’s face and neck. It is especially useful to correct the following problems:
- Jowls on the lower face due to the loss of skin tone.
- Fat deposits and loose skin underneath the chin that give the appearance of being overweight, even for people whose body weight is appropriate for their height and gender.
- Creasing that extends downwards from underneath the nose to the mouth corners.
While aging is the most common cause of these facial features, they can also be caused by stress, genetics, weight loss, and certain environmental conditions. Patients should be non-smokers in good health who have realistic expectations of the facelift. It cannot stop the process of aging nor can it change a person’s basic appearance. However, it can make people look younger.
Isn’t it time to take the next step?
UPMC Western Maryland Plastic Surgery
12502 Willowbrook Road, Suite 460
Cumberland, MD 21502
Hours of Operation:
Tuesday and Thursday 8 am – 5:30 pm
Friday 8 am – 12 pm
What to Expect from Facelift Surgery
Each patient receives the type of anesthesia that is most appropriate before the facelift gets underway. Once it has taken effect, the plastic surgeon makes an incision in the hairline near the patient’s temples. The cut continues around the ear and extends behind the ear. At this point, the plastic surgeon sculpts or redistributes fat from the jowls, face, and neck. The next step is to reposition the underlying layer of tissue and lift the facial muscles. The remaining skin goes over the uplifted contour of the face with any excess skin being trimmed away.
The surgeon also has the option of completing a limited incision facelift as well as a neck lift. The transformation will be less dramatic for patients with fewer incisions, but this option may be best for younger people and those who prefer their surgery to be as conservative as possible (this may not be an option for all patients). A neck lift helps to project a more youthful appearance because it firms up the skin and smoothes out fatty deposits in the neck.
The last step of the facelift procedure is for the surgeon to close the incisions. These are disguised well within the patient’s hairline and the natural contours of skin around the ears and face. The facelift surgery is now complete. As the patient comes out of anesthesia, it is normal to feel tightness in the face, nauseated, cold, and overly emotional. Those who are especially uncomfortable should ask for assistance from staff before going home.
Patients who had a facelift procedure on an outpatient basis will need to arrange for a ride home due to lasting grogginess from the anesthesia. They may also feel too stiff and sore to drive right away.
Recovery from Facelift Surgery
A bandage placed on the face helps to minimize swelling and bruising immediately after the procedure. After the first day, this changes to an elastic wrap to improve patient comfort. Thin tubes taped to the face help to drain away excess fluid and blood that could pool underneath the skin. These typically remain in place for several days.
Painkillers help to ease the discomfort in the first few days of facelift recovery. Additionally, antibiotics will need to be taken as directed to prevent an infection. Swelling and bruising tend to be worst during the first three days. It’s important for patients to get up and move several times a day so they don’t develop a problem with circulation. Facelift patients should plan for two weeks of recovery at home, after which they may return to work with makeup on the face. It takes at least 4 to 6 weeks for those who have had a facelift to look their best.