Facelift

A facelift, also known as rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure designed to smooth the loose skin on your face and neck, tighten underlying tissues and remove excess fat. A facelift cannot stop the aging process, but it can “set back the clock”, improving the most visible signs of aging. A facelift can be performed alone or in conjunction with other procedures such as eyelid surgery or a forehead lift.

Who is a candidate for a facelift?

Women and men who are in good health and have started to notice visible signs of facial aging are good candidates for facelift surgery. It is important that you have realistic goals and expectations as to what surgery can provide. Results can be maximized when surgery is combined with the adoption of a healthy and active lifestyle.

What results can I expect from a facelift?

Facelift surgery will remove many of the visible signs of facial aging, leaving your face and neck looking natural and more youthful. Although every person is different, facelifts generally result in a more refined and smooth jawline, as well as a tighter neck with sharper angles and fewer lines or wrinkles. There will be improved contour in the cheeks and fewer folds around the area of the mouth.

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What is involved in a facelift surgery?

The most common “problem” areas are the folds that develop from the corners of the mouth down to the jaw, the jowls along the jaw line, and excess skin and fat in the neck area. These are corrected through incisions that follow the contour of the ear, pass around the earlobe to the back of the ear and extend into the hairline of the scalp. A small incision may be placed under the chin. Through these incisions, the skin is separated from the fat and muscle. The fat is removed, and the underlying muscles are tightened. The skin is re-draped until the desired contour is achieved and the excess fat is removed. A light head dressing is then applied which is removed the following day. Within two weeks of surgery, all sutures are removed and the majority of bruising and swelling will have subsided. Camouflage make-up can be worn at this time. Scars are usually well hidden by your hair and natural skin creases. Most patients can return to their normal activities without looking as though they have just undergone surgery. Vigorous physical activity should be avoided for six weeks. Treating the skin on the surface can often be as important to providing a fresh, healthy appearance as surgical tightening and lifting. Adjunctive procedures such as peels, photofacials and routine skin care programs may be recommended.

Risks and Complications

Some of the complications that may occur with facelift surgery include bleeding, infection, numbness, facial asymmetry and an adverse reaction to anaesthesia. Fortunately, these occur infrequently. You can reduce your risks by closely following your instructions before and after surgery, and most importantly, refraining from smoking. Dr. Brown will discuss these issues with you in detail at the time of your initial consultation.  

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