Face Lift

What’s Involved In A Face Lift?

The face lift (rhytidectomy) is done to tighten the skin of the face and remove large creases and wrinkles that have formed around the nose and mouth. The face and neck are usually treated at the same time, and the procedure is sometimes called a face-and-neck lift.

Face lift surgery can last from two to five hours. It can be performed in an outpatient facility with local anesthetics and sedatives to relax the patient. Some surgeons, however, prefer patients receive general anesthesia during surgery and stay in the hospital overnight.

The Incision

The procedure begins after the patient is asleep from the anesthesia or comfortably sedated and pain-free from a local anesthesia.

The face lift is performed through a surgical incision on each side of the face. The incision

  • Begins in the hairline
  • Continues down in front of the ear
  • Goes around the earlobe
  • Ends in the hairline behind the ear

Any scarring is usually hidden on the scalp and along natural lines of the face. For men, the incision follows the natural beard line and can be camouflaged by sideburns. Only a thin line of hair will be trimmed along the incision line.

Achieving A Better Shape

After the incision has been made, the skin is freed and raised from the underlying fat and muscle. Excess fat is trimmed or suctioned from the neck and chin. If jowls and drooping neck skin are a problem, fibrous tissue and platysma muscle under the skin may be separated and made tighter.

Sometimes a small incision is also made in the shadow line under the chin to allow for trimming or suctioning of focal areas of fat along the jaw line or under the chin. The skin is pulled tight over the underlying tissue. Excess is trimmed away and the incisions are closed with fine sutures and staples.

Nice To Know:

Submental lipectomy, or liposuction, is a procedure for cutting away (lipectomy) or suctioning (liposuction) the fatty tissue that some people develop between the chin and the neck. The underlying muscles can also be tightened to produce a more defined chin and jaw. Although the submental lipectomy is sometimes done as a separate procedure, it is usually done at the same time as a face lift.

Need To Know:

In some cases, during surgery, a small drainage tube is placed under the skin behind the ear to drain off any excess blood and fluids that may collect there. This tube will be removed a day or two after the procedure.


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