FaceLift Surgery (Rhytidectomy)

Facelifts, or a Rhytidectomy, can make you appear more youthful, rested, and improves self-esteem. As we age, wrinkles, drooping skin, and draping of the jowls and neck skin appear. Deep folds become noticeable around the mouth and nose. Jowls and a double chin may result from the loss of muscle tone. Fat deposits develop in the eyelids may contribute to a puffy and tired look. The eyebrows sag creating a sad look, and crow’s feet form at the corner of the eyes.

A facelift procedure rejuvenates your appearance. Facelift surgery does not correct forehead wrinkles, sagging eyebrows, excessive skin and fatty deposits in the upper and lower eyelids, nor does it affect the bone which gives your face its understructure. It pulls the skin more tightly over the supporting muscles and bone.

Candidates must be in good general health, and the health of the skin is also taken into consideration. If you smoke, your doctor will probably ask you to stop for several months before and after having surgery, as smoking robs your body of oxygen it needs for healing, as well as attack the collagen beneath your skin. Your doctor will assess your candidacy for this procedure.

The Procedure

Facelift surgery is usually performed with the patient asleep under general anesthesia. After incision lines are marked with a special pen, incisions will be made, and the skin is gently lifted and pulled tightly across the cheek and neck. After the underlying muscles and tissues are repositioned, the excess skin at the hairline and ears is trimmed away. The tightened skin is sutured at the ear and hairline. Most incisions are hidden in the hairline and will be barely visible after healing is complete. A sterile dressing is applied, and the patient is moved to a recovery area.


Patients should arrange for a loved one to drive them home following surgery. Plan to rest with your head elevated for about two days. Most patients experience only minimal pain, easily controlled with oral medication. You may shampoo your hair after the first sutures are removed. Numbness in the face is normal following this procedure but don’t worry, feeling will return within 6 -12 weeks as the nerve fibers regenerate. The face and neck will appear swollen and bruised for a while because healing is a gradual process. Slowly build back up to your daily level of activity. Strenuous activities should be avoided for at least a month, and direct exposure to the sun avoided for several months. Once healed, your skin will drape softly and gently over the facial contours, resulting in a face that may look years younger.