Time, gravity, sun exposure, the daily stresses of life, and genetics eventually all begin to take their toll on our faces. Before you know it, you could be sporting new fine lines and wrinkles that weren’t there before. Your cheeks can lose volume, you may start seeing jowling and sagging, and you may start to appear older than you actually are. You don’t have to sit passively by as your face begins to age, however. You can improve the appearance of your face through rhytidectomy, most commonly known as facelift surgery.
What is a facelift?
It is a surgical procedure that can effectively improve the visible signs of aging, both on the face and the neck. It can reduce the appearance of wrinkles, eliminate jowling and a double chin, tighten muscles, and stretch the skin to fix sagging. The procedure addresses the upper, middle, and lower sections of the face through small incisions. The results? A fresher, more youthful overall facial appearance. The results can last for up to 10 years.
If you are concerned about the signs of aging, keep reading to find out how a facelift works.
How it works
During a full facelift procedure, you will be under general anesthesia. Your plastic surgeon will first make incisions in your skin. The incisions are typically made along the hairline and along the creases of the ears to ensure that they are well hidden and to minimize the appearance of scars. When making incisions, your plastic surgeon will aim for the best combination of discretion and effectiveness.
Then, the skin of your face will be lifted from the underlying tissue to smooth out wrinkles. The underlying muscles will also be tightened in order to create more aesthetically pleasing contours. If required, excess pockets of skin and fat that contributes to an aged appearance will also be removed at this time. The removal of excess fat and skin typically results in a noticeable reduction of age lines and sagging in the face and neck.
To complete the surgery, the plastic surgeon will reposition the skin with sutures and possibly a few staples behind the ear andwrap the treated area in bandages.
The procedure is undertaken with utmost attention to detail and care in order to ensure that the results are natural looking and the scarring is negligible.
Combining other procedures
In many cases, patients choose to undergo other procedures while undergoing facelift surgery in order to enhance or augment the results. Facelifts are often combined with liposuction and free fat grafting to achieve the most youthful results. Eyelid surgery is also often included in order to enhance the appearance of the area around the eyes. In this case, your plastic surgeon would lift sagging eyelids, remove fat pockets around the eyes, and excise excess, drooping skin to give you a brighter, more alert appearance of the eyes.
Other patients choose to add a brow lift to the surgery. This would include altering or removing the muscles and tissues in the brow area that result in a drooping or furrowing appearance. A brow lift can minimize frown lines, raise the eyebrows, and smooth the brow.
What are the benefits?
Whether you undergo a facelift procedure on its own or in conjunction with one or more procedures, you can expect benefits including reshaping and better blending and balance of the upper, mid, and lower facial structures. By tightening skin and muscles, reshaping or removing fat, and excising excess skin on the face and neck, you will see visible improvements in the signs of aging, including a more contoured jaw, less sagging, the improved appearance of jowling and a double chin, and the reduction of wrinkles. As a result, your face will look younger and fresher, and your self-esteem and self-confidence will improve. You will still look like you—and the changes will look natural.