What is this surgery used for?
A rhytidectomy, commonly referred to as a facelift operation, is designed to diminish the changes of the aging face and neck. The procedure can correct issues such as loose or sagging skin, jowls around the cheeks and jaw, or folds around the nose and mouth. A “mini” facelift is a surgical procedure that reduces minor sagging around the cheeks. A neck lift is an operation to correct excessive neck skin or remove excess fat.
What occurs during this surgery?
The term “facelift” is actually a misnomer because the operation actually combines lifting of the face, neck, and temple regions all in one procedure. In some patients, a submental lipectomy may be performed in conjunction with a facelift to remove excess fat or folds under the chin. Incisions are typically made along the hairline, and excess skin is removed. Mini lifts use shorter incisions at the temples to address fat and loose skin behind the chin. This procedure is best for patients who have more limited skin relaxation.
In a neck left, sections of the neck skin are carefully trimmed and lifted into place. The lifted skin is then contoured to create a more pleasing neckline. Once properly contoured, the skin is fixed in place. The procedure may also involve the removal of excess fat and the tightening of underlying muscles and connective tissues. Following the procedure, the surgeons at the Center for Facial Cosmetics use the latest minimally invasive technique to re-drape the skin and recontour the face.
What care is required before this surgery?
Quitting smoking before a facelift surgery will help speed up the healing process. You should also stop taking aspirin for several days before the operation. Do not eat anything after midnight on the day before the operation. Wash your face and hair.
What care is required after this surgery?
Swelling and bruising are common after a facelift or neck lift, but will heal on their own. Your face may be bandaged to minimize these issues. Small tubes may be added to drain blood and fluid from the surgical site. You will receive instructions on how to empty this drain if needed. This tube is usually removed a day after the operation. Keeping your head elevated can help assist with recovery. You can also take prescribed pain medication and use cold packs to reduce swelling.
Avoid vigorous activity, clothes that are pulled over the head, and anything else that might put excessive pressure on the incisions. Limit alcohol consumption, as this can raise blood pressure and increase the possibility of bleeding. Avoid direct sunlight and use sunscreen when going outdoors. Incision sites should be periodically washed after the surgery. Showering is permissible, but do not submerge your head in the water and be careful to avoid snagging combs or hairbrushes on hairline sutures.
Patients who get a neck lift operation may be instructed to wear a garment that compresses the neck, helping to reduce swelling. You may need to wear this garment for several weeks. Immediately call your physician if you experience a fever, pain, nausea or vomiting, or foul-smelling drainage after the surgery.
How long is the recovery time?
Patients will typically need about two weeks of recovery time after a facelift or neck lift. You should arrange for a ride home after your surgery, and ideally have someone stay with you for the first night after the procedure.
Are there any risks associated with this surgery?
Several rare risks are associated with a facelift or neck lift procedure. These include infection, bleeding under the skin, temporary hair loss at incision sites, numbness or other changes in skin sensation, persistent pain or swelling, hair or skin loss, and cardiac or pulmonary complications. If you are dissatisfied with the results of the procedure, additional surgery may be necessary.