Facelift (Rhytidectomy)


Why choose to have a Facelift (Rhytidectomy)? The appearance of our faces changes for many reasons. A combination of factors such as heredity, gravity and lifestyle affect the structure of our facial appearance. As we age our skin progressively loses its elasticity, and our muscles tend to slacken, and there is some beginning of fat and volume.

Sagging in the midface can create deep creases below the lower eyelids and between the nose and mouth (nasolabial fold) that may make you appear tired and sad. Fat that has fallen or is displaced and loss of muscle tone in the lower face may create jowls (a sagging jaw line). Loose skin and excess fatty tissue deposit under the chin and jaw and can make even a person of normal weight appear to have a “double chin”.

Exposure to sunlight and smoking also causes premature ageing. A facelift is a surgical procedure used to improve visible signs of age-related changes in the lower half of the face, from the eyes and ears downwards.

A facelift is designed to smooth out and redefine these signs of ageing, restore a more youthful appearance and improve the tone of the facial skin and underlying muscles.

The Facelift Consultation

The consultation with your plastic surgeon is the first step to communicate your feelings about what you want to achieve and how a facelift can enhance and rejuvenate your appearance.

The purpose of the consultation is to bring focus and clarity to the concerns that you have regarding the appearance of your face and neck, but also to establish a realistic expectation and clear sense of direction for your change. Bringing a photograph of yourself from the time when you thought you looked your best will help in the discussion.

The consultation you will be asked some questions about your health, desires and lifestyle.

Be prepared to discuss

  • Why you want the surgery, your expectations and desired outcomes
  • Medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments
  • Use of current medications, use of facial fillers, alcohol, tobacco and drugs
  • Previous surgeries

Your consultant will also

  • Evaluate your general health status, ask about any previous facial surgery, and any pre-existing health conditions or risks factors
  • Take photographs for your medical records
  • Inform you of differences in facial symmetry you’ve probably never noticed before.
  • Will gently lift your facial skin to assess what you might be able to expect after your surgery.
  • Discuss your options, effects of the surgery and recommend a course of action which will include the extent and positioning of scars.
  • Discuss any likely outcomes of the surgery, any risks or potential complications and what to expect during your recovery.
  • Discuss the use of anaesthesia during your surgery

The consultation will take approximately thirty minutes to one hour depending on the extent of changes desired.

Overall, the decision regarding the type of surgery is a result of an assessment of the starting point and the amount of change desired.

Face Lift Procedure

A face-lift involves elevating and repositioning the skin and soft tissue of the face. Depending on the degree of your desired changes, your facelift choices include a traditional facelift, limited incision facelift or a neck lift.

A traditional facelift incisions are made at the hairline near the temples, continues around the ear and ends in the lower scalp.
Fat and tissue are sculpted or redistributed from the face, jowls and neck, and the underlying tissue is repositioned, commonly deeper layers of the face and muscles are also lifted.
Skin is re-draped over its new foundations and contours, sewn into position and excess skin is trimmed away. A second incision under the chin may be necessary to improve an ageing neck further.

Face-lifts are commonly performed under general anaesthetic. The operation takes between two to five hours depending on the individual, and patients are likely to need to stay in the hospital overnight.

What it is Not

A facelift is a restorative surgery; it will not change your original appearance, erase permanent creases particularly around your lips or stop the ageing process.

Additional procedures like facial fillers and chemical peels can improve those lines and can be performed in conjunction with your facelift.

Facelifts are frequently combined with other procedures including brow lift, neck lifts and eyelid surgery. Facelifts are very successful procedures and can have dramatic results. However, you need to be aware that a facelift will ever erase all the effects of time, and the surgery’s limitations before you agree to undertake the surgery.

Further Reading:

Brow Lift

British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons

Comments are closed.