A facelift, also called a rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure to reduce visible signs of aging. The procedure works by tightening skin and underlying tissue that has lost its elasticity and firmness over the years. The result is a smoother, younger looking complexion with fewer visible lines and less skin sagging. Facelifts are more invasive than other types of cosmetic procedures, but the results are also much more dramatic.
The facelift procedure may consist of various techniques, depending on the specific needs of the patient. Board-certified plastic surgeon Geoffrey Leber, MD carefully assesses each patient to determine the techniques that will best meet their needs. A consultation prior to the procedure provides the patient with all necessary information about the surgery, including how to prepare and what type of recovery to expect.
Facelifts can be used to address a number of cosmetic issues, including:
- Sagging skin in the mid-face and along the jawline
- Deep creases under the eyes, resulting in a chronically “tired” look
- Marionette lines (creases running from the bottom of the nose to the corners of the mouth)
- Loose skin around the chin, giving the appearance of a double chin
- Loose skin and deep creases in the neck
Patients undergoing a facelift should be in relatively good health with significant signs of aging. Those with subtle signs may want to consider less invasive cosmetic treatments—such as BOTOX® Cosmetic or JUVÉDERM®—to ward of the aging process. A facelift will help patients regain their youthful appearance to more accurate reflect their vitality and energy at any age.
About the Procedure
Facelift surgery is usually performed in a hospital or surgical suite under general anesthesia. However, some procedures may also allow for local anesthesia and sedation. The surgeon makes an incision in the area of the temple or the earlobe, depending on the specific areas of the face to be addressed during surgery. Incisions are carefully placed in the hairline or in natural folds to reduce scarring after surgery.
During the procedure, Dr. Leber works under the surface to remove excess pockets of fat and reposition underlying tissue. Skin is then tightened over the area and excess skin is removed. Sutures are placed in the incisions. The entire procedure typically takes 3-4 hours to complete, depending on the amount of work to be done.
Recovery and Results
Bandages are placed over the incisions after surgery. A narrow tube may also be placed behind the ear to remove excess fluid and prevent infection. Post-operative swelling may be managed by ice packs, while pain medication will be prescribed for the days immediately following the procedure.
Some patients will be allowed to go home the same day as their facelift surgery, while others may remain in the hospital overnight. Most swelling and bruising subsides within the first two weeks, and patients are usually allowed to return to regular activities within 2-3 weeks.
Results of facelift surgery may be seen right away, but will continue to improve in the following weeks as swelling subsides. It may take up to six months to see the full effect of your procedure. Results from a facelift are long-lasting, although skin will eventually begin to droop again as a normal part of the aging process. Patients can help to prolong their results by avoiding sun damage and adhering to a healthy lifestyle.
A facelift is an effective way to dramatically turn back the clock on the skin. For more information about this surgical procedure, contact Dr. Geoffrey Leber and his staff to schedule your consultation.
Dr. Leber and his staff are here to help you achieve your aesthetic goals in a safe and caring environment. If you’re interested in scheduling a face lift procedure, reach us by phone (480) 945-5522 or email us.