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How is a Facelift Performed?

A facelift surgical procedure, also known as a rhytidectomy, removes the excess skin of the face to minimize the visible signs of aging in the face and neck. A facelift addresses common facial issues such as loose skin and extra fat in the neck giving the appearance of a double chin, loose skin that causes sagging of the face, disappearance or falling of fat, increased deepening of nose and corner of the mouth folds, and jowls. Facelifts can give a more youthful appearance and help a person feel more comfortable in their skin. It’s important to work with a reputable, experienced surgeon for the best results and to minimize the risks of surgery.

The Traditional Facelift Procedure

The process of a facelift begins with an administration of anesthesia for the comfort of the patient. Your surgeon will recommend the best choice for your surgery, either a local anesthesia, oral sedation, or intravenous anesthesia. A traditional facelift begins with an incision that starts at the hairline or in the hair just above the ear. The incision is then extended downward, continues under the ear, and then around the back of the ear and ends at the lower scalp. This incision enables the skilled surgeon to lift the skin and reposition the fat and underlying tissues in order to correct the problem.

At this point, the underlying muscle and connective tissue, or fascia, may be tightened with sutures. The surgeon will make this determination depending on the surgical needs of the individual person. The skin is then put back in place and the excess skin is trimmed away. The incision is carefully closed with skin staples or adhesives, sutures, and bandages. The surgeon may leave a drain in the wound to remove excess blood that results from the surgery. Sutures used to close the wound may be of the type that dissolves after time, or the patient may need to have them removed by the surgeon in a follow up appointment.

The Limited Incision Facelift Procedure

There is an alternative option to the traditional facelift. This option is referred to as a limited incision. In this procedure, commonly called a “mini-lift”, shorter incisions are made at the temples. The incision continues around the ear. This type of surgical procedure is more often an option for patients with less skin relaxation. The results are less pronounced and less revitalizing than the traditional facelift offers.

Following the Procedure

Swelling and bruising are common and often accompany the days that follow the procedure. After the area has had a chance to heal, the results of the facelift will be visible. Whether a traditional facelift or limited incision facelift was performed, the incision lines will be well concealed. This is the reason that incisions are made within the hair or hairline and follow the natural contours of the face and ear. It makes the incision lines almost indetectable. After the surgery and appropriate healing time, the facial skin will have a more rested and youthful appearance. This procedure, performed by a skilled surgeon, can help you feel more confident in your own skin.

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