A face lift or rhytidectomy is a surgical procedure which promises better results than its non-surgical facial rejuvenating counterparts, and can be performed in conjunction with other similar procedures to boost results. These procedures may include facial implants, skin resurfacing techniques, wrinkle removal injections, and soft tissue augmentations.

While a face lift will not stop you from aging further, it will target the visible signs of aging on both your face and neck, removing wrinkles and creases, and reducing the appearance of loose or sagging skin.

What results can I expect from a face lift?

Face lifts are designed to reduce the visible signs of aging in your face and neck areas. Specifically, a face lift can:

  •  reduce sagging or loose skin of the face, chin, or neck
  •  remove deep creases around the eyes and mouth
  •  resculpt or redistribute fatty tissues of the face and neck
  •  reduce the appearance of jowls caused by loss of skin tone
  •  reduce the appearance of a double chin

Who is a good candidate for a face lift?

Ideal candidates for a face lift include those who:

  •  are in good general health
  •  are non-smokers
  •  have realistic expectations and goals for the outcome of the surgery

Your surgeon will be able to assist you in setting realistic expectations and goals for the surgery during your consultation.

What is the face lift procedure like?

There are three different types of face lifts you can choose to undergo, depending on what your goals are for the procedure. Your options include a traditional face lift, a limited incision face lift, or a neck lift.

For all three procedures, you will first be administered either intravenous sedation or general anesthesia, depending on which is right for you. Each of the three types of face lift procedures call for their own incision line placements and lengths.

With a traditional face lift, the incision line begins at the temple, goes around the front of the ear, and concludes at the base of the scalp. This type of face lift targets all areas in the face and neck region, and the plastic surgeon may even lift the underlying musculature in order to promote a more alert, youthful appearance. Excess skin is removed, and fat is redistributed in a more attractive manner.

For a limited incision face lift, as the name suggests, the incision lines are much shorter. They are still placed in the same areas as the traditional face lift, depending on your desired results, but are not continuous as in the traditional face lift. Incisions may also be placed in the lower eye lid or under the upper lip, and will be hidden when possible.

A neck lift targets the chin and neck areas only. The incision site begins in the front of the lower ear, wraps around, and ends at the base of the scalp. Additional incisions may also be made under the chin. This procedure is right for you if you desire changes in your chin and neck. It specifically targets loose or sagging skin as well as the accumulation of excess or uneven fat in these areas.

Once the appropriate changes have been made to your facial features, the incisions will be closed. Because of their placement, once the incisions are healed, they will be well-hidden by your hairline and your natural facial contours.

The changes made during a face lift procedure will become more and more visible as the swelling, redness, and bruising subside. The entire healing process should take a few months to one year, although the majority of visible symptoms – namely, swelling, bruising, and redness – will dissipate within the first few months following your plastic surgery. The incision sites themselves may take up to one year to fully refine, although they will still be hidden within your hairline and contours of your face.

If you are interested in rejuvenating your skin and returning to a younger-looking appearance, speak to your surgeon about whether a face lift is right for you.