Facelift surgery (rhytidectomy) gives patients the smooth complexion and youthful face they desire by reducing fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin. PREMIERE Center for Cosmetic Surgery takes a comprehensive approach to facelift surgery that will enhance your appearance for years to come.
What Are the Benefits of a Facelift?
- Can be customized to your specific anatomy and goals
- Creates balance among the facial features
- Lifts the neck and lower face with a natural appearance
- Restores youthful facial definition and contours
- Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
- Often provides a boost in confidence and reverses low self-esteem
Facelift Surgery Correct?
Sagging Cheeks and Jowls
Men and women who choose facelift surgery often have drooping tissue in the cheeks and along the jawline that creates a dramatically aged appearance. Lost skin elasticity and displaced facial muscles can create these sagging cheeks and jowls. With a rhytidectomy, patients can achieve more defined cheekbones and a stronger jawline with improved definition between their face and neck.
Fine Lines and Wrinkles
Facelift surgery can remove excess skin and reposition facial tissues to target deep nasolabial folds, fine lines around the lips, and other wrinkles in the lower two-thirds of the face. By diminishing these unflattering aging signs, patients can have smooth skin and appear up to 10 years younger.
Laxity in the Neck
Lax muscles and sagging underlying tissue in the face and neck can be tightened without causing a “pulled” or unnatural appearance. As part of a rhytidectomy, neck lift techniques can tighten the neck muscles and remove excess skin for a more harmonious balance between the features of the face and neck.
What Are the Different Types of Facelifts?
If a patient experiences severe facial sagging around the mouth and in the cheeks, jawline, and neck, a traditional rhytidectomy will likely be recommended.
An incision will be made at each temple where the hairline begins, which will extend behind the ears and end in the lower scalp. With this incision technique, your surgeon can sculpt or redistribute fat and muscle to lift and tighten your tissues.
Once this is complete, the skin is draped over the new contours and excess skin is removed.
Limited (Mini) Facelift
Some patients may only require a limited amount of corrections to the lower portion of the face (such as nasolabial folds). In this case, these patients may prefer the option of a limited “mini” facelift. Mini facelifts offer shorter incisions that run behind and extend slightly in front of the ear.
Mini facelift procedures are most appropriate for patients who desire to correct early or minimal aging signs in the lower face. Mini facelifts are also ideal for those who want subtle results and a facelift with less downtime.
A facelift may also include cosmetic corrections to the neck. A neck lift will reduce the signs of aging in the neck and contour a defined jawline by eliminating sagging excess skin and fat under the chin and in the neck. Additionally, a neck lift can eliminate neck banding by tightening neck muscles that have become lax over time.
What to Expect During Your Facelift Recovery
How Long Is Recovery From Facelift Surgery?
Full recovery from rhytidectomy generally takes six to eight weeks, at which point you can see your final results. The majority of bruising and swelling will resolve after two weeks. Your surgeon will provide a more specific recovery timeline based on your unique circumstances and procedure.
How Painful Is Recovery From Facelift Surgery?
After surgery, patients will experience swelling, bruising, and mild discomfort that will continue for a couple of weeks, with minor swelling that may last for several weeks. Prescribed medication will help you manage pain and heal comfortably.
Bandages will be placed around your face to reduce swelling and bruising and promote a more comfortable facelift recovery. Your surgeon may also place the bandages with small tubes that draw excess blood and fluid.
Can I Drive Home After Surgery?
You will not be able to drive yourself home after your surgery and should arrange for someone else to do so. Driving is only recommended after the effects of anesthesia and pain medication have fully subsided. Patients should wait until they have regained neck and shoulder mobility, as driving requires quick head turns and neck extension.
Do I Have to Sleep Sitting up After a Facelift?
You should plan to sleep with your head elevated for one to two weeks after facelift surgery to reduce swelling. However, because swelling may take several weeks to subside, we recommend continuing to sleep this way as long as you are comfortable. Pillows, blankets, and bedding can be wedged behind you and around your back and neck for support.
When Can I Shower After Facelift Surgery?
You will be able to shower safely two to three days after your surgery, but you can take a sponge bath until then. Patients should use baby shampoo and be extra careful when washing their hair to avoid putting any tension on their incisions. Your surgeon will provide more detailed instructions regarding showering and caring for your incisions.
When Can I Return to Work After Facelift Surgery?
Within a week after surgery, patients can return to any desk work. However, more active occupations may require two or more weeks of recovery. Your surgeon will discuss your recovery timeline during your consultation and follow-up appointments.
When Can I Exercise After Facelift Surgery?
You should wait two to three weeks before returning to exercise after your surgery. However, each patient’s body will heal at speeds individual to their unique biology. Following your surgeon’s guidelines regarding when to return to mild or intense exercise will help you heal properly and avoid injuring yourself.
When Can I Wear Makeup After a Facelift?
You should not apply any makeup to your skin for one to two weeks after facelift surgery to allow your incisions and facial tissues to heal. Makeup and makeup remover can irritate or infect your incisions and clog your pores. Applying and removing makeup can also put pressure on your healing facial tissues.
Many patients would like to use makeup to conceal swelling, bruising, and redness in the face. However, we recommend staying home as much as possible and using sunglasses when needed during this critical recovery time.
Frequently Asked Questions About Facelift Surgery
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The national average surgeon’s fee for facelift surgery is $7,467, according to 2019 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). The price of facelift surgery in Tampa, Florida, will vary based on your individual needs and the techniques used for your procedure. Operating room fees, anesthesia fees, and the amount of correction required will also affect the final cost of your rhytidectomy. Your surgeon will provide a more exact estimate during your consultation.
At PREMIERE Center for Cosmetic Surgery, we offer various plastic surgery financing options and are committed to helping our patients find the most appropriate payment method.
Ideal candidates for facelift surgery have realistic expectations and understand the limitations of the procedure. Rhytidectomy cannot make you look perfect or like another person but, instead, can provide a more youthful appearance.
Both men and women can benefit from this surgery. Patients should be in generally good health and avoid drinking alcohol and smoking for two weeks prior to the procedure.
Many surgeons suggest that patients in their 40s and 50s are at the ideal age for facial plastic surgery. However, there are cases of younger and older patients who are also ideal candidates. Rather than being in a specific age range, ideal facelift candidates have certain facial characteristics like sagging skin, jowls, and deep wrinkles in the lower face that qualify them for the procedure.
Patients who desire a rhytidectomy must be consenting adults; however, patients in their 20s could be too young for successful results. Aging will continue after surgery, so patients who undergo the surgery at too young an age will likely need another surgery in their lifetime. However, patients in their 30s may qualify for a mini facelift to address more minor concerns that cannot be treated with other options.
During your facelift consultation, you will discuss specific goals you would like to achieve with facial surgery. Your surgeon will evaluate your facial anatomy, cosmetic concerns, and overall health to determine if facelift surgery is right for you. Your surgeon will then review your surgical options, before and after photos of previous patients, and what to expect during your recovery period.
Your surgeon will provide facelift before and after photographs during your consultation. You can also see patient results in our online gallery of facelift before and after photos.
Your anesthesiologist will either administer general anesthesia or intravenous sedation to ensure your comfort during the procedure. This will ensure a relaxed and pain-free surgery. Local anesthesia also has the ability to control blood loss.
Incisions are hidden within the hairline to make scarring easy to conceal. Patients should follow their surgeon’s instructions regarding the amount of time compression garments should be worn to reduce the appearance of raised scars.
Protecting the incision site from the sun allows the scar to heal more favorably. For example, using sun protection such as sunscreens and a hat over your scars can reduce the development of hyperpigmentation. Fading creams can also speed up the scar-fading process.
Your results will last for many years to come. However, without the proper care for your skin and health, facelift results can succumb to the natural aging process much more quickly.
Healthy habits like eating a nutritious diet, exercising consistently, and refraining from excessive alcohol and tobacco use can significantly slow aging and prolong your facelift results.
Although men and women often experience similar facial aging concerns, men generally wish to maintain their strong features and bold contours. The surgical techniques for men reflect this.
A male facelift will address and amplify masculine beauty ideals such as a strong jawline and sharp facial edges. This “squared-off” appearance can also be accentuated by combining cosmetic procedures. Alternatively, women prefer softer, rounded edges that accentuate their femininity.
The platelet-rich plasma (PRP) facelift is a minimally invasive injection-based treatment that can provide significant improvements to the appearance of lines, wrinkles, and facial sagging. For more information, read our blog about PRP vs. traditional facelift.
Other non-surgical options for facial rejuvenation of wrinkles and hollows include injectable treatments like BOTOX® Cosmetic and JUVÉDERM®. For more information, read our blog about BOTOX® vs. facelift surgery.
A facelift cannot provide substantial improvements in facial volume. Even after a facelift elevates your tissues and smooths your skin, you may want to consider injectable fillers to restore volume and fill hollow depressions throughout the face.
Patients can find out if they need a facelift or a brow lift by considering their issues and understanding what can be achieved with both procedures. If a patient is experiencing sagging and deep creases in the forehead and eyebrow region, brow lift surgery can tighten the tissue and smooth the skin in this area. A brow lift will also correct drooping eyebrows.
Your surgeon will help determine which treatment is right for you based on the area you wish to correct.
Many patients with signs of aging in other areas of the face can benefit from combining their facelift with another surgical procedure. For example, eyelid surgery can restore youth to the upper and lower eyelids for a rejuvenated and alert appearance. Chin implant surgery can further balance the facial features with a more defined chin. A brow lift (forehead lift) can address aging in the forehead and brows.
Your surgery combinations will be limited based on the total amount of time it takes to complete each procedure and your candidacy for each. As more surgeries are combined, operation time increases. As operation time increases, so do the chances of surgical complications. Generally, surgeons will not perform too many procedures in one surgery if they expect surgery to exceed six hours.
Although all surgery comes with some possibility of risk, facelift risks are rare. Some of these potential complications include:
- Facial nerve injuries
- Skin sensation loss
- Unfavorable scarring
- Prolonged swelling
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Cardiac or pulmonary complications