Anesthesia: General or Sedation Location: Hospital, surgical center or office Surgery time: 2-4 hours.
A face lift will remove excess skin and tightens the soft tissues of your face, chin and neck. It can improve the jawline, sagging cheeks and loose neck skin. To get an idea of the results you might have, place your fingers on the center of your cheeks and press the skin up and back. Skin folds can be tightened and reduced, but not eliminated. If you softly pinch the skin in front of your ear, you'll see how much skin be excised during the procedure.
A face lift cannot improve your forehead, eyelids, eyebrows, wrinkles around the mouth or your skin texture. Some patients also undergo a forehead lift and eyelid surgery at the same time of the face lift to create a uniform appearance. To reduce wrinkles, smooth skin texture and tone, you may also want to consider laser resurfacing, chemical peels, botox injections and dermabrasion. (see PlasticSurgery.org article regarding these alternatives).
Depending on your face and problem areas, your surgeon may choose a two-layer face-lift, a skin-only face lift, a deep (subperiosteal) face lift, neck lift, laser or endoscopic lift.
In a two-layer face-lift (the most common procedure and generally the most effective), incisions are usually made in the contour of the ears, beginning in front of and extending around the earlobe and back into the hairline. After the incisions are made, the skin is separated from the facial muscles and skin fat (the doctor may remove excess fat) and the skin is pulled up and back to tighten the muscles of the face and neck. The surgeon may tighten the underlying tissue, the submuscular aponeurotic system (SMAS), that tightens the neck and lifts the cheeks. The skin is then pulled back and any excess trimmed off.
The incisions are then closed with stitches and metal staples may be placed in the scalp. If you have elected to smooth your chin and neck, there may also be a small incision hidden underneath your chin. A small drain tube may be placed under the skin to collect excess blood and prevent swelling. The incision is then sutured closed. The head is then bandaged to prevent fluid collection.
If drainage tubes have been placed, the doctor's office will give detailed instructions for emptying the drains at home.
To read an excellent article on facelifts, check out emedicine.com.
Information provided is for general education about face lifts and other cosmetic plastic surgery procedures. This information is subject to change. Smart Face Lifts.com does not guarantee that it is accurate or complete, and is not responsible for any actions resulting from the use of this information. General information provided in this fashion should not be construed as specific medical advice or recommendation, and is not a substitute for a consultation and physical examination by a physician. Only discussion of your individual needs with a qualified physician will determine the best method of treatment for you. All board certified plastic surgeons listed are board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Board certified plastic surgeons are verified by the American Board of Medical Specialties.