Questions & Answers
Questions & Answers about Face Lift (Rhytidectomy)
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What is a facelift?
A facelift, also known as rhytidectomy, is a procedure designed to restore a more youthful appearance by improving major wrinkles and sagging skin. During surgery, excess skin in removed and the muscles of the face and neck are tightened. A facelift improves both the facial appearance as well as the neck contour and profile. This surgery may be combined with other procedures for an overall facial rejuvenation, including eyelid surgery, forehead lift, liposuction, and/or chin augmentation.
How long is the surgery for a facelift?
A facelift may take up to five hours to complete.
Where are the incisions for a facelift? Will the facelift leave scars?
For a facelift, incisions are made inside of the hairline at the temple and running in front of and behind the ear. While the incisions made for the facelift do result in scars, they tend to be well-concealed within the hairline and skin creases and they will fade with time.
Will I have much pain after my facelift surgery?
Pain is generally not significant after the facelift. Most patients note a sensation of tightness in the face and neck due to swelling. You will be provided pain medication to help with any pain experienced.
When can I return to work and normal activities?
Most patients can return to work in seven to ten days. There is bruising and swelling that occurs after surgery and it typically will resolve in 12-14 days. You will be asked to refrain from any strenuous activity including heavy lifting or running for at least 3 weeks. You will also be asked to refrain from bending over or any activity that raises your blood pressure as these may cause bleeding from the incision sites. You may resume driving when you are no longer on pain medications.
What are the risks associated with facelift?
Adverse events are rare. One possible but uncommon risk is bleeding, which occurs under the skin. Nerve damage is also reported after facelifts, and may involve sensory or motor nerves. With nerve damage, numbness of the face my be experienced for several months but typically recovers. If a motor nerve is stretched or damaged, there may be slight weakness of certain facial muscles.
Will I ever need another facelift?
Your face will always look younger and more refreshed after the surgery, but it will continue to age. Some patients may want a revision surgery, usually ten or more years later.