Gravity, sun exposure and the stresses of daily life can take their toll on our faces and necks. Deep creases appear beside the mouth, the jaw line slackens and becomes jowly; and the neck develops loose folds and fat deposits. Facelifts counteract these signs of aging by tightening muscle, removing fat and trimming excess skin giving your face a fresher more youthful look. After surgery, some patients can look 10 to 15 years younger.
What can a facelift do for me?
Facelifts, technically known as rhytidectomies (removal of wrinkles) rejuvenate the mid- to lower face and neck. Facelifts are most effective for patients who want to correct:
Deep creases under the eyes
Deep creases between the nose and mouth (nasolabial folds)
Jowls due to loss of muscle tone
Sagging areas of fat
Loose skin and fat under the chin and jaw
What a facelift will not correct?
Facelifts can produce a dramatic improvement in one’s appearance with the problems mentioned above. However, facelifts do not stop the aging process and signs of aging will gradually appear once again. Facelifts will not rejuvenate the brow, eyelids, nose and some of the midface. Patients who want to improve these areas may consider combining a facelift with a brow lift or eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty). Injectable soft-tissue fillers, facial implants and skin resurfacing can also enhance the effects of a facelift.
Am I a good candidate for a facelift?
The best candidates for rhytidectomy:
Wish to improve one or more of the signs of aging as indicated above.
Men or women whose faces have begun to sag but whose skin still has some elasticity.
Considering a facelift for personal reasons not due to pressure
During your consultation, Dr. Kurtzman will discuss whether a facelift is right for you.
How is Rhytidectomy performed?
Facelifts are typically outpatient procedures and may be performed in an office-based facility, surgery center or hospital. Patients may have a choice of IV sedation or general anesthesia. The procedure takes about two hours. The way a facelift is performed varies depending on the surgeon, the patient’s facial structure and the extent of desired. The three most common incision techniques are:
Traditional facelift: The “full” facelift for rejuvenating the face, jowls and neck including fat sculpting, lifting and repositioning of muscle and deeper tissues, and skin trimming and redraping. The incision begins at the temples and travels down to the front of the ear, around the earlobe, and behind the ear to the lower scalp at the hairline. Sometimes, another incision is made under the chin.
Limited incision facelift: For limited rejuvenation around the eyes and mouth including nasolabial folds and other deep creases. Short incisions are made at the temples and around the ear, and possibly in the lower eyelids and/or under the upper lip.
Neck lift: Concentrates on jowls, loose skin on the neck and fat under the chin. The incision is made around the ear lobe and behind the ear to the lower scalp.
In all three methods, incisions are closed with stitches or tissue glue. Scars are hidden in the hairline and naturally contour the face.
What is a Mid-facelift?
Mid-facelift restores youthful vitality to the mid-face lifting the cheeks and smoothing the smile lines to achieve a natural, rejuvenated look without the need to undergo a full facelift. Mid-facelifts are ideal for reducing puffiness under the eyes, improving the contour of the upper cheeks and correcting nasolabial folds. Incisions are small and hidden in the eyelids or in the mouth. Mid-facelifts are often performed in conjunction with lower-lid blepharoplasty to rejuvenate the area around the eyes or with implants to accentuate the cheeks.
What is recovery from a facelift like?
After your facelift, Dr. Kurtzman will wrap the incisions in bandages and may place drainage tubes in the area. The tubes will be taken out the next day. If surgical clips are used to hold the incisions closed, they will be removed one week after the facelift along with your stitches.
At first, you may experience swelling, numbness, bruising, and a feeling of tightness or tension in the face and neck. Your face may look uneven or distorted, and your facial muscles may feel stiff. Most of these usually resolve within 3 to 6 weeks and sensation typically returns to normal within a few months. In time, scars become less red, raised, lumpy or itchy.
Many patients return to work by the third week. Camouflage cosmetics can be used to minimize the appearance of bruising. You should be gentle with your skin and hair as you recover. Men may need to shave behind the neck and ears where areas of beard-growing skin have moved.
Face and Neck Lift
There are four different types of face and/or neck lifts which vary based on your needs and goals.
Facelift and Neck Lift Overview
Many patients express concern that their faces will look too tight, or they have known someone who had a facelift that lasted no more than a few months. Unfortunately, some surgeons do not address the underlying cause of the signs of aging – sagging of the underlying structures of the face. Think of it this way: If you have a lumpy mattress, it won’t matter how tightly you pull the sheet over that mattress. It will still look lumpy. Similarly, if a surgeon makes the outer layer of skin tighter without tightening and shaping the under-structure of the face, the facelift results will be less than satisfactory.
Our surgeons carefully evaluate the anatomy of your face to determine what exactly has caused the signs of aging. We then create a custom-tailored facelift surgical plan that is largely architectural in design. It is as much an art as it is a science. The muscles of the face are safely tightened so that the facelift and/or neck lift will not only look better in the short term but will also last for years.
The extent of the facelift procedure depends on your individual needs and desires. You are a good candidate for a facelift and neck lift if your skin has retained some elasticity and you have well-defined facial bone structure. Most people who get facelift and neck lift surgeries are between 40 and 70 years of age
Facelifts and neck lifts only affect the lower portion of the face. To create the most polished, balanced facelift results, you also might want to have eyelid surgery, a chin implant, a brow lift, Botox, dermal fillers, fat injections, or skin resurfacing. Some of our facelift patients decide to have a full facial rejuvenation so that both the upper and lower portions of the face can be improved at once. It is less costly to combine procedures, and they can usually be done concurrently so that you have only one episode of anesthesia and one recovery period.
Even for those patients who do not choose to have full facial rejuvenation, we often suggest the addition of dermal fillers, Botox, or skin resurfacing after a facelift in order to improve the results. Fine surface lines and wrinkles, for example, are not improved by a facelift but are improved with a skin resurfacing treatment like laser resurfacing, a chemical peel, or dermabrasion.
Types of Lifts
Types of Face and Neck Lifts
There is some confusion in the plastic surgery field as to what constitutes a facelift and neck lift. We use the terminology in a particular way in our practice, but bear in mind that other practices may use the same terms somewhat differently.
In our practice, there are four different types of facelifts and/or neck lifts:
Facelift is used to treat aging of the cheeks and jowls.
Neck lift treats bands and sagging in the neck. The facelift and neck lift are usually combined in one procedure.
Mid-facelift only treats aging of the cheeks. This is for patients who do not have signs of aging in the jowls or neck.
Mini-facelift (or “S lift”) only treats the jowls. It is for patients who do not have signs of aging in the cheeks or neck.
Your Face and Neck Lift Consultation at Summit Medical Group
When you meet with us for your facial rejuvenation consultation, we will have an honest discussion about your desires, expectations, and concerns, as well as the limits and risks of the facelift and neck lift surgery. We will review your medical history and recommend options that can best help you achieve your goals. We will give you thorough written instructions to prepare for your facelift surgery and will answer any questions you have.
At Summit Medical Group, the patient experience is of primary importance to us. We customize every single facelift and/or neck lift procedure we do so that it is tailored to what is best for you and you alone. We will recommend the facelift and/or neck lift technique that we believe will give you the results you want, whether you wish to treat the cheeks, the jowls, the neck, or a combination of those areas.
Our goal is to do safe and quality work – and to make you happy. Making you happy requires considerable discussion so that we thoroughly understand what you want to accomplish from your facelift surgery. Planning is very important. We spend a great deal of time working to understand exactly what parts of the anatomy between the upper hairline and the clavicle that you want to improve. Then, we can design your customized facelift surgery to provide you with the best results
What to Expect
What to Expect from a Face and Neck Lift
Your facelift and/or neck lift surgery will be performed under general anesthesia, but most patients do not have to stay overnight in the hospital.
Lower facelift and neck lift incisions are usually placed behind the ears, within the creases of the ears, within the hairline at the temples, underneath the chin, or behind the sideburns. We do everything we can to place incisions in discreet areas while also providing you with the outcome you want. If you wish to improve your neck, however, we cannot do so with an incision in the hairline at the temples. Similarly, we cannot lift the cheeks with an incision behind the ears. So, the areas you wish to be improved will have a lot to do with where the incisions are located.
During the facelift and/or neck lift surgery, excess skin and fatty tissue are removed, the muscles and under-structure of the face are tightened, reshaped, and the overlying skin is then gently tightened, redraped, and stitched into place.