Facelift Surgery – Rejuvenate Your Appearance

Facelift (rhytidectomy) is a cosmetic surgery procedure designed to help men and women achieve a more youthful facial appearance. As we age, our skin loses its elasticity and begins to sag. This process can leave your face looking tired and worn, with deep wrinkles, hollow cheeks, jowls and loose skin in the lower face and neck. Facelift can address all of these issues and help you look 10 or even 20 years younger.

Several facelift variations are available that differ in their degree of invasiveness (as well as their corresponding costs). The most commonly preformed lifts include the superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS) lift and the deep plane facelift, while less invasive surgeries include the short scar facelift and endoscopic facelift.

The Facelift Procedure

Despite their variations, most facelift procedures share certain elements. First, you will be provided with either general anesthesia, local anesthesia or conscious sedation, in which you are numb but partially awake.

Your surgeon then will create incisions along your hairline and around your ears, possibly extending into your scalp. Your surgeon then will lift your skin away from your face, rearrange the underlying tissue in a higher position and remove excess skin. He or she may also remove fat with liposuction. Lastly, your surgeon will re-drape your skin over your face and close the incisions with sutures.

Male Facelift Surgery

Facelift is typically thought of as a procedure for women. However, male facelift surgery is fairly common, with men making up about 9 percent of facelift patients, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

While some men may fear that a facelift will make them appear more feminine, this is not the case. A skilled plastic surgeon can enhance rather than minimize the masculine features of a man's face.

Facelift Combos and Alternatives

A facelift can produce remarkable results. However, the procedure only targets certain parts of the face — namely, the mid-face, lower face and jawline. You may find that other areas of your face require attention in addition to or instead of those areas that can be addressed with facelift. In this case, your surgeon may recommend additional or alternative procedures.

  • Neck lifts are often combined with facelifts. These procedures are used to remove fat and excess skin to eliminate wrinkles and bands and create a smoother, tighter neck appearance.
  • Eyelid surgery is performed to address droopy upper eyelids and puffy lower eyelids, which can cause you to appear older and more tired than you feel.
  • Brow lift (forehead lift) can reduce the appearance of droopy eyebrows and deep furrows and creases on the forehead.
  • Facial implants are made of silicone and can be placed in your chin, cheek or jaw to improve your overall facial symmetry and proportion.
  • Chin surgery may involve reducing the size of the chin by removing bone or enlarging the chin with implants.
  • Rhinoplasty (nose reshaping surgery) can help bring your nose into better proportion with your face by making it larger or smaller. Your surgeon can also remove a hump from your nose or a dip from the bridge of your nose, or otherwise improve your nasal profile.
  • Otoplasty (ear surgery) is performed to reduce the appearance of excessively protrusive ears. This is one of the few plastic surgery procedures most often performed on young children.

Less Invasive Facial Procedures

For signs of facial aging not yet severe enough for facelift, surgeons often recommend less invasive procedures, such as thread lifts. When performing a thread lift, your surgeon makes small incisions and uses a threaded needle to provide lift to your face. For more information on this procedure, please visit our thread lift discussion page.

Thermage, another less invasive procedure, involves the use of radiofrequency energy. When applied to the skin, the radiofrequency energy heats the skin's collagen, tightening the existing collagen and stimulating the production of new collagen, the result of which produces smoother-appearing skin.

Other treatments that can be used in combination with — or instead of — facelift include facial injectables and fillers. Facial injectables include Botox, Dysport and Xeomin, which paralyze wrinkle-producing muscles. Fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane can add volume to sunken cheeks and minimize facial folds. However, these treatments provide temporary results and cannot address severe sagging and jowls the way that facelift can.

Stem cell facelift is another alternative treatment. Despite its name, a stem-cell facelift is not a facelift. When performing this procedure, your surgeon will remove fat cells from somewhere in your body, process them to activate the stem cells, and re-inject them into your face to add volume and generate new skin cells.

Superficial skin care treatments like laser skin resurfacing, microdermabrasion and laser hair removal can also address many of the visible signs of aging in the face, such as fine lines, acne scars and discoloration. But like injectables and fillers, they cannot treat major sagging and provide only temporary results.

Your Facelift Consultation

If you are interested in undergoing a facelift procedure, your first step is to learn as much as you can about the procedure and your options. Next, schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Only an ABPS-certified surgeon will have the training and experience necessary to help ensure a safe procedure and satisfying results.

During your consultation, your surgeon will discuss your general health, examine your facial skin, tissue and bone structure, and inquire about your goals for surgery. Be as prepared as possible to clearly describe your concerns and the look you desire. Your surgeon will likely show you some photos of patients taken before and after facelift surgery. In addition, he or she may discuss facelift clinical trials for which you might qualify.

Prior to booking your surgery, be sure to discuss all aspects of surgery with your surgeon, including your facelift risk profile and what to expect during your facelift recovery. In addition, fully evaluate facelift cost and make sure you have taken everything into account, including postoperative bandages and medications.

Get started now. Visit our directory to find a surgeon near you.