Rhytidectomy (Facelift)

Rhytidectomy (facelift) is a surgical procedure utilized to decrease some of the dropping or hanging skin and soft tissue from the face, giving a tighter, more youthful facial tone. All the skin of the face that can be removed safely and suitably for a natural result for your particular facial contour will be excised.   The type of skin and the age of the patient are factors in the results obtained. People with better skin tones tend to have a better result than the people do not have good skin tone.

The most common question about facelifts is, “How long will it last?” It is impossible to say exactly, as there are many factors involved, such as the amount of skin removed, the age of the patient, the condition of the patient, the type of skin and the person’s healing ability. In general, the younger you have this procedure done, the longer it tends to last. On rare occasions a minor secondary procedure might be advisable. Additionally, it is not possible to remove all the folds and eliminate all the wrinkles of the face, regardless of the treatment applied. For wrinkles, other concomitant procedures might be required, such as laser ablation, chemical peel, dermabrasion, or injectable fillers.

Prior to surgery you will be advised to abstain from certain foods and medications such as Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Vitamin E, garlic and broccoli, as well as alcohol and tobacco use. All of this affects healing and may increase the likelihood or severity of certain complications such as bleeding, infection, or delay in healing.

The facelift procedure is typically performed in the office as an outpatient, but may be performed in the hospital depending on existing medical conditions and the complexity of the individual procedure. On occasion, a one-night stay might be required either at the hospital or at the surgical facility in which the procedure performed. Operative time ranges from two and a half to four and a half hours. The procedure can be done under general or twilight anesthesia, with the assistance of local anesthetics.

Prior to the procedure the patient is usually instructed to shampoo their hair with Betadine soap the night before surgery. During the procedure a small portion of  hair may be shaved in the area of the temples and behind the ears in order to have adequate access to make the proper incisions.  The incisions are located within the temple area in front of the ear, and the scalp within the hair line behind the ear.  An incision underneath the chin is often required as well. The skin and some underneath tissue is elevated and pulled posteriorly and superiorly. The excess skin is removed and the wounds are closed.

Postoperatively the patient can expect some swelling of the face and some discoloration (black and blue), most noticeable in the second and third days, but diminishing in approximately 12-14 days. This varies from patient to patient depending on the type of skin, age and healing ability, as well as diet and other factors.

Immediately after surgery, the patient will have a bandage around their head and face, as well as drains.  The drains are usually removed within the first 24 hours, while the bandages remain for 24-48 hours.  Upon discharge the patient will be given a prescription for pain medication, although patients should have minimal pain during recovery from this procedure and should contact the doctor immediately if they are in severe pain. The patient will be advised to abstain from certain foods and medication such as Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Vitamin E, garlic and broccoli, as well as smoking and alcohol use. Sutures are usually removed within 5-7 days, and is sometimes done in stages. Should the patient have any questions, they should call the office and speak to the surgeon or staff.

Possible complications with this procedure include anesthesia complications, excessive bleeding, wound healing infections, and lack of circulation to the skin. Occasionally, minor crusting will appear on the incision. Patients may experience temporary numbness in the area that had been undermined, as well as in the ears. More rare risks and complications will be discussed with you prior to surgery.

Any scarring from this procedure will be barely noticeable and can be easily hidden in normal visual observation. The patient may shampoo their hair 24 hours after the drains have been removed. Makeup may be applied over the skin of the face within 7-10 days. Social activities and exercise should be restrained for at least 15 days postoperatively.

The fee for this procedure varies depending on the geographic location of your surgeon, the reputation of the surgeon, and the complexity of the individual surgical procedure. Our fees for the procedure range from $25,000 – $35,000.  You may incur other fees such as general anesthesia or operating room fees.

If you are interested in a facelift procedure and would like more information or a personal consultation, please contact us.