Face Lift and Other Facial Plastic Surgery

Face Lift Quick Facts

Remove wrinkles, lines, and jowls from the face and rejuvenate and refresh the appearance.

1 week out of work, 4 to 5 weeks before strenuous exercise

Outpatient Surgery?:
Yes, in most cases

For decades, the quintessential plastic surgery procedure was the face lift. This surgery could rejuvenate a face that was showing its years, and make a woman or man look younger and more refreshed. It can also remove or eliminate jowls on the jaw line. Although the number of face lifts performed has not decreased over the years, other procedures have become more popular and nonsurgical procedures have become more widely available.

The term face lift (medically called a rhytidectomy) refers to surgery that removes wrinkles and excess skin in the middle and lower part of the face. However, the term occasionally is used to describe what is really a brow or forehead lift, in which furrows and wrinkles on the forehead are eliminated or minimized by repositioning the skin of the forehead and removing excess skin. There is also a surgery called a neck lift that removes excess skin under the chin and on the neck. The three procedures can be performed together to completely rejuvenate an aging face.

Face Lift Surgery Techniques

There are many techniques being used in face lifts, and which one you have depends on your surgeon's preferences and your needs. There are lifts that only loosen and redrape the skin and remove the excess to smooth out most wrinkles. There are lifts that also rearrange the underlying muscles of the face to raise sagging features. In most face lifts, incisions are made along the hairline at the sides of the face and in front of the ears, where hair or the natural folds of the skin will hide them. Skin and muscles are redraped and rearranged, and excess skin is removed. The incisions are then closed.

Other Facial Plastic Surgery Procedures

Other facial procedures include eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), which can refresh aging eyes that have grown tired looking by removing excess skin. A brow lift can help smooth out furrows and wrinkles on the forehead that can make even a relatively young person look tired and worried. Lip augmentation, either through injectable substances or implants that plump out the lips, can improve the shape of your mouth and fill out thin lips. Facial implants "usually solid pieces of silicone" can be used to add prominence and definition to a receding chin or flat cheekbones.

Beyond plastic surgery, there are various dentistry procedures that can be performed to improve facial aesthetics. If the cost of veneers doesn't fit your budget, perhaps Lumineers can be considered. If the cost of braces and the duration of treatment lack appeal, perhaps Invisalign or ClearCorrect can provide a solution. Consult with a dentist to determine whether dental insurance can help offset the cost of treatment and to determine what cosmetic dentistry can do to improve your facial appearance.

Face Lift Recovery and Risks

Most patients go home the same day as their face lift, which is often performed in a freestanding surgical center or in the surgeon's office. General anesthesia may be used, but a face lift can also be performed under intravenous sedation. Patients will be bruised, sore, and swollen for at least a week, depending on the extent of the surgery. Most people return to work after a week, although some bruising may still be visible. You will have to sleep with your head and shoulders elevated for 2 to 3 weeks and avoid lifting anything weighing more than 10 pounds for about that time. Your surgeon will tell you when you can return to normal activities.

The risks of facial surgery include infection, excessive bleeding, and excessive scarring. If the skin is pulled too tight in a face lift, there can be loss of hair at the hairline around the incisions and difficulty with closing the eyes. There is also the possibility of severe bruising, including formation of a hematoma, which is a pocket of clotted blood. You may also be left with asymmetrical features, although this may be temporary since not all parts of your face may heal at the same rate. Finally, you may simply be unhappy with the results of your face lift.

Our sister publication, All About Facial Rejuvenation, has comprehensive information about facelift, rhinoplasty and other types of facial plastic surgery procedures. To learn about the latest news and updates related to LASIK Eye Surgery, visit Refractive Surgery News.




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