The aging process, which includes the effects of gravity, sun exposure and stresses of daily life, can begin to show on people’s faces. Creases form between the nose and the mouth, jowls begin to form, and fatty deposits appear in the neck which is more prominent as the aging process progresses. The neck muscles loosen, become elastic and form "bands". A facelift will not stop the aging process; however, it can tighten the muscle structure, remove fat and tighten skin.
A facelift can be done as a stand-alone procedure, or it can be done in conjunction with other procedures, such as eyelid or nasal surgery. An excellent candidate is a woman or man in good health whose face, neck, and jowls have begun to sag. It helps to have some good elasticity left in the neck skin, so that the result will be longer lasting. The average age of patients having a facelift performed are between forty and sixty, but occasionally patients in our practice have had this procedure in their seventies. A facelift is not going to give the patient a totally different look, but will restore skin and muscle structure to the way it once looked.
Incisions for the facelift start in the hairline, just above the ear and temple. The incisions continue following the natural line around the ear. They curve slightly inside the ear and around the earlobe. The incision continues behind the ear and progresses down along the hairline behind the ear. The skin is lifted off of the muscle and other structures of the face and neck.
There is also a one-inch incision just below the chin area that giving access to the front portion of the neck. From this incision, access is gained to tighten the muscles in the front of the neck and tighten the muscles in the back of the jaw line. Fat is removed from the neck with direct visualization and open liposuction. Liposuction is performed to remove excess fat just below the jaw line. The skin is very minimally tightened, and the excess discarded. Once the skin has been draped into place, the incision line is meticulously sutured back into its normal anatomical position.
Typically, facelift surgeries will last two and one-half to three hours with an additional 1-2 hours allowed for recovery.