A Facelift by definition tightens the lower face and neck. A Facelift or Rhytidectomy removes excess skin and repositions fat and muscles to correct jowls, deep lines from the nose to the mouth, and minimal to moderate neck laxity which naturally occur with aging. Some patients have other surgical procedures at the same time such as brow or eyelid surgery.
A facelift can make a patient look 5-10 years younger.
If your face is loose and sagging, you may be a candidate for a facelift. Age is not a barrier. Most people undergo facelifts between the ages of 50 to 65, but this is only the average age range. Many people as young as 40 and some older than 80 also opt for facelifts. As long as you a have a good overall health and show signs of facial aging you are a candidate for a facelift.
Facelift involves incisions in front of and behind the ear. These incisions may extend into the scalp. Once the incisions are made, your skin is separated from the underlying tissue, and the deeper layers are “lifted.” Your surgeon may also tighten the muscles and/or perform liposuction to remove excess fat pockets in the neck and jowls. Any excess skin is either removed or repositioned.
After closing, your surgeon will apply a bulky dressing to your face and head to protect your wounds and help minimize swelling. This dressing may span from the top of your head to underneath your chin.
Initially you will have a large dressing wrapped around your head. You may have surgical drains attached to bulbs hanging at your neck. These will be removed in approximately 24 hours. Stitches around the ears will be loosened or removed in a few days. The scalp sutures will be removed in about 7-10 days. Recovery period is 1-2 weeks sometimes longer.
In the weeks following surgery, the facial skin and area around the ear may be numb. There may also be some temporary discoloration as healing begins, which may take a few months to disappear. The healing process is gradual, so you will not notice final results for up to 6 months. A single procedure often achieves the desired results. Most patients who have had facelifts are pleased with their new, more youthful appearance.
A neck lift is a surgical procedure that restores a tight, youthful appearance to skin under the chin and neck area which has lost elasticity and exhibits banding. It also corrects the heavy neck or double chin.
Neck lift plastic surgery may include one of three procedures, depending on the type of defect and degree of sagging and heaviness of the neck of the individual.
- Liposuction: Patient has good elasticity and only fat to correct
- Cervicoplasty: Extreme loose skin and muscles and poor elasticity
Typically, a neck lift will include the removal of fat. Cervicoplasty may be included to tighten excess skin, and platysmaplasty to remove or tighten neck muscles, a process that gets rid of unwanted band lines. A neck lift may also be part of a combination treatment plan, in conjunction with a forehead lift, facelift, or eyelid surgery.
If you have found yourself having one or more of the following factors, you are a potential candidate for a neck lift procedure:
- Having a neck that contains hanging skin and looks like a “turkey waddle” (this appearance can be corrected with a Platysmaplasty surgery).
- Excess hanging skin and sagging looking neck where the skin has lost its elasticity, usually due to aging and/or weight loss (the best procedure to perform in this situation is Cervicoplasty).
- A double chin, caused by excess fat in the neck area (a neck liposuction is a suitable solution for this issue).
Your surgeon will make a small incision under your chin and possibly in front of and/or behind your ears. These incisions allow access to the platysma (neck muscle) and any fat in the neck. The neck muscles can then be tightened and any excess fat removed. Your surgeon may choose to remove the fat with liposuction or by cutting it out. The incisions near the ears also allow for removal of some excess skin.
Once the muscle has been tightened and any excess fat removed the skin is re-draped over the neck. Any excess skin is removed and the incisions are closed with sutures. The whole procedure last 2-3 hours and can be done under local or general anaesthesia depending on your level of comfort. Your surgeon will let you know if the sutures will need to be removed or if they will dissolve on their own. It is possible your surgeon may place a drain under the skin on the neck to collect any fluid that would increase your post op swelling and discomfort. If your surgeon chooses to use a drain it might remain in place only a day or two. You would be instructed on how to care for the drain if it needs to stay in for a longer period of time.
Recovery takes time, and it’s important that you’re patient with the process. Most people can return to work in 10 to14 days. If you participate in other sports or are physically active, you will have to wait at least three weeks if not longer.