Facelift / Rhytidectomy Surgery
Normal aging accelerated by sun damage, stress, gravity, lifestyle, weight loss, and other factors can cause facial skin to sag and facial volume to be lost. These changes may be gradual and can make you look older than you actually feel. Facelift (Rhytidectomy) is a cosmetic surgical procedure that rejuvenates the face and is designed to diminish the visible signs of an aging face and neck. As we age, our skin loses elasticity; muscles and ligaments of the face and neck begin to lose tone. As aging progresses, wrinkles of the face and neck become more prominent, jowls form, nasolabial folds (smile lines) deepen and marionette lines appear.
A facelift doesn’t stop the aging process but does turn back the hands of time by correcting the most visible signs of aging. This is accomplished by tightening deeper structures, re-draping and excising the redundant skin of the face and neck. Removing, repositioning and sometimes grafting select areas of facial fat will help to optimize your results.
Facelift surgery, as Dr. Stile performs it, is a multiple layer, component procedure that is in fact true facial restoration. This is not a “skin-only” procedure! Much of the work is done in the deeper structures, the Superficial Musculo Aponeurotic System (SMAS), to lift, reshape, and contour your face, resulting in a fresh, natural, youthful, and rested look.
Dr. Stile has high expectations and goals for each individual facelift he performs; to restore the sagging deep layers and reposition fat pads to their original youthful anatomic positions, so youthful chin and neck contours are restored.
Today, many of Dr. Stile’s patients tend to more frequently have what are called “maintenance lifts”. This group of patients is in their late thirties and early forties. Their goal is to keep their youthful look constant for as long as possible. True facial rejuvenation patients, who are older, wish to recapture a younger version of themselves.
Cosmetic surgery facelifts – full, extended, mini or mid-face, can be performed alone, or in conjunction with other procedures, such as a brow lift surgery, eyelid surgery, or nasal surgery.
This information will give you an entry level understanding of the cosmetic facelift surgical procedure. All patients are unique and every case differs. A personal consultation with Dr. Stile is needed to select and design the treatment plan most appropriate for you.
How Is The Face Lift Procedure Performed?
This procedure is performed in our state-of-the-art fully licensed Ambulatory Surgery Center; Premium Surgical Services Center. The center is also Joint Commission certified. The procedure is performed while using general anesthesia for comfort control. General anesthesia as well as pre and post-operative care, are provided by our Board Certified Anesthesiologist. Facelift surgery is an outpatient surgical procedure. Patients are discharged home or to our affiliated after care center following surgery.
Facelift surgery begins by making incisions just inside the hairline. The incision follows the contour in front of the ear, continues under and around the earlobe to the back ear crease and finishes along the back hairline.
The skin of the face and neck are then carefully elevated off the facial and neck muscles. The Superficial Musculo Aponeurotic System (SMAS) and neck muscles are next identified and repositioned into what is a more youthful and tighter placement. The skin is gently pulled back and excess skin is removed. An additional incision is made under the chin through which the neck bands (platysmal bands) are corrected. Fat is usually transferred/grafted at this time to optimize your results by softening contours and restoring lost facial volume.
Very small stitches are used to close the incisions. The process is tedious and time-consuming but the result is outstanding with almost undetectable scars. NO metal clips or staples are ever used in this procedure. However, soft plastic drains may be employed to minimize swelling and are removed at the first office visit.
A facelift will take five hours or longer depending on the technique used and the amount of correction needed. There are several different facelift techniques that can be employed. Patients can discuss these options with Dr. Stile to see which method is best suited for optimal results during their individualized consultation.
Once your procedure is completed, incisions are coated with antibiotic ointment and the face is fitted with loose bandages to promote fast and healthy healing. Patients recover in our post-anesthesia care unit, and when stable, patients are either discharged and sent home or transferred to our affiliated after care center for continued care.
Patients are instructed to rest while keeping their head elevated. Patients may report minor to moderate discomfort following facial rejuvenation surgery. This discomfort is well controlled with oral pain medication and cold compresses may be used to minimize swelling.
Dr. Stile’s patients are requested to return the following day for a wound check and drain removal. Dressings are modified and a support garment is applied. Sutures are removed in our office at 7 days and 14 days following your procedure. Facelift patients may resume full activity as tolerated in as little as 3 weeks following their surgery.
Cosmetic improvements are immediately and visually evident but full mature results are appreciated several weeks to months after surgery as swelling decreases and the tissue heals. The benefits of this procedure are long-lasting and patients will have a more refreshed and youthful appearance.