Over time, aging causes a person's face and neck area to sag, fold, crease and wrinkle as skin develops less tolerance towards sunlight, stress and gravity. A facelift or rhytidectomy is a surgical procedure to reposition or remove muscle, skin and fatty areas around the lower parts of the face and neck to give the face a younger, fresher appearance. Men and women have facelifts, and most are over 40, still have skin elasticity and have well-defined and strong bone structure.

The Center for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery offers patients a range of options for facelifts. Surgeons use leading-edge technology and world-class surgical techniques.

Surgical Procedure

Most facelift incisions start above the hairline at the temples and extend in a natural line in front of the ear and continue behind the earlobe. The exact placement of incisions depends on the patient's facial structure and the surgeon's preference. After the incisions have been made, surgeons:

  • Separate the skin from the fat and muscle beneath it
  • Trim or suction around the neck and chin to improve the contour of the face
  • Tighten the underlying muscle and membrane
  • Pull the skin back and remove excess skin
  • Stitch layers of tissue and close the incisions

After Surgery

Facelift complications occur infrequently, but may include hematoma (collection of blood under the skin), nerve injury (temporary), infection and possible reactions to the anesthesia. Surgeons prescribe medication or use other methods to ease these complications. Most stitches and bandages are removed within five days after surgery. Patients should also expect their faces to look pale, puffy and bruised. This is quite normal and should go away several weeks after surgery.