Understanding Rhytidectomy (face lift)
Aging of the face is inevitable. As the years go by the skin begins to loosen on the face and neck. Crows feet appear at the corner of the eyes and fine lines become creases and then gradually folds. The jaw line will soften and inevitably jowls form along the angle of the chin with vertical folds developing in the front of the neck. Personal habits, the pull of gravity, hereditary and sun exposure all contribute to the aging of the face. It is this problem that is addressed by facelift or rhytidectomy.
Understanding the surgery
In a traditional facelift or rhytidectomy the incisions begin in the area of the temporal hair just above and in front of the ear continuing down in front of the ear, up and around the ear lobe into the occipital hairline. During a traditional facelift the entire skin is raised outwards towards the angle of the mouth and anterior neck allowing the surgeon to reposition the skin, tighten the underlying muscle and connective tissue and then excise or remove excess fat and skin. In men it is important to align the incisions so that the normal beard or sideburn is not distorted. A traditional facelift or rhytidectomy is designed for patients with significant excess skin and laxity of muscle causing significant jowling and redundancy of the anterior neck. In younger patients who have not yet developed as significant a cosmetic abnormality, the newer approach of endoscopic mid-facelift can be considered. In this procedure the incisions made are much smaller allowing elevation of the skin and muscle of the lower one third of the face. The endoscopic technique is indicated for the younger patient and will generally allow a more rapid return to work and normal activities.
Both procedures are performed under general anesthesia or deep intravenous sedation and may be combined with coincidental submental lipoplasty, upper or lower blepharoplasty, endoscopic forehead lift.
Depending on the extent of surgery the process can take from 2 - 4 hours. Following the surgery a pressure dressing is applied to protect the entire area where the incisions have been made. Most patients experience very little pain or discomfort following surgery. A degree of bruising and swelling is unavoidable and sutures and staples are usually removed within 5 to 10 days following surgery. Most patients are able to return to normal activities within one to two weeks. Scars are usually not noticeable after enough time has passed for them to mature and in most cases scars are easily disguised in natural skin creases or by the hairline.
For more information or to book an appointment, contact us.