Rhytidectomy, popularly known as facelift surgery, is a cosmetic surgery procedure designed to reduce facial fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging in order to restore a more youthful face and jaw appearance. The surgery involves the removal of excess facial skin and fat and the tightening of the underlying muscles of the face.
During the initial consultation, the surgeon will educate the patient about facelift surgery and also inform them about alterative treatment options.
Any adult who is unhappy with the appearance of facial sagging skin, drooping muscles in the upper or mid-face, or other conspicuous signs of facial aging, could be a good candidate for facelift surgery.
The patient should ideally have some degree of suppleness and elasticity in the facial skin in order to achieve more effective outcomes from a facelift. Importantly, the candidate should have a robust facial bone structure, which can support the results of the procedure.
Following aesthesia, the surgeon will place incisions in the marked areas of the face. Through the incisions, they will lift the skin off the face in order to tighten the underlying loose muscles and tissue. They will then pull the skin taut over the face.
The procedure often begins with the surgeon making an incision in the temple area. This incision will go around the ears and along the hairline to perform a full traditional facelift. Once the process of tissue tightening is complete, the surgeon will close the incisions with sutures.
Skilled surgeons make sure that the incisions are placed in discreet locations in order to minimize scarring. The procedure may take one to three hours to complete depending on the extent of the surgery.
Depending on the patient’s needs and the extent of the surgery, the surgeon will recommend a suitable technique for the facelift.
In this technique, the surgeon will insert a tiny camera through the incision which enables them to view the underlying facial structure on a monitor to perform the surgery more precisely. The procedure usually involves the placement of two to three small incisions, through which the excess tissue is removed and weakened underlying muscles are tightened.
This technique is more traditional and only involves the removal of excess skin. The surgeon will create a longer incision discreetly along the hairline. Through the incision, they will gently lift the skin and suture it firmly at a raised position. This procedure reduces the risk and downtime because it does not involve changes to the muscular structure.
Superficial Musculoaponeurotic System or SMAS Facelift
SMAS facelift is widely chosen procedure as it creates more comprehensive outcomes. The surgeon may use this technique when the goal is to remove excess skin as well as tighten the underlying facial muscles. SMAS facelift usually creates more natural looking results.
Patients may go through a downtime of about a week to 10 days after a facelift. They should perform short walks around their home and may engage in light activities in the first week to improve blood flow in the incision sites.
The patient should avoid aggressive physical exercises or activities for about four weeks. Most patients can return to work or resume their regular routine within a week to ten days after their surgery.