Facelift - If your face shows signs of aging that you'd like to remedy, a facelift may be right for you. Technically known as rhytidectomy, a facelift is a surgical procedure to improve visible signs of aging in the face and neck, such as sagging in the midface, deep creases known as parentheses lines extending from the nose down to the corners of the mouth or jowls along the jaw line or generally sagging skin the face or neck.
Courtesy of Dr. Samuel Shatkin Jr.
What should I expect?
A facelift can be used to slow down signs of aging by lifting and removing excess skin in the face and neck. Your procedure is done in an outpatient surgery center or qualified plastic surgeon's office. Depending on the doctor's preference, your procedure can be done under general anesthesia with a breathing tube or under a "twilight" sedation and local anesthesia similar to the anesthesia one receives with a colonoscopy. Whether you stay in an overnight facility such as a hotel or if you go home, you should have a family member or nurse for assistance. You may have a drain that will be removed the day after the operation and you may wear a head garment to help with swelling depending on your doctor's preference. While discomfort after a procedure is expected, you should not be in excrutiating pain and if you are, this is probably a sign of a collection of fluid or blood under the skin which may need to be treated quickly in your doctor's office. Most stitches are absorbabe but any that need to be removed will be done within 1-2 weeks after surgery. While you will have social downtime for the first week while swelling and bruising resolve, you can do light activity and anything that doesn't feel strenuous.
How should I prepare?
Prior to surgery, your doctor may ask you to start a skin care regimen such as retin A or hydroquinone to improve the health of the skin in ancitipation of the surgery so that healing goes more smoothly. Avoid all nicotine products including cigarettes, cigars, "dip", nicotine patches or gum. Any product with nicotine constricts the blood vessels and affects the healing process. Some doctors may ask you to stop any aspirin at least 5 days before your procedure.
What are the risks?
Should you decide to undergo a facelift, you must decide if the benefits of such a procedure will reach your intended goal and outweigh the risks and possible complications. The risks associated with this procedure will be discussed with you in detail with your plastic surgeon and staff. After this discussion, you will be presented with consent forms to guarantee that you have an understanding of the procedure, the risks and the possible complications. These risks include, but are not limited to, scarring, hematoma (bleeding) requiring surgery, temporary or permanent nerve damage to nerves in the face, infection, skin loss, pain, contour irregularities to the skin or recurrence of sagging facial skin. And don't forget that even though this is cosmetic surgery, there are risks with any type of surgery that include blood clots in the legs that can lead to pulmonary emoblism.
How do I ensure my safety?
You must be sure your surgeon completed an accredited plastic surgery training program (if they're listed on BuildMyBod® then you can be rest assured that they have received the appropriate training). Also, if the procedure is done outside of the hospital, be sure it is an accredited facility. This can be determined by asking your doctor with accreditation agency they use for their operating room (Joint Commission, AAAASF) and then going to those websites to see if your doctor is listed.
What will recovery be like?
You will go home the day of the operation with a drain and dressings or head garment. The drain and dressings may be removed the next day depending on your doctor's regular postoperative protocol. You will have 2 to 3 clinic visits over the first few weeks and stitches, if any need to be removed, will be removed within the first 2 weeks.
How much does it cost?
In the United States, the average cost of a facelift is $10,087, according to BuildMyBod's 2021 Plastic Surgery Pricing Report.This includes costs of anesthesia, operating room facilities, and other related fees.
See more detailed pricing for this procedure
Questions & Answers
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