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Rhytidectomy is the surgical terminology for a facelift. The goal of a facelift is to improve facial aging of the lower 1/3 of the face and the neck. A midface lift can be added to the facelift in order to improve the sagging of the upper and mid cheek region. Facial aging is caused by multiple factors including sun exposure, loss of volume, repetitive muscle action, skin laxity, and tissue decent. Patients who are unhappy with the appearance of the jaw line, neck, nasolabial folds, and marionette lines (the lines around the mouth) may be a good candidate for a facelift.

The Procedure

During a facelift, incisions are made within the hairbearing scalp above the ears. The incision then follows the natural contours to wrap from the front of the ear around to the back and then again into the hair bearing scalp. A small incision is also utilized just beneath the chin. Incision placement is key to providing well concealed long term results. The skin is elevated and the thin muscle layer beneath the skin is elevated and tightened to provide more longlasting results. Excess skin is excised. The muscles of the neck are tightened to improve the profile and contour of the neck. Fat grafting is often performed to the lines around mouth to restore volume loss. Laser therapy may also be used as an adjunct to improve overall results.

The Recovery

Following the surgery, ointments, dressings and a mildly compressive neck band is placed. Some sutures will require removal. In some cases a small drain is placed which is removed in the early postoperative period. Swelling and bruising is expected postoperatively. Activity restrictions will be in place for a period of time following the surgery to allow for healing, decrease swelling, reduce bleeding, and minimize the risks of postoperative complications. Pain medication, antibiotics and topical antibiotics are used in the recovery period.

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