Facelift surgery , clinically known as rhytidectomy, is a procedure used to reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles and other telltale signs of aging, with the goal of improving the overall appearance of the face and jaw. Facelift surgery can help to reverse the harmful effects of time, stress, and exposure to the elements. To perform this procedure, a facial plastic surgeon will lift and tighten the underlying muscles of the face to create more aesthetically pleasing contours appearance and rejuvenate the facial structure. Then he or she will remove excess pockets of fat and skin that can contribute to an aged, tired appearance.
An experienced, skilled plastic surgeon will perform this procedure with an artistic eye and extraordinary attention to detail so that patients will be left with negligible scarring and beautiful, natural-looking results. In addition to traditional full facelifts, there are several other variations of the procedure to address specific areas of the face. Many surgeons use advanced, minimally invasive techniques to minimize discomfort and downtime. Facelifts are not covered by insurance; however, there are many excellent financing options to help rhytidectomy patients manage the cost of plastic surgery. For qualified patients, facelift surgery can be an excellent investment, providing a fresher, more youthful appearance for years to come. A long-term follow-up study published in 2014 found that after an average follow-up of 12.6 years, 68.5 percent of face lift patients rated their current degree of improvement as very good or beyond expectations, and an equal number felt that 10 or more years had been added to their youthful appearance.
Facelift surgery can be an effective way to improve appearance and boost self-confidence, but it is not for everyone. Some patients might find that they can achieve their cosmetic goals with a non-invasive procedure, such as a chemical peel or microdermabrasion. Others may be happier with their results if they combine facelift surgery with other procedures, such as a neck lift or forehead lift (also known as a brow lift). Patients who understand both the possibilities and limitations of facelift surgery tend to be more pleased with their results.
Am I a Good Candidate for Facelift Surgery?
The best facelift candidates have realistic expectations and are willing and able to follow the pre- and post-operative instructions provided by their plastic surgeons. After a one-on-one consultation, the doctor can advise a patient as to whether he or she is a good candidate for a facelift, or whether an alternate procedure might be preferable.
Ideal candidates for facelift surgery share certain important traits. The following is a list of factors that can affect whether or not an individual is a good candidate for facelift surgery:
Skin elasticity : A good facelift candidate will have skin that retains some of its natural suppleness and flexibility. This is important because, during the procedure, the surgeon tightens the facial skin to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Successful healing with optimal results depends on having skin that is able to conform to its new, improved contours.
Strong bone structure : Ideally, a facelift candidate will have a well-defined underlying bone structure to provide support and contribute to satisfying results. Patients with less distinct features may benefit from facial implants as an alternative or addition to a facelift.
Realistic expectations : A candidate should understand not only what facelifts can accomplish, but also the limitations of facial plastic surgery procedures. Consulting with a qualified plastic surgeon can help a patient obtain the information needed to make the right decision about surgery.
Good overall health : A good facelift candidate will be generally healthy and will inform his or her surgeon of any preexisting medical conditions well in advance. A facelift is an invasive procedure that requires significant healing and recovery, so it is essential that the patient be physically prepared for surgery.
Loose skin on the face or neck : Facelift candidates typically want to remove excess skin from the face or neck, tightening skin and reducing the appearance of wrinkles simultaneously. The surgeon trims the loose skin during the procedure.