Plastic Surgery

Facelift - Rhytidectomy

A Rhytidectomy or Face Lift is the plastic surgical procedure designed to reduce facial manifestations of aging by elevating the loose and sagging tissues of the face.   As the medical term Rhytidectomy (Rhytid – Wrinkle, Ectomy – Remove) implies, facial wrinkling is generally lessened, but, in fact the operation is designed more to reduce cheek and neck sagging, which cause the characteristic “jowling” and deepening of the nasolabial folds so characteristic of the aging process. 


Every person ages differently and the manifestations of aging become apparent and troublesome at different times during maturity.  Therefore, it is difficult for a surgeon to predict when you may need a facelift or predict how long it should last.  Many of the recent developments in facelifting are designed to obtain a facial improvement that lasts longer and looks more natural than previous facelift techniques.


The facelift operation has become an extremely popular plastic surgical procedure as both men and women are trying to project a more youthful and rested appearance.  Other areas of the face such as the forehead, eyes, and neck may require additional procedures to achieve the desired result.  Depending on the extent of aging, only one area may need to be done. 


How Long Does a Facelift Last?

Although Plastic Surgeons are frequently asked this important question, we still cannot give an absolute answer.  Aging depends on many factors, some which we can control and many which we cannot.  For instance, we know that smoking cigarettes accelerates the facial manifestations of aging.  It is known that extensive sun exposure without sunblock protection will increase facial wrinkling and may cause skin cancers to develop.  Alternately, gaining or losing large amounts of weight are unhealthy and may also lead to facial and body skin laxity.  Also, some people are particularly interested in maintaining the youthful appearance gained by having a facelift and may request further surgery at the first signs of recurrent sagging.


Who is a Candidate for a Facelift?

Any man or woman who is physically and mentally healthy may be a facelift candidate.  In general, we have no age restriction with regards to face lifting, as long as we realize it is a person’s physiological and not chronological age that determines overall health.  Obesity may be considered a health problem and many obese people may not be good candidates for facial rejuvenation.


Where are the Incisions?

As a general rule, all facelift incisions are designed not only to provide a way to remove the excess sagging ski and to elevate the deeper relaxed tissues, but to be as inconspicuous as possible.  Incisions, when possible, are hidden within the hair and hidden within the creases around the ear.  Placing the incisions within the hair requires no shaving of the hair but may on occasion cause temporary hair loss.






















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