Face Lift or Rhytidectomy. Wipe away those years.

Posted on December 1st, 2009 by The LookinGood Team


Rhytidectomy: Commonly called a facelift, this surgical procedure is done to eliminate the sagging, drooping, and wrinkled skin of the face and neck.

The Queen of all procedures, the facelift really isn’t as popular as folks think, basically because there are so many different variations, that few ever have to admit that they’ve had one.  Ranked 17th in popularity in 2008, this surgery can knock off 20 years, but if overdone, it can also make you look ridiculous (picture in point.) There are many different types to choose from now.  Partial rhytidectomies, for instance, where only parts of the face are lifted, like the forehead, or just the cheek and jowls, are quite popular.  There are endoscopic facelifts, using laser technology that is mildly less invasive.  The much-hyped “Thread Lift” uses hooks and strings to pull skin taut, but no underlying muscle, or SMAS tissue.  There are “Deep Planing facelifts,” where the surgeon really lifts the deep tissue of the face, and “Short Scar” facelifts, which result in, well, shorter scars.  Each doctor has their own specialty, so if you are contemplating such a move, talk to several of them.

A full facelift involves cutting the skin around the ears and up the scalp along the hairline, and pulling the skin away to get at the SMAS, or superficial musculoaponeurotic system.  That’s the deeper tissue of the face that will be pulled and sewn in place so that the lift will hold.  The skin is then smoothed back over the lifted SMAS and re-attched, with the excess clipped away.  (Early facelifts were performed just stretching the skin, and that only proved that yes, leather can stretch.)  Swelling and bruising are major, and an overnight in a clinic or hospital should be expected.  Recovery is dependant on the patient, but most information suggests 3-4 weeks.

The cost runs $10,000-$15,000, and here’s a kicker that not that many people hear about:  if you are a smoker, most surgeons will not perform the surgery until the patient has been smoke-free for a period of 2-4 weeks.  Nicotine and smoking dramatically retard healing.

2 Comments on “Face Lift or Rhytidectomy. Wipe away those years.”

  1. tower 2 tower

    A facelift is a surgical method that removes excess facial skin to make the face appear younger. However, the aging face not only loses skin elasticity and develops looser droopy skin, but also loses fat and muscle tone. Additional procedures which may be necessary to achieve the best results include: necklift, blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), liposuction, autologous fat injection, removal of buccal (cheek) fat pad, forehead lift, browlift, chemical or laser peel, and malar (cheek), submalar or chin implants.

  2. Lori R

    Working for a plastic surgeon here in Michigan, I would actually recommend trying the ‘mid-face’ enhancement prior to choosing surgery. This involves fillers, such as Radiesse or Restylane in the cheeks and/or laugh line areas. Very effective and extremely affordable. Most importantly, you MUST choose a BOARD CERTIFIED Plastic Surgeon!!! Be careful!

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