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Facelift in Rhytidectomy in Duluth, GA

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The facelift is one of the most recognized plastic surgical procedures. Facial cosmetic surgery is performed to improve visible signs of aging in the face and neck. There are a variety of reasons why a person elects to undergo this procedure. We most frequently hear that “I want to look as good as I feel”. Each individual wears age in a manner uniquely their own. The overall condition of your face and neck, as with the rest of your body, depends on multiple factors. These include familial tendencies and environmental factors. Age, weight change, heredity, smoking and skin damage from overexposure to the sun and wind all contribute to external facial aging. As the skin loses its elasticity, the forces of gravity cause the skin to sag and wrinkle.  When considering facial aging your plastic surgeon will evaluate you for loss of skin elasticity, loss of facial volume and loss of deep tissue attachments. 

A facelift may be appropriate if you are experiencing the following signs of aging;

  • Sagging in the midface
  • Deep creases below the lower eyelids
  • Deep creases along the nose extending to the corner of the mouth (Nasolabial Crease)
  • Fat that has fallen or is displaced
  • Loss of facial volume in the midface as well as the temporal hollow
  • Loss of muscle tone in the lower face may create jowls
  • Loose skin and excess fatty deposits under the chin and jaw can make even a person of normal weight appear to have a double chin

Surgical Technique

During your initial consultation with our plastic surgeon you will discuss the specific details of facial rejuvenation. A facelift is designed to remove excess skin and fat, tighten the underlying facial muscles, and redrape the skin of the face and neck. The facelift procedure alone will not generally diminish any wrinkling around the lips, forehead or eyelids. These other areas may require additional procedures that are frequently performed at the time of a facelift. These include fat grafting, eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), brow lift and laser skin resurfacing.  A facelift can only be performed surgically; non-surgical rejuvenation treatments cannot achieve the same results, but may help delay the time at which a facelift becomes appropriate and complement the results of surgery. A facelift operation is typically performed as an outpatient procedure.  A less extensive face lift may be performed under local anesthesia with oral sedation while a  more extensive procedure is typically performed under general anesthesia.  The procedure can last 4 – 6 hours depending upon how much tightening and lifting needs to be done. The cost of a facelift can vary. A pricing estimate for your procedure will be provided during your consultation.   

Skin-Only Facelift?

Also referred to as the cutaneous facelift, this technique removes excess and loose skin to create a tightened look. The remaining skin is repositioned to lift sagging cheeks and jowls. It also improves the profile along the jaw line. With this facelift technique, the muscles or fat tissues are left untouched. As the treatment focuses on the skin only, recovery is quick. This is ideal for those who still have good tone muscle and distribution of fat, but find the skin losing elasticity in some areas.

Traditional Facelift (SMAS)

SMAS is the superficial musculo-aponeurotic system, which is a muscle complex that is primarily active when it comes to facial expression. With normal wear-and-tear due to age, gravity and personal habits, muscle tissue loses its form and becomes displaced significantly for those over 50. This particular facelift is considered the standard when it comes to this cosmetic procedure.  Most modern facelifts are performed with a shorter incision than was common in the past.  The incision typically begins around the sideburn then curves with the ear, around the earlobe, behind the ear and into the scalp behind the ear.    The skin and fat of the face is dissected off of the underlying SMAS layer if the facelift is to include the neck dissection will be extended on over the muscles of the neck.  Through a small incision placed in the submental crease the neck muscle (platysma) will be repaired in the midline.  The SMAS layer is then tightened and the excess fat and skin will be removed and the incisions will be meticulously repaired. 

Deep Plane Lift

For those who have severe cases of drooping and skin folds that are normal with aging and extensive sun exposure, a deep plane lift may be the best approach. This is especially true for those whose facial profiles need extensive reshaping on areas that typically have the volume and tight contours.  At the time of your consultation your plastic surgeon will listen to your concerns and evaluate you for facial rejuvenation.  There are often many methods selected for facial rejuvenation.  The goal is to choose the right procedure to meet your aesthetic goals.

Mini Facelift

Also called as a short-scar facelift because of the shorter incisions made, a mini lift is a quick treatment that corrects the middle and lower face. Many patients initially consider this technique, but this doesn’t correct any severe issues and usually renders short-term results. Patients who undergo this procedure are most likely to also stage a full facelift as a final step to fully rejuvenate and reshape the face to its youthful curves.

During/After Surgery

All facelift procedures are performed either in our accredited surgical facility or at the outpatient area of the hospital.  The procedure can be performed either under general or local anesthesia. Even though this is considered an outpatient procedure, there are some cases where the patient stays overnight for monitoring. It is normal to experience bruising and swelling after the surgery, and patients will feel some degree of tightness. This subsides within a couple of weeks.  Optimal results will be evident after several months. It is important that activities are limited to decrease the risks of bleeding.  All operations have some associated risks.  These risks will be discussed in detail at the time of your consultation.  In general the risks include swelling, bruising, bleeding, infection, scarring, and numbness.  Sutures are typically removed after 5 - 7 days.  There will typically be some degree of swelling an bruising following surgery.  Usually cool compresses are applied following the procedure to decrease the amount of swelling. 

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Recovery Time  
4-6 weeks
Average Procedure Time  
3-6 hours
Post-op Follow-up  
1 day
Procedure Recovery Location  
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Facelift FAQs

Non-Invasive Techniques?

Cosmetic surgery is constantly evolving and always finding ways to minimize the invasiveness of procedures. There are countless options that are considered less invasive than a facelift, including wrinkle relaxers such as BOTOX®, injectable fillers, microdermabrasion and chemical/laser peels. These alternatives aim to correct signs of aging such as wrinkles, as well flatten and soften folds and contours. The effects, while effective, are often short-term lasting about 6 months to a year. Although these procedures can be safely repeated, for some, a facelift may be a better, more permanent option.

How Natural?

Immediately following a facelift procedure, the patient will feel tightness and a pulling sensation. This is normal as the facial tissues, skin and muscle adjust to their new positions. It is important to choose a reputable plastic surgeon that has years of experience in facial cosmetic surgery. A doctor with experience in facial surgery will create natural, smooth results that will last for years to come.

Visible Scars?

A tradional facelift requires an incision around the sideburn to the lower hairline.  A skillful plastic surgeon knows how to hide the scars to make them a hidden as possible.  The scars will be well concealed within the hairline and natural creases on the face. 

Best Age?

Anyone can consider a facelift as soon as evidence of aging starts taking a toll on the skin. Generally, patients who are age 50 to 70 consider a facelift. Personal habits and environmental conditions can impact the skin and there are patients who are only 40 that are also good candidates for a facelift.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.