Facelift (Rytidectomy)

The facelift procedure removes excess skin and tightens the underlying facial muscles resulting in a more youthful, “refreshed” appearance.

Why does my face look aged?

As we age the deeper muscles and tissues of the face begin to weaken. Additionally, the constant pull of gravity causes the skin to stretch. This process results in loss of facial fullness along the cheekbones, which is characteristic of a youthful face. We instead develop bunching of skin and tissue in the lower mid-face and jaw area. The end products are the “jowls”, and the “parentheses” we all complain about.

How does a facelift improve the aging process?

face lift

The facelift procedure tightens the deeper tissues and muscles of the face and returns them to the positions of youth. The skin laxity is addressed by removing the excess skin without creating tension or a “pulled” appearance. Your neck will appear smoother with a restored youthful neck angle. Jowls will be minimized or eliminated resulting in a smoother jaw line. The deep folds next to your nose or naso-labial creases will be diminished. Your cheeks and mid-face will be smoother with less wrinkles. You will appear refreshed and rejuvenated.

How are facelifts performed?

The goal is for you to look like you but a more rested, healthy and refreshed you. You should not look like a different person nor should your face look pulled, stretched or distorted. Dr. Polecritti has studied many of the currently performed facelift procedures and uses the good techniques of each in order to provide a natural consistent outcome. In most cases, the deeper muscle tissue (SMAS and platysma) are plicated along natural vectors or directions which restores their positions during youth. In some cases if there is excess deeper tissue, this is also excised. The skin is then gently positioned and the excess skin is removed. The skin is not pulled too tightly, and the corners of the eyes, mouth and ears are not pulled or distorted. The procedure will be performed with the assistance of licensed anesthesiologist who will insure that you are comfortable during the entire procedure. In most cases you may return home the same day or if you prefer, you may choose to spend the night at the hospital or surgery center.

Will a facelift address the laxity in my neck?

In most cases the process described above occurs along the entire face and continues into the neck region. Because both areas are affected, treating both the face and the neck at the same time results in the best cosmetic outcome. Occasionally, the effects of aging may show more on the face or neck and the patient wishes to only address one of these areas. In this case, the facelift can be limited to the face or likewise limited only to the neck if the neck is the area of greatest concern.

Where are the incisions?

The incisions are well hidden along the front of the ear and extend behind the ear to varying lengths depending on the amount of skin and tissue removed. You will also have a small incision under your chin if you are having a neck lift as part of the procedure.

What is the recovery like after a facelift?

Most patients report that the recovery is much better than they thought it would be. Pain is minimal, however, medication will be prescribed by Dr. Polecritti should you need it. You will have some bruising and swelling that resolves over the first several days after the procedure. Most of your sutures will be removed at your first post-operative appointment. You can wear make-up after this appointment and most patients return to work at this time. After the surgery, you will be asked to wear a face/chin garment. This is important for healing and to achieve the best cosmetic outcome.

Are all facelifts the same?

The simple answer is no. Unfortunately, there is a media frenzy surrounding plastic surgery nowadays and with facelifts in particular. It seems that every time we turn the corner we hear about another facelift with a catchy name. Just because a procedure has a trademarked name and a commercial does not mean it is cutting edge or even a good procedure. In most cases the facelifts that promise minimal incisions, short procedure time, minimal anesthesia and recovery yield inconsistent results that do not last, and many times short cuts are taken in order to follow through with these claims. Surgery is an important decision and a bad or less than optimal result cannot be hidden on your face. It is extremely important to do research about the procedure and physician you are considering for your facelift. You should have an open relationship with the physician of your choice and he or she should provide you with information on the pros and cons of all of these “quick” facelift procedures.

View our Facelift (Rytidectomy) Before & After pictures »