Facelift and Necklift

Facelift and necklift, or rhytidectomy (literally “cutting out wrinkles”), is an operation devised for improvement of the face and neck. In most patients this involves treatment of the face and neck at the same time using a continuous incision.

To see photos of patients before and after rhytidectomy please select the image to the left or click here. 

Will a facelift improve my appearance?

A rhytidectomy is designed to remove extra skin from the face and neck, and to resuspend soft tissue of the face to improve jowling. Addressing the effects of gravity on facial soft tissue, not just removing extra skin, is critical to the long-term success of the operation. A successful facelift results in smoother skin and more youthful-appearing cheeks and jawline, without an “operated-on” appearance. Treating the neck and face together is very important, since these area tend to age together, and only addressing one area may lead to disappointing results. Depending on the technique used, a facelift may provide 10-15 years of rejuvenation. 

Many nonsurgical interventions, such as facial creams, lasers, fillers, neurotoxins, ultrasound or heat therapies have promised to improve facial appearance, but none of these come close to the degree of improvement that a well-performed facelift produces.

How does a facelift work?

During your procedure, a continuous incision is made from the temple to the mid-neck. This incision is concealed along the hairline and within anatomic creases. The visible areas of the incision are made in a wavy, or curvilinear, fashion, because curved incisions are harder for other people to recognize. Underneath your skin there is tissue that can support the tension needed to lift soft tissue without giving an artificial appearance. This tissue layer is called the SMAS (superficial musculoaponeurotic system). All successful long-term facelift techniques use the SMAS in one way or another to correct drooping. A small drain is placed to collect any fluid under the skin (this will be removed in 1 week). Finally, extra skin is removed and the skin incision is closed with dissolving sutures. These do not need to be removed.

Can other procedures be combined with a rhytidectomy?

A facelift is very commonly combined with other facial operations (and sometimes body or breast operations). Fat injections are a very common adjunct to replace facial volume that has been lost with age, weight loss, and other disease processes. A browlift, upper eyelid lift, or chin lift may complete your facial rejuvenation. Any of these concerns will be discussed with you at your free consultation. 

What will my recovery be like?

Facelift operations (and any combined procedures) are performed in our private, certified operating facility. Facelift is an outpatient procedure– staying in the hospital is not necessary. 

A postoperative wrap is placed in the operating room. This is traded the day after surgery for a compressive garment. This is worn for two weeks continuously, then as possible for the next 2 weeks. This operation has a 2-3 week “social recovery” during which time you may have resolving swelling and bruising. After this time light makeup should be able to conceal any residual evidence of surgery.

How much discomfort will I be in after my procedure?

Pain after a facelift is usually mild to moderate. Numbness is always present and resolves over months. Resting over the first several days will minimize facial swelling, bruising, and discomfort. Prescribed pain medication is used typically for a week.  You will also be provided with detailed postoperative instructions, including how to taper pain medication and transition to over-the-counter medications. 

Typical Facelift Scar- Rhytidectomy

How significant is scarring?

In most cases, facelifts involve a continuous incision from the temple to mid-neck, as shown on the photo to the left. These scars tend to heal and mature to the point that they are difficult to see even when searching. Topical scar treatments are available at our office. Facelift scars heal and mature quickly, but it may take up to 1 year before the scars are completely matured. 

How much does a facelift cost? Are there financing options?

A facelift costs between $9000 and $14,000. This is a total cost that reflects all fees associated with the procedure (surgical, anesthesia, supplies). This cost also includes Cosmetassure coverage, which provides insurance in case of complications. 

Gallatin Plastic surgery provides a variety of financing plans from Care Credit. Please visit CareCredit online or inquire at our office for more information. 

"A facelift is the cornerstone of surgical facial rejuvenation. No other noninvasive or minimally invasive procedure comes close to the improvement obtained with this operation"
-Dr. Jarred McDaniel

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