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Scientifically known as a rhytidectomy, the facelift pulls back limp skin and repositions sagging and lax fat and muscle.

Before You Go

Questions to ask your doctor:

  • How will a facelift rejuvenate my skin?
  • Will a facelift make me look younger?

Pre-procedure prep for facelift: Stop smoking two weeks before a facelift, and avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory agents, and herbal supplements that increase bleeding. The first step is to speak with your surgeon, who can provide greater details.

On the day of treatment: Shower on the morning of surgery, however do not apply any lotions, moisurizers, deodorants, or makeup to your skin. You may also have to avoid food and drink starting at midnight before your surgery.

What To Expect

The operation can be performed in a hospital or outpatient facility. Most facelifts follow a general prototype, the incision which is a long continuous cut that begins at the temples above the hairline and can be traced downwards behind the earlobe to the bottom of the scalp. A plastic surgeon can remove fat tissues, and then lift and pull the skin through this generously sized flap. The length of the incision itself varies.

Depending on the severity of the wrinkles and sags, a surgeon may choose to remove skin, shift the position of loosened skin, tighten muscles, and remove fat via liposuction. When finished, stitches and staples are used to close incisions. A small drainage tube may be tucked behind the ears for one or two days to help release any blood that collects.

Who should do it: Plastic surgeons who perform facelifts should be certified by the American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS), the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) or the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS).

Duration: A facelift takes between two and three hours.

How Painful Is It?

Despite the considerable extent of the surgery, the facelift is only moderately uncomfortable. Prescription medication can be recommended by your surgeon to address lingering discomfort.

Options for anesthesia: The surgery can be completed under general or local anesthesia.

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