Facelift, technically known as rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure to improve visible signs of aging on the face and neck, such as:
- Sagging in the middle third of the face.
- Deep wrinkles below the lower eyelids.
- Deep folds along the nose that reach the corner of the mouth (nasogenian grooves).
- Fat that has atrophied or has been removed.
- The loss of muscle tone in the lower area of the face which can give an image in bulldog.
- And loose skin and excess fatty deposits under the chin and jaw that can make even a normal-weight person appear to have jowls.
The goal of the facelift or rhytidectomy is to get a rejuvenated and natural-looking face. It is not about looking like another person, but about recovering a younger version of oneself, maintaining expression and identity.
With the lifting we fight sagging, grooves, jowls and wrinkles by lifting the muscles and skin of the face and neck. It is currently the most effective and long-lasting treatment for facial rejuvenation.
The surgical lifting allows to obtain results in terms of sagging or facial and cervical sagging that other techniques cannot achieve. The most important evolution in the lifting has been the inclusion of deep tissues of the face and neck to achieve more natural and lasting results. Surgery is currently being combined with lipofilling and skin resurfacing techniques to achieve better and more harmonious results.
It is indicated in patients from 40 years of age with signs of sagging or facial or cervical sagging who need more definition of the mandibular border, who have jowls or have vertical bands on the neck. The procedure consists of performing a dissection of the skin, the superficial musculoaponeurotic system and the platysma, stretching according to different vectors and removing the excess skin.
The incisions are hidden in the hairline and under the chin. What we always look for is the naturalness of the results and that is easier to achieve, although it seems paradoxical, through surgical treatment since it allows us a comprehensive treatment and solve more areas involved in aging than if aesthetic medical treatments are carried out that partially camouflage aging (In surgery we talk about “patches”).
In the integral rejuvenation of the face and neck, the lifting can be combined with eyelid surgery and eyebrow lift by endoscopy, achieving spectacular and lasting results over time.
A variety of other procedures can further improve the outcome of a rhytidectomy. They include:
- Facial Lipofilling (Autologous fatty tissue implants obtained from another part of the body and injected after a laborious process of filtration and centrifugation).
- Techniques to improve the tone and texture of the skin of the face such as resurfacing, peeling, skin laser etc.
- Greater reduction of wrinkles by injection of hyaluronic acid.
Endoscopic front lift:
The endoscopic front lift is a minimally invasive procedure that raises the eyebrows, giving a rejuvenated look to the forehead, improving the drooping of the eyelids and eliminating the appearance of sad or tired look.
The endoscopic technique allows the intervention to be performed with small hidden incisions in the scalp without leaving visible scars and with a short postoperative period. Through these incisions, an endoscopy device is introduced that allows to accurately treat the placement of the eyebrows and the small muscles that cause wrinkles. Currently with these procedures it is avoided to have to perform a broad approach in the frontal area (coronal approach).
Facial lipofilling combined with face lifting:
The combination of the lifting with lipotransfer or fat grafting is one of the most outstanding advances in facial rejuvenation. The tensor and lifting effect of the lifting are joined in the same intervention with the recovery of the volumes provided by the fat extracted from the patient himself. This technique allows us to perform more moderate dissections avoiding unnecessary risks.
In addition, there is a regenerative effect on the skin that is believed due to the action of stem cells and plasma growth factors that are diluted in fat. This multiplies the effects of the facelift providing smoother and more vitality to the skin. Formerly in the most aggressive liftings there was sometimes an atrophy of the skin and this was due to the excess of dissection and stretching of the skin of the face.
Short scar facelift:
This type of facelift in which we can avoid the retroauricular scar and also a very wide detachment of the skin allows us in cases with good skin quality a faster surgery (sometimes with local anesthesia and sedation) and a recovery also faster maintaining the good results.
What the facelift doesn't do:
This surgery cannot stop the aging process.
Preparing for Facelift Surgery
- Quit smoking long before surgery.
- Avoid taking anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin as they can increase bleeding.
Step 1 – Anesthesia
Options include local anesthesia + intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best option for you.
Step 2 – The incision
Depending on the degree of sagging and elasticity of the skin, options include a traditional facelift or short-incision lifts.
The traditional incision often begins at the hairline, continues around the ear, and ends at the scalp.
The underlying tissue is repositioned, commonly the deeper layers of the face and muscles are also lifted.
The skin is readapted on the raised tissues and the excess skin is trimmed. A second small incision under the chin may be needed to further improve tension at the neck level.
Step 3 – Closing the incisions
Once healed, the incision lines of a cosmetic surgery will be hidden within the hairline and in the natural contours of the face and ear.
Step 4 – Bandage
When we finish the procedure we will place a soft compression bandage.
You will be given specific instructions that may include: how to care for the incisions, medications you should take orally to aid healing and reduce the chance of infection, and when to make a follow-up visit with your plastic surgeon.
Recovery is variable depending on each patient.