A facelift improves the appearance of the aging face. The facelift or rhytidectomy
is a plastic surgery procedure that tightens the skin of the face and neck. The facelift procedure sharpens the
jawline, eliminates the jowls and lessens the creases between the nose and mouth (nasolabial folds). Included in
the facelift procedure is tightening of neck skin and underlying muscles and removal of neck fat. A forehead lift
or eyelid surgery is an adjunct to the facelift procedure.
Complications of facelift surgery include hematoma (a collection of blood under the
skin), injury to the nerves that control facial muscles (usually temporary), infection, and skin loss. To help
prevent complications after facelift surgery it is important to quit smoking, and stop taking aspirin and any
herbal medicine for two weeks before the facelift surgery.
The well-hidden facelift incisions begin in the temple hairline, extend downward in
front of the ear and upward behind the ear to reach the lower scalp. A small incision placed under the chin
approaches the neck in the facelift procedure. Removal of the sutures occurs within a few days after the facelift.
It is best to keep the head elevated on a few pillows when sleeping after a facelift and use ice packs to help keep
the swelling down. Within a few days the swelling and bruising in the face begins to subside.
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