What You Should Know Before You Consider Facelift Surgery

As you get older, you don't have to leave your youthful beauty behind. With the guidance of a professional, board-certified plastic surgeon, you can counteract the effects of time and gravity, restore the natural vibrant appearance you remember from years ago, and even tackle the early signs of aging before they form. Here's more information about facelift surgery.

What is a facelift?

A type of surgical procedure, commonly known as a facelift, involves removing excess fat from the face, tightening facial muscles and stretching the skin to make the face look smoother and tighter. Surgery is performed on the face, neck, or both.

Depending on where the lift is to be performed on the face or neck, the surgeon separates the skin from fat and muscle. The fat is then removed, the skin is pulled back into place and the excess is removed.

Face lifts lift and fix sagging facial tissue to restore a more natural, youthful look. Cosmetic surgery is often said to 'turn back the clock' and make patients look younger. By removing excess, sagging skin, smoothing out deep folds, and lifting and tightening deep facial tissue, facelifts not only make patients look younger, but also make them look "better."

Why do facelift surgery?

People who have sagging faces and/or necks but still have elastic skin are the best candidates for facelifts. The procedure also works best for those with a strong, well-defined bone structure. As you age, your skin starts to lose elasticity and facial tissue begins to atrophy. Eventually, this can lead to 'jaws' at the bottom of the face, deep wrinkles and sagging skin at the neck. While it's a natural part of getting older, patients troubled by these signs of aging may find a facelift to be a good solution. You may want to consider a facelift if:

You feel self-conscious about your face and neck due to loose skin

You wear turtlenecks and scarves not because you want to, but because you want to hide your old neck

When you see your reflection, you think your face makes you look much older than you feel

You feel that aging looks will negatively affect your career or relationships

After a facelift, patients often experience a surge of confidence as their appearance better reflects their healthy, energetic atmosphere.

Plastic surgery can make you look more energetic.

Choose a Plastic surgeon

Cosmetic surgery is a complex process that requires extensive knowledge of facial anatomy, a very specific set of surgical techniques, and a highly developed eye for aesthetic details. Not all surgeons who practice cosmetic surgery are trained in cosmetic surgery during their residency training, so it's important to do your homework before choosing a cosmetic surgeon.

When consulting potential cosmetic surgeons, ask about their specific training and experience in facial cosmetic surgery. Also, find out how many facelifts each person has had, and make sure to look at lots of before and after photos during your consultation -- this will help you get a feel for the plastic surgeon's aesthetic. Men considering a face lift should make sure the plastic surgeon has experience performing face lifts on male patients; The anatomy of the male face differs from that of the female face and requires extensive knowledge.

Choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon ensures that your surgeon has specialized training and experience in plastic surgery, including facial lift techniques, and that your surgery will be performed at an accredited surgical facility. Get some helpful advice on choosing a plastic surgeon.

Types of facelifts

Face lifts are tailored to the patient's needs, and the plastic surgeon adjusts his or her technique accordingly.


Patients with mild jaw and sagging skin are often good candidates for a mini facelift. This is a minimally invasive technique that allows the plastic surgeon to tighten deep facial tissue through shorter incisions, usually in the hairline above each ear and/or in the natural folds around the ear. Through these incisions, the structural tissue around the cheek is lifted and tightened to correct the jaw, improve the jawline and restore a "tired" appearance.

Mini-facelifts can be performed using local anesthesia and sedation or general anesthesia, depending on the situation; Your plastic surgeon will recommend the best option based on your individual needs. Mini facelifts can help you address unwanted signs of aging before they become too obvious, delaying the need for more extensive surgery for years.

Standard Facelift

Standard or "traditional" facelifts will more fully address moderate to advanced aging around the mid-face and neck. Although the procedure has a wider coverage than a mini facelift and therefore requires more recovery time, the results are more dramatic. By making an incision just behind the hairline, starting near the temple and around the front of the ear, hidden in natural folds, cosmetic surgeons can reposition the deep tissue beneath the skin and remove excess skin to smooth out wrinkles, eliminate the chin and sagging skin under the chin, and restore the natural youthful contour of the face and neck.

How do facelifts work?

The specific techniques a plastic surgeon uses during a cosmetic procedure depend on many factors, including the patient's anatomy and personal goals, the scope of the procedure (micro and standard), and whether another procedure is performed at the same time. Facelifts are usually performed under general anesthesia, but local anesthesia and sedation can also be used for less extensive procedures.

After the initial incision is made, the skin separates from the connective tissue and muscle underneath. This allows plastic surgeons to reposition deep facial tissue, removing the jaw and creating a firmer base for the skin. The excess skin is then removed and the remaining skin is gently relaxed over the newly rejuvenated facial tissue, giving the face a smoother, more youthful silhouette without over-tightening the skin.

Will a facelift also improve my eyelids?

The word "facelift" isn't uncommon when it comes to any type of facial rejuvenation surgery, and understandably, many people think facelifts include the entire face -- eyes, eyebrows, cheeks, and chin. This is understandable; After all, your eyes and forehead are also part of your face. However, the facelift itself only covers the lower two-thirds of the face -- the cheeks and jawline.

Why is that? This is mainly due to anatomical differences. The skin, muscle and other tissues around the eyebrows and eyelids are very different, and cosmetic surgery in these areas requires completely different techniques than facelifts.

Often, patients choose to have eyelid lifts, eyebrow lifts or neck contouring done at the same time as cosmetic surgery, but in those cases, plastic surgeons actually perform two different operations in one procedure. Similarly, patients who just want to address aging in the eyes or neck can often achieve their goals with an eyelid lift or neck lift, not a face lift.

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