The best candidate for a facelift , or rhytidectomy, is a man or woman whose face and neck have begun to sag, but whose skin still has some elasticity and whose bone structure is strong and well-defined. Most patients are in their forties to sixties, but we perform facelifts on younger and older patients as well. A facelift can make you look younger and fresher, and it may enhance your self-confidence in the process. Your plastic surgeons objective is to improve your appearance by enhancing your natural beauty and not by producing an artificial “wind swept” look.




Facelifts are very individualized procedures. In your initial consultation your plastic surgeon will evaluate your face, including the skin, muscle, and bony structure and discuss goals for the surgery. It is common for a new patient to come in with preconceived notions about what procedure she/he wants done. Your plastic surgeon may point out that to obtain the desired result a different procedure(s), in place of, or in addition to the procedure the patient had in mind would be advisable. A facelift only affects the face from about the level of the eyes to down around the neck and does not treat fine lines in the skin, the eyelids, or the brow.


Your plastic surgeon performs facelift surgery in an office facility, usually under general anesthesia, but local anesthesia with sedation can also be used. Incisions begin above the hairline at the temples, extend in a natural line in front of the ear (or just inside the cartilage at the front of your ear), and continue behind the earlobe to the lower scalp. If the neck needs work, a small incision may also be made under the chin. Patients frequently worry that there will be a lot of shaving of the head creating bald spots but actually no hair is shaved and the hair will nicely hide the sutures and staples.

In general, your plastic surgeon separates the skin from the fat and muscle below. Fat may be trimmed or suctioned from around the neck and chin to improve the contour. Your plastic surgeon then tightens the underlying muscles when appropriate, then pulls the skin upwards and back, and removes the excess. Stitches secure the layers of tissue and close the incisions.


There isn’t usually a great deal of discomfort after a facelift and what pain there is can be managed by the medication prescribed by your plastic surgeon. A dressing covering the scalp and neck is removed the following day at which time any drains are usually removed. The patient is then allowed to shampoo the hair and usually no additional dressings are applied. Some numbness of the skin of the cheeks and neck which may last a few weeks to a few months is expected. The stitches in front of the ears will be removed after about five days. The stitches or staples hidden in your hairline are removed after 10 to 14 days. For more information on facelift surgery, rhinoplasty and other facial plastic surgery procedures visit https://www.seattle-rhinoplasty.com/

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