Rhytidectomy, or more popularly known as a facelift, is a surgical procedure that repositions and tightens sagging skin and muscles on the face and neck. It is commonly used to give a more youthful facial appearance.
Suitable for those within the age range of mid 40s to 80s, the ideal patient would exhibit visible signs of aging such as sunken cheeks, the formation of jowls and marionette lines, laxity of the face and neck and banding in the neck.
Typically done under general anesthesia or local with IV sedation, our professional surgeon will first make small incisions in front and behind the ears. The skin and fatty tissue will be separated from the SMAS (superficial musculoaponeurotic system), then repositioned and tightened it with sutures. After that, the surgeon will trim off excess skin and close the incisions with stitches.
Another method is with a deep plane lift, whereby the surgeon creates a skin flap on each side that includes skin, fat, and SMAS, and then lifts and repositions it as one unit. Tension-bearing sutures are placed in the SMAS layer. Both procedures typically include a neck lift too. As a result, the skin and muscle tissues on the neck will be elevated while excess submental fat will be removed via liposuction. A surgical facelift typically takes anywhere from one and a half to four hours, depending on the complexity of the procedure.
The patient will go home in bandages, which are typically removed after the first day. Special care has to be taken for the incisions, by cleaning them with saline and applying a thick ointment, such as Vaseline. The stitches are removed around the seven-day mark.
For the first two weeks, patients are advised to avoid any heavy lifting or exercises that may elevate the heart rate. As the skin heals, the patient may experience itch, swelling and some tightness, which is completely normal and, for most, subsides within the first few weeks.