What is a Facelift?

A Facelift (rhytidectomy) is a surgical procedure that improves visible signs of aging in the face and neck, including:

  • Sagging in the lower portion of the face
  • Deep creases along the nose extending to the corner of the mouth
  • Fat that has fallen or has disappeared
  • Loss of skin tone in the lower face that creates jowls
  • Loose skin and excess fatty deposits under the chin and involving the neck

At Umansky Plastic Surgery, all facelift procedures are carefully customized to complement the unique bone structure, skin condition, and overall facial anatomy of each patient.

Recovery and Healing from a Facelift

William Umansky, MD and Jeffrey Umansky, MD will discuss with each patient how long it will be for various levels of recovery and for return to activity and work. After surgery, the patient and caregiver will receive detailed instructions about the postsurgical care, including information about:

  • Drains
  • Normal symptoms and healing
  • Potential signs of problems

Typically, patients will go home with a soft head dressing, which is usually changed the next day. Minimal initial discomfort is easily controlled with oral medication. Sutures are removed over the course of 7-14 days. Bruising and swelling usually decrease to presentable levels by 10-14 days.

Recovery time will vary by patient and in relation to the extent of surgery. The enhanced result is often evident by 2-3 weeks, with continued improvement for several months. Discomfort or tightness and sensation changes in the face will resolve. Be prepared to wait at least six months for the facelift to completely heal inside and out.

What are the Risks and possible Complications?

Fortunately, significant complications from facelift surgery are infrequent. This surgery remains the gold standard for facial rejuvenation and is usually performed without any major problems.

All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. However, certain risks can be minimized by following both the pre- and post-op advice and instructions provided by the staff of Umansky Plastic Surgery.

Some of the potential complications of all surgeries include:

  • Hematoma or seroma (an accumulation of blood or fluid under the skin that may require removal)
  • Infection
  • Changes in sensation
  • Scarring
  • Unsatisfactory results that may necessitate additional procedures.

Common Concerns with Facelift Procedure

What will my facelift incisions and scars be like?

Regardless of the type of facelift undergone, there will be incisions that involve the skin around the ear. Typically, the incision line usually runs within the hairline and within the natural contours in front and behind the ears. They are placed in areas that are hidden and where the scars look like natural facial lines.

Incision healing depends on surgical technique, proper nutrition, any underlying medical conditions, cessation of smoking, and overall healing tendencies.

There is a small risk of ‘hypertrophic scars’ anytime a skin incision is made. This risk is greater in darker-skinned people. Injections of a corticosteroid medication or other treatments can be used to improve scar appearance.

How long will the results last?

Genetics, skin quality, and maintenance routines are important factors in the longevity of each facelift. To protect your investment and obtain long lasting results, we encourage and recommend daily sunscreen use, permanent cessation of smoking, a balanced diet and proper rest. Generally, results last 7-10 years.

Other options

Rejuvenation procedures that may be performed in conjunction with a facelift are: Brow Lift, Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty), Rhinoplasty, Chin Augmentation, Fat Transfer, and Laser Skin Resurfacing.