Cincinnati Facial Plastic Surgery
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Home » Facelift and Neck Lift

Facelift and Neck Lift

What is a Facelift?


Before and After Facelift Photos

Facelift surgery can improve many signs of aging in the lower third of the face and neck including loose or sagging skin, jowls, neck bands, and lines and wrinkles. During the procedure excess fat is removed, the underlying muscles are tightened, and the skin is re-draped. The result is a more youthful and rejuvenated appearance.

Do I Need a Facelift?

Individuals who are looking to improve the appearance of loose skin, jowls and lines and wrinkles along the lower third of the face and neck may be good candidates for a facelift. As with all types of surgery, it’s important that patients be in good health and be realistic in their expectations of the outcome. Patients should also understand the limitations of surgery. The facelift cannot stop the aging process or turn back the clock, but it can improve the overall facial appearance and help you to look your best. During your consultation, Dr. Donath will help you to decide if a facelift is right for you. He will consider such factors as skin type, ethnicity, individual healing, bone structure and skin elasticity when determining if you are an appropriate candidate. If necessary, he may recommend additional procedures to help you achieve your desired look. For instance, may patients will also receive facial liposuction in conjunction with the facelift.

The Facelift Procedure

Facelift surgery may be performed with a combination of mild sedatives, local anesthesia and mild intravenous anesthesia. In some cases, general anesthesia may be used instead. Dr. Donath will begin the surgery by making the incision which typically begins above the hairline at the temples and runs in front of and behind the ear, ending behind the earlobe in the lower scalp. If the neck requires work, an additional small incision may be made beneath the chin. For male patients, the incision will be located in such a way to accommodate the natural beard lines. Working through the incisions, the underlying muscle and connective tissue will be repositioned and tightened, some fat may be removed, and the excess skin will be trimmed. The incisions will then be closed with fine sutures or metal clips and a dressing may be applied. While surgical times will vary, the facelift may take anywhere from two to four hours to complete.

Dressings applied after surgery are usually removed within one to two days along with the drainage tubes if used. Pain is generally minimal after the facelift, but medication will likely be prescribed. Some swelling and bruising can be expected and patients may also experience some numbness of the skin. Prior to surgery, patients should arrange for family or friends to assist them during their recovery. Stitches and staples are typically removed within five to ten days after the facelift. The resulting scars are usually well-concealed within the hairline and natural skin creases and they will continue to fade with time. Most patients are able to return to work within about two weeks after their facelift, though rigorous activities and sun exposure will be prohibited for several weeks.


Facelift FAQs

Q-What is a facelift?
A-A facelift, also known as rhytidectomy, is a plastic surgery procedure designed to improve the appearance of the lower third of the face and neck in order to restore a more youthful and rejuvenated look. The facelift can treat sagging skin, jowls, neck bands, and lines and wrinkles by removing excess fat, tightening underlying muscles, and re-draping the skin.

Q-Are there any limitations to what a facelift can achieve?
A-The facelift is designed to treat the lower third of the face and neck and will not affect the appearance of the eyelids or the forehead and brow position.

Q-Is a facelift right for me?
A-If you are looking to improve sagging skin and wrinkles of the lower face, along with jowls and neck bands, and are physically healthy and realistic in your expectations, then a facelift may be right for you. Dr. Donath is happy to meet with you for a consultation to help you decide if the facelift can best address your needs.

Q-What happens at the consultation for a facelift?
A-During the consultation for a facelift, Dr. Donath will meet with you to examine your face, discuss your goals, and take a thorough medical history. He will weigh other factors like skin type, ethnicity, individual healing, bone structure and skin elasticity to help determine if the facelift is right for you. Dr. Donath will explain the technique, the anesthesia, the surgical facility, the risks and the costs, and he will address any questions or concerns that you may have. He may recommend additional procedures, such as facial liposuction or skin resurfacing, if they may help to achieve your desired look.

Q-What anesthesia is the facelift performed with?
A-The facelift may be performed with a combination of anesthetics which may include mild sedatives, local anesthesia and mild intravenous anesthesia. General anesthesia is sometimes used instead.

Q-How is the surgery for a facelift performed?
A-Dr. Donath begins the facelift surgery by making incisions which begin at the temples in the hairline and run in front of and behind each ear, ending in the lower scalp in the back of the ear. An additional small incision may be made beneath the chin if the neck needs work. Once the incisions are made, underlying muscle and connective tissue are repositioned and tightened, excess fat may be removed, and excess skin is trimmed. Fine sutures or metal clips are then used to close the incisions.

Q-How long is the surgical time for a facelift?
A-The facelift may take an average of two to four hours to perform.

Q-Where are the facelift incisions made?
A-The incisions for the facelift typically being in the hairline at the temples and the extend in front of and behind the ear, ending in the lower scalp. For patients requiring work on the neck, a small incision may also be made under the chin. The incision is usually adjusted in male patients to accommodate the natural beard lines.

Q-Will I have scars after my facelift?
A-The incisions made for the facelift are typically located in such a way so that the resulting scars are well-concealed within the natural skin creases and the hairline.

Q-Does the facelift involve much pain?
A-There is typically minimal after the facelift, though medication can be prescribed to help with any discomfort that you may experience.

Q-What is the recovery from a facelift like?
A-Patients can expect some amount of swelling and bruising after the facelift, and some numbness of the skin may occur as well. There is usually minimal pain, though medication will likely be prescribed. Dressings and drainage tubes, if used, are typically removed within one to two days after surgery. Prior to surgery, patients should arrange for a friend or family member to assist them during the recovery period.

Q-When will I be able to resume work after my facelift?
A-Work and most other normal activities can usually be resumed within about two weeks after the facelift surgery.

Q-When will the stitches be removed after my facelift procedure?
A-Stitches and staples are usually removed after about five to ten days.