What you should know about facelifts

A facelift (also known as rhytidectomy) is a procedure that addresses the results of aging on the face, including wrinkled or sagging skin. Patients seeking a facelift often feel that their face doesn't match their spirit, and makes them seem older than they feel. A successful facelift smoothes away wrinkles and removes excess skin to turn back the clock on your appearance.

Cost of a Facelift

The cost of a facelift often depends on the plastic surgeon's experience, reputation and geographic location – resulting in varied pricing across the country. There are also numerous fees ranging from anesthesia, hospital and surgeon's fees. Combined, the total cost for a facelift can range from $7,500 to $18,300, not including surgeon's fees.

Patient Evaluation

Your surgeon will perform a physical evaluation and discuss whether your goals are achievable through a successful facelift surgery. Some of the things the doctor will check include:

  • Skin thickness, elasticity and texture
  • Severity of facial wrinkles
  • Facial bone structure
  • Underlying skin structure

Taking these factors along with the patient's desired outcome into consideration, the surgeon can recommend the facelift variation that will be most effective.

The Facelift Procedure

The facelift may include other forms of facial surgery, such as liposuction to achieve the desired effect of a more youthful appearance. Facelift procedures continue to be refined, and they are proven to offer reliable and lasting results. Generally, a facelift involves incisions in front and behind the ear and above the hairline with the purpose of separating the facial skin from the deeper skin tissue. Any extra skin may be removed or relocated and muscles tightened to renew the youthful appearance to the face. The facial skin is repositioned using staples or stitches, and the affected area is wrapped in bandages to begin the healing process.

Risks of Facelift Surgery

All forms of cosmetic surgery carry with them an element of risk, and a facelift operation is no different. Possible complications include hematoma, infection or a negative reaction to anesthesia. These risks can be minimized by following the instructions given by your plastic surgeon.

Recovering from the Operation

Recovery time from facelift surgery varies from person to person. Intermittent use of ice packs and elevating the head can help to reduce post-operative swelling. It may take up to 6 months for the swelling to resolve and the incision scars to fade completely. Avoiding aspirin, some anti-inflammatory medications, strenuous activity, cigarette use and exposure to the sun is vital during the recovery process.

Alternatives Procedures

Those looking for a non-surgical facelift may wish to consider the ThermaCool facelift. Keep in mind that a natural facelift or over-the-counter facelift product will not produce the type of lasting results that are usually associated with a surgical facelift.