Our board-certified plastic surgeons can significantly rejuvenation the face and neck with rhytidectomy or facelift
Technically known as rhytidectomy, a facelift is a procedure that will provide the most significant rejuvenation in the face and neck. Our surgeons emphasize a natural approach to facelift surgery. They want you to look naturally younger but certainly not artificial or overdone.
A facelift will improve skin laxity, jowling, the hollow appearance to the cheeks and below the eyes, a jawline that lacks definition, and a droopy neck. If you find yourself standing in front of a mirror and giving a gentle oblique push on the skin near the corner of the jaw, you may want to come in and learn more about face lift surgery.
During the aging process, 3 major predictable changes to the face occur:
- The majority of the volume containing fatty tissue in the face is intimately associated with a muscular layer called the SMAS. With time and the effects of gravity, this muscular layer stretches out and the soft tissues of the face fall downward. This change takes a youthful, upside down pear shaped face with most of the volume high around the cheek bones to a more square shape with volume shifting from the cheeks to lower in the face, along the jaw (jowls) and neck. This descent of soft tissue enhances the appearance of the fold going from the nose to the corner of the mouth and the “marionette line” which extends from the corner of the mouth down on the outside of the chin, revealing the edge of the jowl.
- Over time, the skin loses its elasticity and appears looser, with more lines and wrinkles. Loose skin on the neck also contributes to the loss of definition in the angle between the chin and neck and can even lead to the appearance of a double chin in people who are not overweight.
- More recently, we have recognized that there is also significant volume loss in the face with time. A younger face is fuller and has more soft tissue.
Our surgeons take a natural approach to correcting all 3 of these major changes in aging:
- Muscle laxity and descent of facial soft tissues. Our surgeons believe that correcting muscle laxity and drooping soft tissues in the face is critical for providing both a natural and long lasting result to the facelift. After the facial skin is lifted up, sutures are placed to tighten the deeper muscular layer (SMAS) and restore a natural contour to tissues in the cheek, pull the tissues drooping over the jaw bone (the jowl) back up, and tighten the muscles in the neck to help redefine the angle between the chin and neck.
- Skin laxity. It is true that over time, the skin will lose some of its elasticity and start to sag. Our surgeons usually remove a relatively small amount of skin during the facelift to tighten it up a bit. Some surgeons, however, rely solely or predominantly on skin tightening to provide their facial rejuvenation. When this approach is taken, the face can look pulled, over tightened, and unnatural. Additionally, skin stretches back out very quickly and so the results don’t usually stand the test of time. Our surgeons are also extremely meticulous about placing the incisions in locations that will minimize their visibility. Below is a patient 6 months out from facelift surgery who’s incisions around the ear are nearly impossible to identify.
- Volume loss. A facelift alone manipulates the existing tissues and helps to restore a youthful proportion to facial dimensions but it does nothing to address the volume that has been lost in the face over the years. Our surgeons have found that a conservative amount of fat transfer to the face during his facelift procedures helps to complete his natural rejuvenation. Fat cells are harvested from elsewhere in the body and injected into areas where volume is deficient in the face.