How Does a Facelift Work?

An older woman with clear skin (model)

A facelift, also known as a rhytidectomy, is a popular cosmetic surgery procedure that dramatically reduces the signs of aging for men and women alike. If your fine lines and wrinkles are deepening and you’re noticing increased skin laxity, it may be time to consider a facelift.

The beauty of a facelift is that it offers superb, long-lasting results and can remove up to 10 years off your appearance. This post will discuss how a facelift is performed, how long the effects last, and whether other procedures can enhance your results.

How Is a Facelift Performed?

During a facelift, I usually make incisions along the hairline at the temple area and down around the earlobe. I then lift and tighten the underlying tissues and muscles and remove excess skin. The skin is then re-draped over the lower part of the face to create a smoother, more youthful appearance. Finally, the incisions will be closed with sutures or surgical tape.

The results can last years, depending on your overall health and lifestyle choices.

Do Facelifts Ever Look Natural?

Absolutely! The goal of any skilled plastic surgeon is to create subtle changes that make you look refreshed without appearing overly “done.”

To achieve this result, I consider your age, facial structure, skin type, and any pre-existing medical conditions before designing your treatment plan. During your consultation, I’ll discuss what kind of results you hope to achieve so I can tailor my approach accordingly. You can see one of my facelift patient’s results below and in our before-and-after facelift gallery:

Before & After Facelift Case 237 View #1 View in Louisville, KY
Before & After Facelift Surgery
Before & After Facelift Case 237 View #2 View in Louisville, KY
Before & After Facelift Surgery
Before & After Facelift Case 237 View #3 View in Louisville, KY
Before & After Facelift Surgery

It’s essential to find a plastic surgeon who is experienced and board certified in plastic surgery or facial plastic surgery to perform your facelift. This credentialing ensures your surgeon understands how best to use different techniques to achieve optimum results. Make sure you discuss any concerns or questions you have before going into surgery so that you’re comfortable with what will happen during the procedure and afterward during recovery.

How Long Does a Facelift Last?

The results of a facelift typically last for 5 to 10 years. After that time, you may need a touch-up procedure to maintain your desired look.

Here are 5 lifestyle changes you can make to help extend the result of your facelift:

  1. Protect your skin from the sun. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher when outdoors.
  2. Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol in excess, as both can contribute to premature skin aging.
  3. Exercise regularly to maintain good circulation and improve facial muscle tone.
  4. Eat a balanced diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains for proper nutrition that helps keep skin healthy and supple. Drink plenty of water to help your body and skin stay hydrated.
  5. Get enough rest each night to help reduce stress levels which can contribute to wrinkles and fine lines on the face.

What Procedures Can Enhance My Facelift Results?

A common way to enhance facelift results is to pair it with a neck procedure. A neck lift, which I often include in facelift surgery, restores a more youthful appearance to your neck area and helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles and lines around the neck.

A brow lift complements facelift results by raising sagging eyebrows, reducing forehead wrinkles, and opening the eyes for a brighter, more alert look.

Many of my patients also combine their facelifts with eyelid surgery or blepharoplasty. Blepharoplasty corrects drooping upper eyelids, excess skin around the eyes, puffiness, or bags under the eyes to help your eyes look more prominent and youthful.

For those with age-related volume loss in the face, I sometimes use fat transfer to fill out wrinkles and creases, smooth lines, restore facial contours, and soften your appearance. It involves taking fat from other parts of the body and injecting it into areas of the face that appear sunken or hollow.

Nonsurgical injectable treatments such as BOTOX® Cosmetic and dermal fillers can enhance your facelift results with a quick appointment that requires no downtime. And laser treatments can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, even out skin tone, and diminish redness and discoloration. They can also improve the overall texture of your skin.

If you’re interested in speaking with us about a facelift or other procedure, call our Lexington and Louisville today at (502) 899-9979 or request a consultation.

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