As you get older, the cumulative effects of gravity and a diminishing collagen supply may leave you with loose or sagging skin around your face. Although this is normal, many adults wish to tighten up or remove this loose skin. A facelift, or rhytidectomy, at Legacy Plastic Surgery & Aesthetics in Exton, PA, can help make this wish come true.
But before you decide to undergo any procedure, it’s important to answer the question, “What is rhytidectomy surgery?” and understand how it’s performed. So let’s take a deeper dive into precisely what this procedure is, the different facelift procedures we offer, and how each of them is performed.
What Is a Facelift?
A facelift, also known as rhytidectomy, is a plastic surgery procedure that is meant to help restore a more youthful appearance to the face by removing excess skin and repositioning the underlying facial tissues and muscles. Facelifts are a popular choice for adults who want to address visible signs of aging, such as:
- Sagging skin
- Wrinkles around the midface
- Sunken cheeks
- Deep nasolabial folds
- Weakened facial contours
As you can see, rhytidectomy is a versatile procedure and practical solution to help address several common concerns at the same time.
Types of Facelift Procedures
If you’re considering a facelift, it’s important to gain a deeper understanding of facelift options beyond the basic definition. We offer a variety of facelift procedures that make it easy to address your unique concerns.
Mini facelifts are ideal for individuals who have mild signs of aging. This type of facelift targets sagging skin on the lower half of the face and neck. It offers a faster recovery with smaller incisions than more invasive methods. A mini facelift can help address early signs of aging by tightening up loose skin, improving jawline definition, and softening the appearance of nasolabial folds.
Full facelifts are more extensive and invasive than mini facelifts, providing results across the entire face and neck. This type of facelift, also known as a traditional facelift, might be a good choice if you have moderate to severe sagging, jowls, wrinkling, and other advanced signs of aging. It’s a common choice for people who want more dramatic results and to achieve a tighter, slimmer, and younger-looking facial profile.
Deep Plane Facelift
A deep plane facelift goes even deeper than a traditional facelift to target the underlying facial muscles and structures. During a deep plane facelift, we lift and tighten the underlying muscles to help restore lost volume and create a more youthful overall appearance. Since this type of facelift provides a deeper level of treatment, they tend to provide the most meaningful and lasting results.
Understanding Facelift Surgery
Before the day of surgery, we will give you specific guidelines to prepare for your procedure, including stopping the intake of certain medications or supplements. It’s important to follow the guidelines we provide to encourage the best results. Although each facelift technique is unique, they all follow the same basic five steps, which are:
- Administering anesthesia
- Making the incision
- Manipulating facial tissues
- Removing excess skin
- Closing the incisions
Read on for a closer look at these steps and how they vary between different types of facelifts.
The first step in any facelift procedure is to administer the proper anesthesia. Facelifts are typically done under general anesthesia, since they may take up to six hours to perform. However, mini facelifts may be done under local anesthesia and sedation if you’re looking to avoid general anesthesia.
Making the Incision
Next, it’s time to make the incision. There are a few different types of incisions we may use, depending on what kind of facelift you choose.
Traditional and deep-plane facelifts use the same type of incision that runs along the hairline from the temples, around the front of the ears, and down to the lower scalp. A mini facelift uses a smaller incision on each side of the face that follows the natural contours of your ear and hairline.
Manipulating Facial Tissues
Once the incision is made, we have access to the underlying facial tissues and muscles and can lift, reshape, and tighten them as needed. Of course, a deep plane facelift gives us the most access to reposition and reshape, while a mini facelift is the most restrictive.
Removing Excess Skin
Once the underlying structures are in the right position, we gently pull the skin into its new position and trim off the excess skin. This helps to smooth out stubborn wrinkles and creases and eliminate sagging skin.
Closing the Incisions
Lastly, the incisions are closed using either traditional or dissolvable sutures or skin glue. No matter what kind of facelift you get, we are always careful to make incisions in inconspicuous places that are easy to conceal.
What Is Rhytidectomy Recovery Like?
Immediately after your rhytidectomy, you’ll need to stay in a recovery room for a few hours before you can go home. Depending on what kind of facelift you receive, it may take anywhere from two to six weeks to fully recover.
Most people can resume their normal activity after two to three weeks, with a few restrictions on physical activity. During your recovery, you’ll notice gradual improvements in your facelift results.
Find Out Which Facelift Procedure Is Right for You
If you’re interested in facelift surgery, we can help you get started with a consultation at Legacy Plastic Surgery & Aesthetics in Exton, PA. This allows us to discuss your concerns and assess your overall health and skin condition to determine which facelift procedure is right for you. Contact us today to schedule your facelift consultation.