Facelift FAQ

Facelift: What is a facelift, who is it for and what is it meant to do?
A facelift, technically called a Rhytidectomy, is a form of cosmetic surgery where the noticeable signs of aging that occurs in the lower two-thirds of the face and neck can be reduced. This is achieved by removing the excess fat, tightening the neck muscles and removing drooping skin.

What is the procedure for a facelift?
Diverse types of procedures fall under the Facelift umbrella.

Are there any age-related facelift concerns?
Every age group (children, teenagers and elderly) has their own individual concerns. When a person reaches their late 50s or 60s then there is a significant amount of excess facial skin, this is when the majority of surgeons prefer to wait to do a facelift. An exception is if a candidate in their 30s or 40s has lost a great deal of weight.

Are there any alternatives to a facelift?
To reduce wrinkling in the forehead and outer eye area, botox, or botulism toxin (the substance of food poisoning) can be injected into the facial muscles that wrinkle the skin. However, less drastic alternatives include: wrinkle diminishment, age spot removal, and some reduction in drooping (tightening) can be achieved through assorted forms of laser treatments.

Best Facelift Candidates:
Take into consideration if a facelift is right for you – physically, mentally and emotionally.

The ones who get the greatest outcomes from Face lift in Los Angeles are those who have a well-defined bone structure, or whose face and neck have begun to droop, but whose skin still has elasticity. To define the cheekbones, one may need to have a consultation to consider cheek implants. Facelifts have proven successful on those in their 70s and 80s; however the most popular ages for facelifts are in their 40s and 60s. Younger patients may not see the results that the elder patients notice as they have less wrinkles and more skin elasticity, so those under the age of 40 should think realistically before having a facelift. Younger patients may want a consult on a facelift if they have lost a great amount of weight or have genetic problems, as they could possibly be considered a candidate.

Are there any ethnicity-related facelift concerns?
Special considerations should be made for Caucasians, African-Americans, Asians, and other ethnic groups as the nose plays a big role for defining ethnicity and social class. It has long been a topic of debate and concern. Individuals do not want to ‘stand out in a crowd’ because of a peculiar shaped or huge nose; nonetheless they want to both unique and “normal”. And so the nose became a chief focal point for the improvement of cosmetic surgery procedures. Changes equaled rejection of ethnic heritage. For example, if an infant’s nose was crushed because of a fall and never completely healed to its ‘natural’ form, to the upper class eye a flat nose would never be sufficient, and would provoke ridicule from social peers. The aristocrat’s nose had the suitable point or finish to it, such that a flat nose could never project. The visual resulted mainly from the Grecian artistic sensibilities displayed in sculpture and painting and where the noblest of people were decorated with well shaped noses that finished on an aquine point much notable by devotees.

What to expect after a Facelift:
After a facelift, many patients are astonished by how small of pain there is after surgery. Usually the inability to breathe through the nose for several days, due to swelling, is the most uncomfortable part of the procedure and typically gets better within one or two weeks. For several weeks, expect some swelling around the eyes; however as the swelling goes away, you’ll begin to see the surgery’s progress. Special safety measures are necessary during your recovery. Bending or lifting can extend swelling and is not suggested for three weeks after surgery. Running, cycling, or exercises should not continue for four weeks. Contact sports should be stopped for six weeks because it can take that long for the bones to totally heal. Driving is permissible when the swelling goes down and does not get in the way of your vision. After two or three weeks you may fly.

How to prepare for facelift surgery:
Before your scheduled surgery, your surgeon will review your medical background to make sure that there are no conditions that will interfere with the surgery or recovery after the facelift. Conditions that may be of concern are:

  • Hypertension (High blood pressure) – specifically if it isn’t under control.
  • Smoking – a person who smokes does not heal as quick as those who do not smoke. You’ll most likely be informed to abstain from smoking for a number of weeks before your surgery.
  • Scarring problems from the past – including keloid scars and hypertrophic scars
  • Bleeding problems – a history with blood clotting, or lack of clotting must be brought to the attention of your surgeon as well as any medications (including over the counter) you are taking. Also, tell your surgeon about herbs and supplements that you take. Many patients feel it helps to open up their medicine cabinets and make an inventory before they go to see their surgeon.
  • Plan for a ride home after your surgery.
  • Try to arrange for someone to stay with you for the first several days after surgery. Ask your surgeon about a visiting nurse service if you live alone. You may want to stay at an aftercare facility for the first several days after your facelift.
  • You should wear for both surgery and afterward clothing that has front closures (nothing than has to be pulled over your head).
  • Grow out your hair a little longer if your hair is very short, as longer hair will make it simple to conceal healing scars.
  • You should get ready a relaxed spot that you can utilize to recover from your facelift.

What is a revision facelift?
If you’ve previously had a facelift and you are not satisfied with the results, then you can get the problems corrected with a revision procedure.

What are the facelift risks & complications?
Your surgeon may tell you that complication can include a hematoma (an accumulation of blood under the skin that may need to be removed), an infection or a reaction to the anesthesia. Injury to underlying structures is possible (though usually temporary) could happen even though the plastic surgeons are trained in techniques for safely manipulating facial skin and tissue. Facelift incisions can be unpredictable depending on the way the patient heals, however most are regularly not noticeable. Listening to the advice from your surgeon can considerably reduce the risks before and after your surgery.

Is a facelift permanent?
Meant to enhance your current look, a facelift will not halt the signs of aging, however it will ‘set back the clock’. Previous patients usually opt to repeat the surgery after a good 5 to 10 years later. To help prolong your results, there are a few things you can do: maintain your weight, avoid exposure to the sun, and keep your skin appropriately hydrated.

What is SMAS:
SMAS is short for Submuscular Aponeurotic System, which is a layer of tissue that covers the deeper structures of the cheek area and is associated to the superficial muscle which covers the lower face and neck, called the platysma. Some methods for facelift surgery lift and reposition the SMAS along with the skin. When doing this, the jowls are lifted, the neck is pulled taunt, and the cheeks are prominent.

What is the difference between rhytidectomy and a facelift?
Rhytidectomy, which comes from the Greek word rhytid meaning wrinkle, is the medical term for facelift surgery.

What is the best way to conceal scarring and bruising after a facelift?
Talk to your surgeon about post-operative cover-up methods, such as unique camouflage cosmetics for both men and women that will assist to mask any healing bruising and scarring along the lines and discoloration.

How do I know if I need a facelift or laser resurfacing?
A facelift lifts drooping skin and muscle as it removes extra fat. Laser surfacing fixes fine wrinkles or lines on the surface of the skin, but it will not tighten skin or correct a droopy neck. Some patients may need both.

What areas cannot be improved with a facelift?
The lower portion of the face including the cheeks, jowls, and the neck are what a traditional facelift surgery corrects. A facelift will not enhance the upper portion of the face, such as the location of the eyebrows, wrinkling between the eyebrows, or extra skin of the upper or lower eyelids or lower eyelid bags, unless a brow lift is performed. The surgery cannot rid wrinkles around the mouth and will not do much for the smile lines.

How much pain can I expect after a facelift?
Some patients experience a small discomfort in the back part of the neck, which usually clears up within a day; however many patients do not feel much pain following surgery. If there is any pain or discomfort, the patient can be comforted with oral medication.

Will my head be shaved?
Your head will not be shaved, however many patients do choose to grow their hair longer in order to easily conceal any scars and stitches during the recovery phase.

After a facelift, are bandages applied?
Yes, bandages may be applied to the head and neck with the purpose of maintaining the area and keeping it stationary. The bandages are usually removed a day after the procedure. Another light bandage may be positioned around the chin.


"I would like to start off by first saying that I have enjoyed my experience here at Spalding Plastic surgery. You might be asking yourself; how could someone enjoy having surgery? Well the staff has made me feel at home and have been some of the kindest people I have ever met PERIOD." —Manuel
Read More