What is a Rhytidectomy ?
A rhytidectomy (commonly referred to as a face lift) is a procedure that typically addresses the cheeks, the lines extending from the corner of the nose to the corner of the mouth (nasolabial folds), jowls, marionette lines, as well as folds and fat deposits around the neck area.
While a rhytidectomy cannot stop the aging process, it can eliminate the most visible signs of aging by reversing the effect of gravity, removing excess skin and fat and often tightening muscles throughout the facial area in order to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and smooth out the skin. A rhytidectomy will provide an overall lift to the lower 2/3′s of your face by tightening muscle and loose skin in the jowls, neck and jaw line.
There are several different rhytidectomy methods and each specific procedure is tailored to your particular concerns. Because a rhytidectomy does not eliminate wrinkles on the forehead, crow’s feet or bags under the eyes, it can be combined with a brow lift and/or eyelid surgery to compliment your results. A rhytidectomy is often combined with fat grafting and skin resurfacing to obtain complete facial rejuvenation.
How is a rhytidectomy performed?
Rhytidectomy is an outpatient surgical procedure. There are many different ways to approach a rhytidectomy, depending on your facial structure. For a classic face lift, incisions typically begin in the hairline at the temples, extend in a natural line in front of the ear and continue behind the earlobe to the lower scalp. The skin is separated from the fat and muscle below, and the underlying muscles may be tightened, while the skin is lifted and the excess is removed. Dr. Pielet performs many types of facelifts, some of which leave no visible scars.
What to expect during recovery
- Bruising and swelling in the affected area are normal and to be expected. These symptoms will fade within 1-2 weeks after surgery
- Minor discomfort can be controlled with medication
- Return to light activity within a few days
- Full activity may resume 3-4 weeks post-op
- Sutures and/or clips will be removed in 5 to 7 days after surgery
- Avoid direct sunlight for several weeks and use a good sunscreen