A facelift is a surgical procedure that is typically used to give a more youthful appearance to the face. Technically, it is also called a rhytidectomy. This type of cosmetic surgery reshapes the lower one-third of the face by removing excess facial skin. Some facelift procedures also include the tightening of underlying tissues.
An incision is made in front of the ear extending up into the hair or hairline. The incision stretches downward in front of the ear, comes under the ear and then upward behind the ear. It then ends in the hair or hairline behind the ear. If necessary, the deeper tissues of the face can be tightened. The excess skin is removed.
The incisions are then closed with sutures and staples. In some cases a drain is placed under the skin behind the ear to drain off any excess blood and fluids. This drainage tube is removed a day or two after the procedure. Then bandages are applied.
Facelift can be performed in an outpatient facility with local anesthetics and sedatives to relax the patient. However, in some cases surgery can be performed under general anesthesia and the patient may stay in the hospital overnight.
The result of a facelift is a smoother, more youthful appearance. The procedure removes and tightens sagging skin. The droop of the cheeks around the jaw line is reduced. The corners of the mouth are lifted and the creases between the cheeks and lips are diminished. The results usually last between five to ten years.
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