A facelift is a surgical procedure that provides a more youthful appearance.

It lifts and removes loose skin tissue around neck and lower face to mid-face that commonly occurs with aging. It is often performed along with other cosmetic procedures.

What happens during a facelift?

A facelift involves a series of incisions that remove excess skin and sutures (stitches) tighten the underlying tissue of the face and neck. This reduces the skin’s sagginess and droopiness that comes with age.

Techniques include:

  • Anterior incision, in front of the ear. This improves the appearance of the cheeks and jawline (more than the neck)
  • Posterior incision, behind the ear. This improves the appearance of the neck (more than the face)
  • Anterior-posterior incision, front and back of the ear: improves both the neck and face

The procedure may take two to four hours and it can often be performed as an outpatient in a non-hospital setting.

What can someone expect after a facelift?

The stitches are usually removed within a week and most people will only experience minor, temporary symptoms from the facelift. These may include swelling, bruising, and discomfort, which can often be alleviated with cold compresses.

What are the possible complications of a facelift?

Newer, less-invasive facelift techniques have minimized most serious complications of the procedure. On rare occasions, bleeding, slow healing, or infection can occur but are easily treated if addressed early.

Newer techniques have also eliminated the “wind-swept” or “too tight” appearance commonly associated with facelifts.

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Last updated: 5/13/2022