Rhytidectomy, or a facelift as it is more commonly known, is a surgical procedure which restores a fresher, more youthful facial appearance. As a result of time, gravity, sun exposure and daily stress, our faces begin to age, resulting in jowls, deep creases at the mouth, and folds and fat deposits in the neck. The facelift addresses these problems by removing excess fat and tightening the skin and the underlying muscles.

You may be a candidate for a facelift if you are physically healthy and have realistic expectations for improving a sagging and aging facial appearance. The facelift is most successful on individuals who still have some elasticity in their skin. Patients typically range in age from their forties to their sixties, though patients in their seventies and eighties can be good candidates as well.

Dr. Manchester performs the facelift surgery at his clinic in San Diego, California. Surgical times for the facelift average three and one-half hours and twilight anesthesia is commonly used. If preferred, general anesthesia may be used instead. Dr. Manchester is careful to place the incisions in very inconspicuous areas, for instance within the natural folds of the face and ears and behind the hairline. The resultant scars will further fade with time and will become nearly undetectable.

Because each individual is different and unique, the exact nature of the facelift surgery will vary and will be tailored to each patient. In general, however, Dr. Manchester will free the skin of the temple, cheek and neck from the underlying facial muscle. He will then remove all possible excess skin and fat and tighten the muscles of the neck and cheek. The incisions located from the temple around the ear and back through the hairline will be closed with tension which will allow the hairline to remain unchanged.

A dressing will be applied to the face and neck after surgery to support the tissues in their new position and to minimize bruising. This will be changed on the day after your surgery and replaced with a new dressing. No dressings are needed after the second day. You will likely experience some swelling and a feeling of tightness after your facelift surgery. Discomfort should not be significant, but medication will be prescribed to help with any discomfort that you do experience. While some numbness may occur, all sensation typically returns within six months. Dr. Manchester and his staff do everything possible to ensure that you have a speedy recovery and successful outcome.

You can expect to be presentable in public within about five to seven days following your facelift surgery. Work may be resumed after ten to fourteen days, while strenuous activity will need to be postponed for at least three weeks and sun exposure limited for several months. Many patients appear ten to fifteen years younger after the facelift surgery, with results lasing an average of ten years or longer.


FAQ

What is a facelift?
The facelift, known technically as rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure which improves aging in the lower face including jowls, deep creases at the mouth, and folds and fat deposits in the neck. During surgery, excess fat is removed and the skin and underlying muscles are tightened in order to produce a more youthful and refreshed facial appearance.

Are there any limitations to what a facelift can achieve?
The facelift does not address problems in the forehead and brow or the eyelids. These may be better treated with a brow lift or eyelid surgery.

How do I know if I’m a candidate for a facelift?
If you are in good physical health and have realistic expectations for improving sagging and other signs of aging in the lower face and neck, the facelift may be right for you. Most patients are in their forties to their sixties. However, surgery can successfully be performed at older ages as well. The best results are usually achieved on those with some elasticity left to the skin.

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