A facelift is also known as a rhytidectomy. It is a surgical procedure that removes visible signs of aging on the face. It removes deep creases and lines. As well, it repositions fat that has fallen. Occasionally we replace fat that was lost to give a more natural, youthful appearance. Often, it is combined with a neck lift.
A facelift cannot stop the aging process but it can restore what is lost. Non-surgical procedures may delay the need for a facelift but does not replace it.
How a Facelift is Performed
The operation is designed by Vancouver plastic surgeon Robin Evans, MD specifically to fit your goals. Usually it is performed with you completely asleep (general anesthetic). The incision is made along the border of the ear and tends to be very well hidden. There are two main layers we adjust in a facelift. The skin is lifted off of the deeper layer (called the SMAS). These two layers are tightened in slightly different ways to give a natural and long lasting result. Occasionally liposuction is used to harvest fat. This fat can be re-injected to give a more youthful appearance. Dissolving sutures are used. Drains are placed to prevent a collection of blood after the operation and are usually pulled within a few days after.
Who is the ideal facelift candidate?
The ideal candidate is someone who is a non-smoker and has no other medical conditions that impair wound healing. Having realistic expectations is important. If you are committed to your recovery you will have the best possible result.
How do I prepare for a facelift?
Having a good skin care regimen will help your skin to have a youthful appearance both before and after your facelift. Dr. Evans can make recommendations for a skin care routine that works for you. As well, it is imperative that you are a non-smoker and that your weight is relatively stable. Avoiding medications such as aspirin, anti-inflammatories and herbal supplements are also important before your operation.
What are the risks of a facelift?
Deciding to have a facelift is a very personal decision. There are the general risks of having an operation. These include the risk of anesthetic, infection, bleeding and poor wound healing. We work with you to minimize these. As well, you can have some changes in skin sensation that may last for a very long time. Unique to a facelift is the possibility of injury to the facial nerve. The facial nerve is what allows you to move the muscles of your face. This is minimized by technique, but is always a potential risk. The incisions tend to be very well hidden but can become thick and ropey in some people. As well, the natural process of aging continues. A facelift does loosen over time.