How Is Facelift Surgery Performed?

facelift patient

How Is Facelift Surgery Performed?

Aging is inevitable, but it isn’t always kind. The passage of time takes a toll on every part of the body, but nowhere are those changes more apparent — and harder to conceal — than on the face and neck. It’s no surprise, then, that facelifts consistently rank near the top of the most popular cosmetic plastic surgery procedures in the United States.

The goal of facelift surgery, or rhytidectomy, is to remove excess skin and tighten the underlying tissues in order to create more lifted and youthful contours. You may be an excellent candidate for a facelift with Dr. Scott Holley if you’re ready to take years off your appearance and reveal a refreshed, younger-looking and naturally beautiful you. Learn more about what goes into facelift surgery with Dr. Holley below.

Choosing Your Facelift Technique

Dr. Holley employs a full range of facial plastic surgery techniques to personalize every patient’s facelift results. The most popular options include:

Traditional Facelift

A traditional facelift is the most sophisticated and extensive procedure. Using this technique, Dr. Holley can significantly improve the appearance of deep folds and creases, as well as smaller static wrinkles, in the middle and lower areas of your face. A traditional facelift involves larger incisions and a longer recovery period, but it is able to achieve the most dramatic results for patients with moderate to advanced facial aging.

Mini Facelift

A mini facelift is a less invasive procedure that aims to address unwanted signs of aging in the lower face before they become too prominent. In involves smaller incisions around the ear and shorter downtime than a traditional facelift. Because it is less rejuvenating than a standard facelift, a mini facelift is generally only recommended for patients with less skin laxity and mild wrinkles. A mini facelift can postpone the need for more extensive surgery for many years.

Facelift With Neck Lift

Our Kalamazoo patients often choose to combine a neck lift with their facelift surgery. A neck lift tightens loose tissues along the neck, chin and jawline to improve a “turkey wattle,” double chin and jowls. Depending on your needs, a neck lift can tighten your neck muscles, eliminate sagging skin or remove pockets of fat using targeted facial liposuction. This may involve an incision underneath the chin as well as incisions around the ears.

Facelift Surgery Step By Step

The specifics of your rhytidectomy surgery will be determined by the decisions you and Dr. Holley make during your consultation. In general, the procedure steps are as follows:

Step one: anesthesia is administered. Facelifts are performed at our plastic surgery centers under general anesthesia to ensure your comfort and safety from start to finish.

Step two: incisions are made. The placement and length of the incisions depend on your goals and the surgical technique agreed upon during your consultation. All rhytidectomy techniques involve an incision around your ear. Typically, this incision starts at your sideburn, follows the natural contours along the front of your ear, curves around your earlobe and ends behind your ear at the hairline. Additional incisions will be made if necessary. Regardless of which technique is chosen, Dr. Holley places facelift incisions so as to reduce the visibility of scars as much as possible after the procedure.

Step three: tissues are lifted and tightened. Through the incisions that have been made, Dr. Holley gently lifts, tightens and repositions your muscles to create a more youthful contour. He may also sculpt, remove or redistribute fat. He then redrapes the skin over your freshly rejuvenated tissues — being careful to avoid the tightly stretched, “windswept” look of older facelift techniques — and trims away the excess skin.

Step four: incisions are closed. The final step of rhytidectomy surgery is closing the incisions with sutures. Drainage tubes are inserted if Dr. Holley deems them necessary and a dressing is applied.

Know Your Limits: What A Facelift Cannot Do

As life-changing as a facelift can be, the procedure is not a one-stop-shop for fighting all signs of facial aging. A facelift is specifically intended to restore a youthful appearance to the lower half of the face — meaning it does not address aging concerns in the upper face, including the forehead, brows or eyes. If you’re looking for comprehensive facial rejuvenation, your rhytidectomy surgery can be combined with other surgical procedures that rewind the hands of time in other areas. Popular options are a brow lift (also known as a forehead lift) and/or eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty). Chin and cheek implants can also give youthful lift and definition to the face.

Enhancing Your Facelift With Nonsurgical Treatments

A variety of procedures can enhance the outcome of your facelift, and not all of them involve more surgery. One very popular choice for our Michigan facelift patients is wrinkle reduction and facial contouring with injectables. We offer several different types of dermal fillers and wrinkle-relaxing neuromodulators, as well as the fat-dissolving injectable Kybella.

Other treatments that pair well with facelift surgery address the tone and texture of your skin. Laser and light treatments, HydraFacial and microneedling can further improve fine lines and wrinkles while also addressing issues like pigmentation, sun damage, acne and acne scars, irregular texture, skin laxity and a dull complexion. Many also help strengthen and replenish your skin’s collagen supply.

A Refreshed Face Awaits You at West Michigan Plastic Surgery

As year after year passes, you may start to feel like your outward appearance no longer reflects your vibrant, youthful spirit. Fine lines and folds, loose skin and drooping jowls can make you look run down, tired, stressed and even angry. With facelift surgery, you can keep the wisdom of age but say “So long!” to the wrinkles. Dr. Scott Holley is a board-certified plastic surgeon with years of experience performing facelift surgeries to erase signs of aging and accentuate patients’ features while retaining a natural look. Call West Michigan Plastic Surgery today at 269-222-1611 to schedule a consultation and learn more about facial rejuvenation surgery in Kalamazoo.

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