Aging is unfortunately inevitable. Many patients look in the mirror and feel much younger than they look and decide it’s time to turn back the clock. You may have noticed that your lower cheeks seem to sag forming a jowl that distracts from a smooth jaw line. Perhaps the deep folds around the mouth are bothering you. Perhaps the sagging skin in the neck area has led to more collared shirts in your wardrobe or frequently wearing a scarf to “be fashionable” when really it’s secretly to cover up some of the first signs of aging.
Advancements in understanding the biology of the aging process, discovery of new technology, and development of state-of-the art techniques have allowed surgeons to revolutionize the treatment of these problems. The number of minimally invasive and non-surgical treatment options has increased dramatically, expanding the number of therapeutic options for the patient and the facial plastic surgeon. Still some patients would benefit most from a facelift, and the doctor may make this recommendation for you.
Facelift, or rhytidectomy, involves hiding incisions in front and behind the ears to access the sagging, excess tissue of the face and neck. Sometimes a tiny incision is also tucked underneath the chin. The surgeon will then reposition and tighten the deep structures and remove any excess that is needed. The operation is not designed to alter the appearance of the face, but simply return the face to what it looked like ten to fifteen years ago. If the patient would like to change a particular feature such as higher cheekbones, etc., then certainly this can be accomplished at the same time. Unfortunately a facelift does not stop the patient from aging. Although the changes are permanent, aging will continue at the same rate from that point forward.