As you age, the elasticity of skin cells and tissues is lost making skin sag and develop wrinkles. However, in the present times, a number of both surgical and non-surgical procedures are growing in numbers for rejuvenation of the facial skin. Among these, some of the techniques are not very invasive and do not require long admission days in a hospital or clinic, and can be carried out in a single trip to the clinic. A surgical technique to rejuvenate visible signs of aging from the face and neck is the facelift.
Also known as Rhytidectomy, this cosmetic surgical technique helps to achieve a younger look on the face. The technique aims to reduce the folds and sagging skin from the jawline and cheeks along with other changes in the facial shape appearing as a person ages. The focus of the facelift procedure is mainly on the bottom two-thirds part of the face. A brow or an eye-lift are usually not included in the procedure but might be performed at the same time.
During the procedure of facelift, a skin flap is taken from each side of the face which is then pulled back. To return to the youthful shape of the face , tissues present under the skin are altered surgically. Excess skin from the face is removed before the skin flaps are closed with sutures.
Normal changes occur in the skin and facial tissues with age which alters the shape and appearance of the face. Skin loses elasticity, becomes loose, and the distribution of fat deposits becomes unequal on the face. The technique of facelift can help to reduce the changes such as sagging cheeks, deepening of skin fold from the nose to the mouth’s corner, excess presence of skin at the jawline, etc. however, sun damage to the skin, superficial wrinkles, creases around upper lip and nose, or any uneven skin tone cannot be treated with the facelift procedure.
Depending on the area of face targeted, the facelift surgeries are of the following types;
In this type of surgery, incisions are made around the hairline, ears, and underneath the chin. Underlying tissues are separated from the skin and the muscles are tightened along with other structures supporting the face and neck. As required, excess skin from the jawline is also removed. Skin is then repositioned over the face to appear natural and any excess skin is removed. Individuals looking for optimal improvement of significant to moderate aging of facial skin are usually recommended to opt for this surgery.
SMAS stands for Superficial Musculoaponeurotic System which is a layer of muscles of the face. It is mainly focused on the lower two-thirds portion of the face. Excess skin from the lower face and cheeks is trimmed in this surgical procedure to tighten facial muscles. If required, excess fat may also be trimmed.
In this surgical procedure, skin, facial fat, and SMAS are lifted as a single unit. Multiple areas of the face are generally addressed simultaneously in the deep plane facelift.
This surgical procedure is focused mainly on the treatment of the cheeks. The fat in the cheeks is repositioned and the skin is tightened in the cheek area.
This surgical procedure is less invasive and quicker and mainly targets the neck and lower face area and lifts it. People who are younger with early signs of skin aging are usually recommended this procedure.
This surgical procedure only lifts the skin of the face focusing mainly on the lower face and neck.
Quite often, people undergoing the procedure of facelift also opt for other procedures simultaneously as facelift surgery. It may include rhinoplasty (nose job), blepharoplasty (eyelid lift), brow lift, facial implants, rejuvenation of jawline, liquid facelift using injectable dermal fillers, resurfacing of skin with a laser, or chemical peel.
Similar to any medical procedure, a facelift also has some risks such as infection, scarring or pain, prolonged swelling, or wound healing problems, Therefore, it is always good to have a thorough discussion with your doctor about the potential risks to make sure that facelift is a right procedure for you.