Face and Neck Lift: Facial lift, rhytidectomy, Neck Lift
What is it?
A facelift is a cosmetic procedure that is designed to improve the face and neck of a man or woman. When a face and neck lift are combined, it is often for a more dramatic effect and to address multiple areas of concern for the patient. Individuals often seek a face and neck lift procedure when they have experienced sagging in the midface region, deep creases in the eyelid area, deep creases along the nose or corners of a mouth, loss of muscle tone or loss of skin or fatty deposits under the chin and jaw. And, when they have concerns about excess skin around their neck and below their jaw in greater proportion and a traditional face lift may be able to address.
The first step of this operation is to administer the appropriate type and amount of anesthesia to the patient. The physician will make the most appropriate recommendation for the patient. While a face and neck lift can be performed independently of one another, they can also be combined with multiple other cosmetic procedures, as the recovery time is often the same with multiple procedures as one. Sometimes people will add a nose job, eyelid surgery or lip augmentations to their list of procedures when having a face and neck lift done.
Once the patient is in the operating room, the surgeon will start with the incision. There are multiple incision sites and types for a face and neck lift procedure. The type of incision will be determined by the overall effect that the patient is hoping to achieve.
For the facelift portion, the traditional incision is made at the hairline from the temples, behind the ears and ending in the lower scalp region. Once the incision has been made, the fat can be re-sculplted. The skin is moved back, trimmed and then sewn with sutures closed tightly.
For the neck lift portion, and incision is made along the jaw line, near the creases of skin and even along the hairline to minimize scarring. In a neck lift, the skin is pulled tightly around the chin and neck and sewn shut.
The combination of both incisions involves larger incision sites and a more dramatic overall effect when the procedure has been completed.
Alternatives to Surgery
As this is a cosmetic procedure, it is not considered to be medically necessary. So, individuals can elect to live with their current facial image and structure. There are some less invasive procedures that may be considered, such as only having a facelift, using a smaller incision or even looking into the thread lift, a procedure that can be done to tighten the skin of the face in an outpatient procedure.
Before the Operation
The surgeon may require a full medical examination and lab work prior to surgery to ensure that the patient is in good health. Also, instructions will be provided regarding medications, procedures and when to stop eating and drinking prior to the surgery. It is important to adhere closely to all instructions for the best possible outcome from the procedure.
After the Operation- In the Hospital
It is during the recovery time in the hospital that the patient will be recovering from anesthesia and preparing to go home. Each medical facility and physician will have different requirements for allowing the patient to leave the facility after surgery. Most often the requirements are sitting up in bed without being dizzy and keeping fluids down. It is important to have someone to drive the patient home from the hospital as well.
After the Operation- At Home
The recovery for a face and neck lift operation will vary among each patient, and can range from weeks to months. This combination procedure is more traumatic on the body and will often have a slightly longer recovery than a facelift procedure or a neck lilft procedure individually.
While much of the pain and initial swelling will disappear within a few weeks, it can take months and even up to a full year to experience the full results and benefits of the surgery. The surgeon will include specific instructions in the recovery package sent home with the patient, including how to manage the incision site, when to resume activity and what to observe for in terms of complications. There is generally a follow up appointment and possibly several that will also be required to ensure that the outcome and progress are in alignment with the original surgical expectations. It is important to follow all of the instructions for a safe and speedy recovery.
While not all patients will experience complications, it is important to understand the risks fully. The most common complications can include:
- Hair loss around the incision site that is permanent
- Poor wound healing
- Skin loss around the incision site
- Numbness around the incision site
- Fluid accumulation
- Long term pain and/or intense pain following the surgery
- Facial asymmetry
- Skin swelling
- Skin discoloration
- Additional surgeries needed
It is important to become fully educated about both the risks and rewards of this cosmetic procedure. When selecting a surgeon, it is advised to meet with several so that you can select the best personal and professional match for your needs and goals.
Estimated Cost for Face and Neck lift Surgery