Rhytidectomy is a surgical procedure used to rejuvenate and improve the appearance of the face. This procedure can correct deep creases that may form between the nose and mouth, a sagging jaw line, or folds around the neck. This is done by removing excess fat, tightening underlying muscles, and re-draping the skin of your face and neck. Over 157,000 facelifts were performed last year.
Are you a candidate for a face lift?
The best candidates for this procedure are men and women whose face and neck have begun to sag but who still have some elasticity and whose bone structure is strong and well-defined. A face lift can make you look younger and may enhance your self-confidence.
What are my risks?
With any operation, there are associated risks. Complications associated with a face lift are hematoma formation, injury to the nerves that control the facial muscles, infection, or reactions to anesthesia. Smoking can result in a slower postoperative healing time.
The vast majority of men and women do not experience any of these complications. You need to discuss these issues with Dr. Stroup prior to your surgery to be sure you completely understand the basic risks along with any other special risks that may be involved.
What does the consultation consist of?
At your initial consultation, Dr. Stroup will evaluate your general health, examine your face, condition of your skin, your underlying bone structure, and explain the procedure to you along with the risks of the procedure. In addition, your doctor will give you different options based on your particular situation.
At this time, your doctor will also discuss with you the types of anesthesia and risks involved, the estimated length of your surgery, and what your healing period will be like. Feel free to ask any questions you might have. Dr. Stroup want to be sure you have a complete understanding of the information given to you so you can make a decision which is right for you.
After meeting with the doctor you will be offered a computer imaging session, which will help communicate to the doctor, the outcome and result you are looking for along with what Dr. Stroup thinks is a realistic expectation. Photographs will be taken and altered on the computer screen to give you an idea of what changes you can expect to see as a result of rhytidectomy.
From that point, you will meet with our financial counselor who will give you the exact price quote for your rhytidectomy. She will give you the options of the different facilities where you can have your procedure done along with their fees for anesthesia and the use of their facility. We do have a financing company with which we work closely, and if you are interested in this, you will be instructed how apply for a loan. The criteria for this is about the same as being eligible to take out a car loan. We also accept cash, checks, money orders, VISA, Mastercard, or Discover.
You may want to schedule your procedure at this visit or you can contact our surgery scheduling department at any time. At the end of your visit, the financial counselor can answer any additional questions you may have thought of, or you can meet again with your surgeon.
What will I need to do to prepare for surgery?
Once your surgery is scheduled, you will be given specific instructions to prepare for your surgery including guidelines on eating, drinking, smoking, and taking/avoiding certain medications or vitamins. If you do smoke, you should plan to quit at least 2 weeks prior to your surgery and not to start again for at least 2 weeks after your surgery. You will also need to arrange for someone to pick you up from the surgery because you will not be able to drive home after recently having anesthesia.
How is the surgery performed?
Depending on Dr. Stroup's recommendation, you will either be given the option of a mini-rhytidectomy or a standard rhytidectomy. At your initial consultation, your doctor will explain to you which procedure you are a candidate for after he examines you.
Incisions usually begin at the hairline in the temple area and extend in a natural line in front of the ear and continue behind the earlobe to the lower scalp. If the neck needs work also, a small incision may be made under the chin.
The surgeon will separate the skin from the fat and muscle below. The fat may either be trimmed or suctioned from around the neck and chin to improve the contour. The surgeon will then tighten the underlying muscle and fascia, pull the skin back, and remove any excess. Stitches will be placed in secure layers of tissue and close the incisions. A drainage tube may be placed behind the ear to help get rid of extra fluid that may collect there.
What will the healing period consist of?
The recovery period following a face lift will consist of some numbness, swelling, and bruising in the face. Your drainage tubes will be removed 2-3 days after surgery when your drainage has slowed down. You will need to keep your head elevated for a couple of weeks.
You will need to be gentle with your face and hair since your skin will be tender and numb and may not respond normally at first. Some bruising may persist for two to three weeks. By the third week, you will look and feel much better. Most patients are back at work about 10-14 days after surgery. Our aesthetician is available to teach you how to use camouflage makeup that we have available to cover any bruising you still might have.
You will have some scars from your facelift but the majority will be hidden in your hair and the rest will be placed in the natural creases of your face and ears. In time, they will fade and be scarcely visible.