Face and NeckLift (Rhytidectomy)

As people age, the effects of gravity, sun exposure and the stresses of daily life take their toll. Nowhere are the changes more visible than on the face. Deep creases form between the nose and mouth, the jawline slackens and the neck develops loose folds and accumulates fat. An aged and tired appearance ensues.

Dr. Yau can restore a more youthful appearance while producing a natural look and avoiding an overdone appearance. Many different facelift techniques exist and Dr. Yau will use her expertise to select the most appropriate procedure for you based on your individual anatomy, skin quality, and overall health.

A facelift is designed to target aging changes that occur in the lower two-thirds of the face, including the deep layers of the cheek, the mid-face, the jawline and the neck. Facelift surgery incorporates the tightening of facial muscles and the removal of excess skin. Oftentimes, fat is also removed from undesirable areas of excess while additional fat is added elsewhere to correct areas of hollowing. The result is a balanced appearance and can make patients look 10-15 years younger.

Other procedures that target the upper third of the face can also be combined with facelift surgery, including eyelid surgery or neuromodulator and soft-tissue filler injections.

The best candidates for a facelift desire correction of one or more of the above signs of aging, have some facial sagging, but still have elasticity in their skin, are generally healthy, do not smoke and have realistic expectations about what a facelift can do.

The Facelift Procedure

The facelift procedure is performed as an outpatient procedure in a private surgery center or hospital. Dr. Yau makes incisions in the temples as well as around and behind the ears to the scalp. All incisions are well hidden in natural folds or camouflaged within the hairline where they are inconspicuous. Sometimes, a small incision is also made under the chin if additional work is required in the neck. A “short-scar” approach can also be used in individuals requiring less work in the neck where the scar does not extend as far behind the ear.

Some patients require tightening of the skin only, while many require a more involved procedure where the muscles deep beneath the skin are repositioned and lifted to restore the proper facial contour. Fat is often added, sculpted, removed or redistributed during the process. Finally, excess skin is trimmed and redraped. Incisions are closed with fine sutures and a small drainage tube is placed which is left in place for 1 to 2 days after surgery.

Recovery From Facelift

Patients will be discharged home on the day of surgery and will see Dr. Yau within a couple of days to remove the dressings and drainage tube. Swelling, bruising and a feeling of tightness are common and will improve significantly within the first 10-14 days. Most patients resume work and social activities by 3 weeks with continued improvement in their appearance for up to 6 months. Scars become less red, raised, lumpy and itchy over time. The result is a refreshed and rejuvenated appearance.

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