Our board-certified plastic surgeons specialize in facelifts.

Facelift Overview

A facelift, also known as a rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure to improve visible signs of aging in the face, such as sagging in the mid-face, deep creases below the lower eyelids, or deep creases between the nose and mouth. The procedure is designed to give a more natural, youthful appearance for those 50 years and older, or younger patients who wish to combat premature signs of aging.

Why receive a facelift?

Most individuals interested in facelift surgery are looking to restore a more youthful appearance in their face. They may feel self-conscious about the way they look and believe they are not aging well. While a facelift cannot stop the aging process, it can take years off your face and give a more natural, youthful look.

Common age-related characteristics that a facelift can improve include:

  • Sagging in the middle of the face
  • Deep creases below the lower eyelids
  • Deep creases that run from the nose to the corner of the mouth
  • Jowls (loss of muscle tone in the lower part of the face)
  • Loose skin or excess fatty deposits below the jaw

Many people often choose to have a neck lift at the same time to reduce sagging skin on the neck. By decreasing the number of creases and sagging skin on the face and neck, patients enjoy a younger appearance and improved self-esteem.

In general, if you are a healthy, nonsmoking individual who does not have a medical condition that could impair healing, you are a good candidate for a neck or face lift. A plastic surgeon can discuss your circumstances and answer any questions you have about the procedure.

What are the typical results of a facelift?

It is important for all interested patients to know that a facelift cannot stop the aging process; however, it can take years off of your face and give a more natural, youthful appearance.

As you begin to evaluate your neck lift results, please remember that it may take several weeks to months for swelling to fully go away and up to six months for incision lines to mature.

Life-long sun protection and a healthy lifestyle will help extend the results of your rejuvenated, more youthful appearance.

As swelling and bruising subside, the visible improvements of a neck lift appear. Your final result should not only provide a more youthful and rested appearance, but also help you feel more confident about yourself.

Although good results are expected from your procedure, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary. Your doctor will discuss these risks with you during your consultation.

Following your plastic surgeon’s instructions is essential to the success of your surgery.

It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, abrasion or motion during the time of healing. Avoid wearing any clothing that must go over your head.

How are facelifts performed?

Our facelifts typically take between two and five hours and are performed under general anesthesia. Unlike facelift procedures of the past, which just pulled on the skin, modern techniques work below the skin to tighten underlying muscles, as well as move, remove or even add fat to the face as necessary.

To start the surgery, your surgeon will make small incisions at the temple and along the natural contour of the ear. Adjustments will then be made to the underlying muscles and fat to reshape the face and neck. Finally, any excess skin will be removed before draping it back over the face and closing the incisions with thin metal staples and nylon sutures.

For your neck lift, medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. You and your doctor will discuss the best choice for you.

Depending on the degree of change you’d like to see, your neck lift choices include a traditional neck lift incision or a limited incision neck lift.

A traditional neck lift incision often begins in the hairline at the level of the sideburn, continues down and around the ear and ends in the posterior hair. Fat may be sculpted or redistributed from the jowls and neck. The tissue underlying the neck skin is repositioned, and commonly the platysma muscle is tightened. Skin is “re-draped” over the uplifted contours and excess skin is trimmed away. A separate incision under the chin is often necessary for liposuction of this area and for repair of the muscle. Sutures or skin adhesives will be applied to close the incisions.

A limited incision neck lift may involve incisions only around the ear. While the incisions are shorter, the results may be more limited.

Incision lines are closed with sutures and perhaps skin glue. Sutures may be dissolving or may need to be removed after a few days. Once healed, the incision lines from a neck lift are usually well concealed within the hairline and in the natural contours of the ear.

The visible improvements of a neck lift appear as swelling and bruising subside. Your final neck lift result should not only restore a more youthful and rested appearance, but also help you feel more confident about yourself.

Am I a good candidate for a facelift?

If you are looking to rejuvenate sagging facial tissue on your face and neck, a rhytidectomy may be for you. Most people seeking this procedure are 50 years or older, although our office does work with younger facelift patients who want to combat premature signs of aging.

If a patient is unhappy with any of the following, he or she could benefit from a facelift:

  • Sagging in the mid-face
  • Deep creases below the lower eyelids or running from the nose to the corner of the mouth
  • Loss of muscle tone in the lower part of the face, also known as “jowls”
  • Loose skin or excess fatty deposits below the jaw

In addition, ideal facelift candidates have good skin tone and elasticity, which helps the skin move and stretch easily.

In general, good candidates for a neck lift include:

  • Healthy individuals who do not have medical conditions that impair healing
  • Nonsmokers
  • Individuals with a positive outlook and realistic expectations

What can I expect after a facelift?

Following a facelift, patients may feel some mild discomfort and tightness of the skin. Your plastic surgeon can prescribe medication to manage any pain or discomfort. Intense swelling will subside after a few days, although the puffiness may last for up to two weeks. Patients are advised to sleep upright in bed and apply cold compresses to reduce swelling.

Stitches will be removed five to ten days following surgery, and are able to resume normal activity within three weeks; however, patients should avoid strenuous activities such as working out for at least six weeks.

During your recovery from neck lift surgery, a bandage may gently be placed around your face and neck to minimize swelling and bruising when your procedure is completed.

A thin tube may be temporarily implanted to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect under the skin.

You will be given specific instructions that may include how to care for the surgical site and drains, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection, specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health and when to follow up with your plastic surgeon.

It is important to keep your head elevated above your heart to minimize swelling and to keep your head straight (no excessive twisting or bending of the neck). DO NOT APPLY ICE to the neck as this can compromise blood flow and result in skin death.

Your surgeon will discuss specific guidance about what you can expect during your individual recovery period, including, but not limited to:

  • Where you will be taken after surgery is complete
  • Medications you will be given or prescribed after surgery
  • How to manage certain dressings/bandages after surgery
  • How long you will have to wear dressings and bandages
  • How and when stitches will be removed
  • When you can resume normal activity (including laying down, showering, etc.) and exercise
  • How to care for yourself
  • When you should return for follow up care

Trust the Hattiesburg Clinic Team

The plastic surgeons at Hattiesburg Clinic have nearly fifty years of combined experience and are passionate about helping you feel your best. Our procedures are designed to restore form and function, giving you an overall more youthful look. Our surgeons are board-certified and specialize in other types of facial surgery. Contact our team today to learn more or schedule a procedure.

Plastic Surgery
Hattiesburg, MS
Plastic Surgery
Hattiesburg Clinic - 28th Place
421 S. 28th Ave.
Ste. 110
Hattiesburg, MS 39401
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8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
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