As a part of the aging process, the skin progressively loses its elasticity and the muscles progressively lose their tone. These effects of aging on the skin result in the emergence of wrinkles and in a flaccid appearance of the face. The rate I which this occurs varies from person to person, and is determined by many factors such as genetics, stress, and sun exposure, amongst others. As a result of society’s demands to continuously look younger, the face lift or rhytidectomy has gained a lot of popularity in the last couple of decades. It is a facial rejuvenation procedure in which, through the dissection of subcutaneous layers and different suture techniques, it is possible to stretch the skin and make the patient look younger. The best candidate for this surgery is someone whose face and neck have started to sag, but who still has some degree of elasticity in their skin. Most of these patients are their 40s to 60s, but a face lift can be successful even in at 70 in some cases.
The surgery is performed under general anesthesia and can last between 4 and 5 hours by itself. The incisions for this surgery are normally made above the hairline and extend in a line that goes in front of the ear and continues below the earlobe, along the crease behind the ear and into the scalp. Occasionally, it is also necessary to make a small incision on the chin. After the surgery, there may be some bruising in the cheeks, which because of gravity can descend into the neck. These tend to disappear in a matter of weeks to months. It is advisable to keep the head elevated during the first couple of days in order to reduce swelling.