The facelift is done to eliminate sagging jowls, restore cheek contours, soften harsh, deep folds above the mouth and tighten the neck area. If the neck contour is good, a more limited procedure known as temporal or mini lift is done to improve the jaw line and cheek area. However, tightening of the neck cannot be achieved without doing a complete facelift.

Procedure:Improving sagging facial skin, jowls, and loose neck skin by removing excess fat, tightening muscles, redraping skin. Most often done on men and women over 40.
Length:Several hours
Anesthesia:Local with sedation, or general.
In/Outpatient:Usually outpatient. Some patients may require short inpatient stay.
Side Effects:Temporary bruising, swelling, numbness and tenderness of skin; tight feeling, dry skin. For men, permanent need to shave behind ears, where beard-growing skin is repositioned.
Risks:Injury to the nerves that control facial muscles or feeling (usually temporary but may be permanent). Infection, bleeding. Poor healing; excessive scarring. Asymmetry or change in hairline.
Recovery:Back to work: 10 to 14 days. More strenuous activity: 2 weeks or more. Bruising: 2 to 3 weeks. Must limit exposure to sun for several months.
Duration of:Usually 5 to 10 years.

The degree of improvement is determined by physical factors and personal habits. Physical factors include age, heredity, bone structure and individual characteristics of the skin. Personal habits include alcohol intake, nutrition, and smoking. Surgery is not an exact science and some of the factors involved in producing the final result, such as the healing process, are not entirely within control of either the patient or the surgeon. Therefore, it is impossible to guarantee results. Surgery will not eliminate all evidence of aging, but will help restore a more youthful contour to the face and neck.

Facial surgery should not be undertaken when one is undergoing difficult times emotionally. An improved appearance is not the solution to one’s life problems, but it can enhance one’s appearance and help restore self-confidence.

Thousands of facial surgeries are performed successfully each year. Nevertheless, you should be aware of the potential risks of surgery and specific complications associated with facelift and eyelift surgery. The most common complications are small, localized collection of blood, delayed healing or minor infections. Poor healing is often related to drug and alcohol intake. Smoking and poor nutrition may increase scarring and occasionally necessitate a second operation. Vitamin E and aspirin should not be taken 2 weeks before the operation. Nerve paralysis, skin ulceration and scar over-growth (Keloid) are rare.

Surgery to improve sagging skin or wrinkles leaves scars. While such scars are permanent, they are rarely noticeable or cause any trouble. The job of the plastic surgeon is to place scars in natural lines of the face and eyelids, where they are least noticeable and can be more easily camouflaged by makeup or hairstyles.

The surgery can be done under either local anaesthesia, with sedation, or completely asleep (general anaesthesia). Inconspicuous incisions are made around the ear, both in front and behind. The extent of these incisions varies, according to the amount of correction required. The skin and deeper tissues of the face are repositioned in a more attractive and youthful position, and secured in place. The excess skin is removed, and the area of surgery is meticulously closed, resulting in scars that are usually imperceptible.