FAQ facelift or rhytidectomy faq

Facelift (rhytidectomy) Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I am a good candidate for a facelift (rhytidectomy)?
A facelift, technically known as rhytidectomy, is a procedure to improve the most visible signs of aging by removing excess fat, tightening underlying muscles, and re-draping the skin of the face and neck. A facelift can make you look younger and fresher, and it may enhance your self-confidence.

The best candidates for a facelift (rhytidectomy) surgery are men and women whose face and neck have begun to sag, but whose skin still has some elasticity. These are individuals who are looking for improvement, not perfection, in the way they look. They are physically healthy, psychologically stable, and realistic in their expectations.


Will facelift (rhytidectomy) correct crow's feet, dark circles or bags under my eyes, or sagging eyebrows?
No, facelift (rhytidectomy) won't improve age-related changes of the forehead, eyebrows, or eyelids. A facelift (rhytidectomy) will only improve the appearance of the middle and lower face, as well as the neck. Other surgical procedures, such as eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) or brow lift (forehead lift), may be necessary to enhance the appearance of the eyelids, forehead, and eyebrows. Botox is commonly used to reduce the appearance of crow's feet.


Will facelift (rhytidectomy) correct the fine lines on my face, or improve the texture/pigmentation problems that I have?
No, facelift (rhytidectomy) won't improve these sun and age-related changes of the skin of the face. Nonsurgical treatment options that will improve these concerns include a medical-grade skin care program, medical microdermabrasion, chemical peels, and/or IPL photorejuvenation. These non-surgical skin rejuvenation techniques for enhancing facial aesthetics are offered in our Medical Spa. Dr. Mayfield personally performs all of our Medical Spa treatments to ensure that only the highest quality of care and safety is provided at all times.


Are there other treatment options if I don't need or want a complete facelift; I am only unhappy with the prominent middle of my neck and the deep creases around my mouth?
Yes, other surgical facial rejuvenation options include central (submental) neck lift or liposuction (suction lipectomy or suction-assisted lipectomy) of the neck. Non-surgical use of injectable fillers such as Juvederm, Radiesse, Cosmoderm, or Cosmoplast may be used for the deep wrinkles around the mouth. These injectable fillers are available in our Medical Spa. Dr. Mayfield personally performs all of our Medical Spa treatments to ensure that only the highest quality of care and safety is provided at all times.


What is the length of a typical facelift (rhytidectomy)?
A facelift (rhytidectomy) generally requires several hours to perform.


What type of anesthesia is used for a facelift (rhytidectomy)?
Usually, local anesthesia with intravenous sedation is used to perform a facelift (rhytidectomy). A general anesthetic (completely asleep) may also be used.


Is facelift (rhytidectomy) performed as an outpatient?
Yes, facelift (rhytidectomy) may be performed as an outpatient. Some individuals, however, may benefit from an overnight stay.


Where is a facelift (rhytidectomy) performed?
A facelift (rhytidectomy) is performed in the safety of an ambulatory surgery center, at a surgical hospital, or in the outpatient department of a hospital.


What is the cost of a facelift (rhytidectomy)?
The cost of a facelift (rhytidectomy) ranges from $8,000 to $10,000. The variability in cost is related to the time and complexity of the surgery required in each individual, and whether an overnight stay will be required. An initial consultation is required to determine the exact cost of facelift (rhytidectomy) surgery for each individual case.


Is a facelift (rhytidectomy) covered by insurance?
No, facelift (rhytidectomy) and other cosmetic surgeries are not covered by insurance.


Can a facelift (rhytidectomy) be combined with other cosmetic procedures?
A facelift (rhytidectomy) can be performed alone, or occasionally in conjunction with other facial surgical rejuvenation procedures such as brow lift (forehead lift) or eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty). For lengthy, complex, or extensive procedures, Dr. Mayfield will recommend separate surgical sessions several months apart.


How long will it take to recover from a facelift (rhytidectomy)?
Sutures are removed approximately 5 to 7 days after the surgery. Individuals usually return to work within 10 to 14 days. Strenuous physical activity should be avoided for 4 weeks. Some bruising may last up to 3 weeks.


How will I feel and look immediately following a facelift (rhytidectomy)?
There is temporary tenderness, swelling, numbness, and bruising. If drainage tubes have been used, they will be removed one or two days after the surgery. Headaches, itching, and tightness of the skin may also occur.


Is a facelift (rhytidectomy) a painful procedure?
There is discomfort for several days following a facelift (rhytidectomy) that is controllable with the use of pain medications taken by mouth.

What are some of the risks of a facelift (rhytidectomy)?
Complications are infrequent. Potential risks of a facelift (rhytidectomy) include bleeding, infection, noticeable scarring, or thinning of hair along the portion of the scar within the hair of the scalp. Poor healing and wider scars are more common in smokers. There is a risk of injury to nerves, causing loss of motion or numbness. There may be asymmetry or a change in the hairline.


Are there scars that result from a facelift (rhytidectomy) surgery?
Every effort is taken to make the scars as inconspicuous as possible. There will be some scars from a facelift (rhytidectomy), but they are usually hidden by the hair and in the natural creases of the face and ears. Healing is a gradual process, and the scars may remain slightly pink for six months or more after surgery. Eventually, though, the scars fade to a thin, nearly invisible white line. In the case of incisions within the scalp, there is a risk of hair thinning next to the scar.


How long do the results of facelift (rhytidectomy) last?
The results last for years, however, the effects of aging and gravity continue to act on the face after surgery.


 
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