A facelift is designed to restore a more youthful appearance to the neck and jowl regions by removing major wrinkles and sagging skin. If there is excess fat in the neck or chin region, this can simultaneously be addressed with liposuction or direct excision. A facelift can improve a tired facial appearance by smoothing the skin and reestablishing defined contours along the neck and jaw line. It is often done in combination with other procedures including a brow lift and eyelid surgery to create an overall harmonious, youthful result.
The surgery is done under sedation or general anesthesia and typically takes 4-6 hours. Incisions are made in the natural crease in front of the ear, around the earlobe, behind the ear and may extend into the hairline. The length of the incision depends on the quality of neck skin. The surgery involves elevation of the skin, tightening of the facial and neck muscles and re-draping and removal of any excess skin. Postoperatively patients may have a drain in overnight as well as head and neck wrappings. After these are removed, patients are often required to wear a removable chin strap for several weeks. Sutures are usually removed 7-14 days after surgery. Usually it takes 2 to 3 weeks before most patients feel socially presentable.