Let’s face it – we all love to look young and beautiful for as long as possible. While there is no such thing as a “fountain of youth”, a facelift is the next best thing to rejuvenating our appearance and making our faces look a lot younger.

As we age, the skin also grows old and the first stage of the aging process can be first noticed in the face. People age differently depending on certain factors such as genetics, drastic weight loss, stress, smoking, and how the skin is protected from pollutants and the sun. Gravity is also a big factor because aging skin loses elasticity over time.

A facelift or “rhytidectomy” is a cosmetic surgical procedure that can help control the signs of aging by counteracting gravity, smoothing out wrinkles on the face, and providing patients with a revitalized appearance. Excess skin, fat, or even muscle can be removed to achieve the desired effect using facelift techniques and fine lines and wrinkles can be smoothed out. The entire face can be “lifted” by repositioning the skin using specialized techniques that can also target specific areas of the face.

If you’re hesitant about the idea of traditional invasive facelift surgery, you will be pleased to know that this technique has evolved dramatically over time and there are already some innovative non-surgical options today. These are less invasive, safer, and provide superior results with minimal scarring and very little downtime.

What is a Facelift?

A facelift is a surgical procedure that is generally used to give a more youthful appearance to the face. This is a type of cosmetic surgery wherein the surgeon reshapes the deep facial structures and repositions or removes extra skin tissue. In order to achieve optimum results, it is frequently combined with other procedures addressing the brows, cheeks, forehead, and eyes.

This traditional procedure involves incisions around the hairline, front and back of the ears, and under the chin. If you have a lot of sagging skin, the facelift surgery may be performed in conjunction with a forehead lift, a neck lift or eye surgery to further improve the look of your face.

As aforementioned, there are several less invasive techniques that can effectively eliminate sun spots and age spots, smooth wrinkles, and tone facial muscles in order to mask the visible signs of aging. However, such techniques do not achieve the same dramatic results as a traditional facelift and the outcome is not permanent.

Lifting the face requires more from the surgeon than merely stretching the skin. It requires an artistic eye to be able to reshape the face in a way that looks completely natural for the patient. A complete and comprehensive facelift with the best possible outcome will reduce and redistribute the skin, underlying tissue, and even excess fatty deposits.

Surgical Facelift

A surgical facelift can be performed in an outpatient setting with local anesthetics and sedatives to help the patient relax. The procedure generally takes about two to four hours, after which patients are allowed to go home. However, there are cases when the surgery needs to be performed under general anesthesia and the patient may have to stay in the hospital overnight.

The procedure is performed by first separating the facial skin from the underlying tissues. Then the surgeon stretches and repositions the skin. Any excess tissue is also removed before sutures are applied to close up the incisions.

The incisions are usually made around the hairline, front and back of the ears, and under the chin. If you have a lot of sagging skin, your facelift surgery may also include a brow lift eyelid surgery, a forehead lift or a neck lift to further improve the look of your face.


There are also some innovative non-surgical options today. An example is the “liquid facelift” where dermal fillers can be injected to plump up areas of the face and eliminate wrinkles, laugh/frown lines, and “crow’s feet” caused by overactive muscles. Other options include fat grafting and fat transfers, the thread lift (often called the “lunch hour facelift”), and the mini (“weekend”) facelift. Both are quicker than full lifts and can correct sagging skin and get rid of the fine lines or wrinkles by making tiny incisions in strategic spots. These are just a few of the available alternatives that can give your skin a smoother, softer, and more youthful look without the hassles and risks associated with invasive surgery. Although non-surgical techniques are growing in popularity, there are limitations with these procedures, as the results are less dramatic than a traditional lift.