Rhytidectomy, or facelift, is a surgical procedure to improve the signs of aging in the face and neck. According to recent statics by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, it is the fifth most common cosmetic surgery procedure. Aging in the face and neck results from the effects of gravity and loss of volume over time. These signs of aging often include loss of skin elasticity, sagging in the mid-face, the formation of jowls, and loose skin and excess fatty deposits under the chin that can produce the appearance of a double chin.
Depending on the changes that you and your plastic surgeon discuss, your surgical choices include a traditional facelift, a limited incision or mini facelift, or a neck lift. There are multiple variations in each procedure, and is up to you and your plastic surgeon to choose the one that is best for you during your consultation process. The traditional facelift utilizes incisions that extend from the temples, down in front of the ears and around the earlobe to hairline. Often the incision is extended from behind the ears into the hairline. This incision allows elevation of the sagging face, refinement of the jaw line, and tightening of the neck. Fat grafting may be done at the same time as the facelift to restore volume in key areas of the face. An additional incision is often placed under the chin to allow tightening of muscles and removal of excess fat. The goals of facial plastic surgery are to produce a more youthful appearance through repositioning the deeper layers of the face and removing excess skin.