Interested in Getting a Facelift? Here’s What You Should Know

Medically reviewed by Dexter Macalintal, MD

Written by Fiel Tugade · Updated Aug 16, 2022

    Interested in Getting a Facelift? Here’s What You Should Know

    Aging is one of the inevitable things in life. Aside from the different possible conditions that come with it, it can also show in one’s appearance. Is there a way to keep your firm and youthful appearance? Can surgical procedures like a facelift help? Read on to know more about facelifts and what you need to know before signing up yourself for one.

    Facelift, Explained

    As the name suggests, a facelift refers to a cosmetic type of surgery that lifts the face and/or neck. This procedure repositions or removes skin, fat, and/or muscle to improve the appearance of aging. Some people may also refer to it as rhytidectomy and it can restore the following signs of aging:

    • Relaxed, sagging skin on the face
    • Deep folds or crease lines present around the nose and corners of the mouth
    • Facial fat that has shrunk or is missing
    • Skin drooping on the cheeks and/or jaw (jowls)
    • Loose skin and extra fat in the neck appearing as “double chin”

    As a result, it can make the skin appear tighter and smoother. However, it is important to keep in mind that a facelift is a cosmetic restorative type of surgery. Therefore, it cannot completely transform your appearance nor can it put a stop to the aging process. Moreover, it cannot treat superficial wrinkles, skin damage, or skin color irregularities.

    Facelifts are highly individualized surgeries that are tailored to each individual’s face and desired outcome.

    Different Kinds of Facelifts

    There are various types of facelift surgeries based on the target areas of the face and neck.

    Facelift surgeries are classified as follows:

    • Standard/traditional facelift
    • SMAS facelift/rhytidectomy (superficial musculoaponeurotic system)
    • Deep plane facelift
    • Mid-facelift
    • Mini-facelift
    • Cutaneous (skin) facelift

    There are also other nonsurgical facelift options that you may want to consider, such as the following:

    You may want to consult your dermatologist and surgeon to help you better understand the advantages and disadvantages of each. They will also assess you in terms of the following:

    • Wants and goals for the facelift surgery
    • Any medical conditions, allergies, and/or medical treatments you are currently in
    • Ongoing medications, vitamins, supplements, alcohol, tobacco, and even drug consumption
    • Previous surgeries underwent

    These are important points to be able to guide you in choosing the specific type of facelift procedure fitting to your face shape and goals.

    Different Steps to a Facelift Procedure

    Step 1. Anesthesia

    During the surgical procedure, your doctor will administer anesthesia, either via intravenous sedation or general anesthesia, to help you relax. Your doctor may also recommend what would work best for you from the provided options.

    Step 2. Incision Process

    Depending on what type of facelift you receive, your surgeon may make incisions in the following areas during surgery:

    • At the temples of your hairline
    • Close to your ears
    • At the base of your scalp
    • Below your chin
    • In your mouth

    The size of the incisions will also differ depending on the type of facelift you have. Before the surgery, your surgeon will go over all of this with you.

    Step 3. Closing the Incision

    Following the procedure, your doctor will use one of the following methods to close the incision(s):

    • Dissolvable stitches
    • Stitches that must be removed after a few days
    • Skin glue

    When the incision lines from a facelift have healed, they are hidden within the hairline and the natural contours of the face and ear.

    Expect swelling and bruising, as well as mild to moderate pain and discomfort. This is why your doctor will also be administering some antibiotics to prevent the buildup of any infection. A compression garment will also be helpful with swelling reduction.

    Possible Risks and Complications of a Facelift Procedure

    Like any other surgical operation, there are possible risks and complications that may come at stake. Infection, heavy bleeding, and adverse reactions to anesthesia are a few of the common ones in any major surgery.

    Despite being rare, other facelift risks and complications include the following:

    • Hematoma
    • Scarring
    • Nerve injury
    • Skin and hair loss
    • Prolonged swelling
    • Slow healing process and other wound healing issues
    • Skin color irregularities
    • Numbness (changes in skin sensation)

    Key Takeaways

    Facelifts are there to help you improve some signs of aging and provide a more youthful appearance. However, it is important to keep in mind that surgery such as this cannot revert the process of aging itself.

    Make sure to consider all these things before committing to getting yourself one.

    Learn more about Skin Care and Cleansing here.


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Dexter Macalintal, MD

    Written by Fiel Tugade · Updated Aug 16, 2022


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