A facelift (rhytidectomy) is a common cosmetic surgical procedure, the purpose of which is to create a more youthful appearance to your face. This procedure is designed to reduce the sagging or folds of skin on the cheeks and jawline and other changes in the face associated with the aging process.
During a facelift, a portion of skin on each side of the face is pulled back, and tissues below the skin are surgically altered to change the contour of the face to produce a more youthful shape. Before the skin is sutured closed, excess skin is removed.
A facelift won't get rid of fine creases or wrinkles in your skin or fix sun-damaged skin. Other procedures may be performed to address the appearance or quality of the skin itself.
When it's helpful
As you age, the appearance and shape of your face changes. The skin becomes less elastic and often fat deposits decrease in some areas of your face and increase in others. Age-related changes in your face that may be reduced with a facelift include the following:
Excess skin at your lower jawline (jowls)
Deepening of the fold of skin from the side of your nose to the corner of your mouth
Sagging skin and excess fat in the neck (if the procedure includes a neck lift)
Dr. Toriumi will frequently perform fat injections to the face during the facelift to replace some of the fat lost over many years. As fat volume is lost the skin begins to sag. By adding fat back to certain areas of the face, the facial skin will redrape more naturally decreasing the need to “pull” on the tissues. This helps to prevent the “wind swept” look and creates a very natural appearing change to the face. The fat is harvested from the abdomen or thighs and is injected with a small canula into the face.
In some patients, a direct neck skin excision may be more beneficial than a facelift. These patients may have a “turkey gobbler” deformity. In this case, pulling on the skin laterally cannot eliminate enough of the neck skin to correct the problem. In these cases, Dr. Toriumi will remove skin directly from the neck leaving a visible scar. The improvement can be dramatic but does leave a visible scar.