Face Lift - Rhytidectomy

What is it?

  • improves the changes of the face and neck that come with age
  • involves redraping skin over tightened muscles and removing the excess

Who should consider it?

  • your face is showing the effects of
    • gravity
    • sun exposure
    • life's stresses
  • these may show as
    • jowls or a sagging jawline
    • grooves between your nose and mouth
    • folds and/or fat deposits of your neck

How do I know if I am a good candidate? Back to Top

  • you are in good health
  • your face and neck skin have begun to sag
  • your skin still has some elasticity
  • you have good bone structure
  • your expectations are realistic
    • surgery may not change your overall looks, your life, or how people treat you

How do I prepare for a Face Lift - Rhytidectomy? Back to Top

  • consult with Dr. Culbertson
    • have your complete medical history ready, she will need to review
    • you and she will discuss your expectations and desires very carefully
      • you may desire additional procedures, such as eyelid surgery or a necklift
    • Dr. Culbertson will explain her technique, the type of anesthesia, the facility where the surgery is done, and the risks and benefits of surgery
  • if you smoke, you will need to quit at least 2 weeks before and after surgery
  • you will have instructions on eating, drinking, medications to avoid or that you must take
    • please follow these guidelines, they are there to keep you safe
  • arrange for someone to drive you home from the surgery
  • make sure you have someone with you for at least the first 24 hours after surgery and even longer if you need it

What do I expect from a Face Lift - Rhytidectomy? Back to Top

  • facility: outpatient surgery center or a hospital
  • anesthesia under local anesthesia (numbing medicine) with sedation or general anesthesia (where you go to sleep)
  • incisions will be made along the temple hairline, the natural line in front of the ear, around the earlobe, into the crease behind the ear, and at the lower scalp and your skin will be lifted and redraped over tightened facial muscles, fat will be removed as needed
  • you will have bandages gently wrapping your face and small tubes (drains)

What can I expect after a Face Lift - Rhytidectomy? Back to Top

  • some discomfort for which you can take the pain medicine prescribed by Dr. Culbertson
    • tell Dr. Culbertson right away if you experience severe pain and/or swelling
  • you will likely have numb areas, these are normal and will resolve over the following weeks to months
  • you will need to keep your head elevated as much as possible for the first couple of days after surgery in order to minimize swelling
  • you won’t look like yourself at first, which is normal, it takes a few weeks for the swelling to go down

When will I feel like myself again? Back to Top

  • plan on taking it easy for the first one to two weeks
  • most people return to work 10 days to 2 weeks after surgery
  • you will gradually return to your regular activities

How will I look? Back to Top

  • your facelift will have lessened the visible signs of aging of your face and neck
  • it takes a while for the swelling and bruising to resolve so you’ll need to be patient to appreciate your final result
  • the scars are hidden in your hair and along the natural curves of your face and they will become barely visible as they fade over time
  • it is important to remember that a facelift cannot stop the aging process in its tracks even though it does turn back the clock
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