Facelift and Necklift

The art of rhytidectomy, or a facelift, is more than simply lifting or pulling. Essential to facial rejuvenation during a rhytidectomy (facelift) is the skillful isolation, handling, and suspension of the deeper facial tissues.  At the Aesthetic Institute of Oklahoma, our Oklahoma City facial plastic surgeon Scott Shadfar, MD allows the underlying structural anatomy to show through by sliding the tissues into the previous position they once occupied before time and gravity intervened.

Indications For Facelift And Neck Lift Surgery

A facelift with or without a neck lift is often considered the premier method of facial rejuvenation for a broad spectrum of aesthetic concerns. The procedure is designed to target the underlying plane of musculature in addition to the superficial layer of skin, and results from surgery can last much longer than other anti-aging treatments. Indications of age that can be treated with this procedure include:

  • Loose skin in the face and neck
  • Jowls, or sagging skin along the jawlin
  • Wrinkles and facial creases caused by skin laxity
  • Horizontal neck bands
  • Loose musculature in the neck compromising a smooth contour

A consultation can be a great opportunity to learn whether a facelift and neck lift is the most ideal treatment to help you fulfill your cosmetic goals.

The Technique

Rhytidectomy, more commonly referred to as a Facelift, is performed under deep sedation or a general anesthetic in an operating room. This allows Dr. Shadfar to access the deeper tissues through small incisions around the ears and, sometimes, a single small incision under the chin if the neck muscles need tightening as well (neck lift). Using a modified deep plane extended SMAS rhytidectomy, Dr. Shadfar can resuspend the muscular and fascial tissues that have descended over time. Simultaneously in a separate plane, he can redrape the skin in a natural position and avoid any excess tension or an unnatural, over-pulled, or “wind-swept” result.

The Recovery

This is an outpatient procedure. Once the procedure is complete, patients can go home with a light compressive head wrap that is worn for 24 hours. The following morning, patients will return to have the dressing removed and Dr. Shadfar will examine the operative site. We will demonstrate how to clean the incisions around the ears. The sutures will remain in place for one week. Patients can expect swelling and bruising around the surgical site, which should both resolve after the first week. Makeup and skin care regimens can be restarted on day 10 after the procedure. Patients usually have minimal downtime of one to two weeks before returning to work, and we ask those patients traveling from out of town to stay for routine checks during this time period.

Non-surgical Facelift

While a rhytidectomy is often considered the most effective and enduring treatment for facial aging available, Dr. Shadfar also provides an array of minimally invasive options to rejuvenate the appearance of the face without the need for surgery or downtime. Namely, a liquid facelift is designed to target common signs of age, such as fine lines and facial volume deficits, using a strategic combination of dermal fillers and injectable treatments. Wrinkles and creases can be smoothed, while a hollow look in the cheeks or tear troughs can be improved for a fuller, more youthful aesthetic. A liquid facelift often utilizes popular treatments like BOTOX® Cosmetic to address horizontal brow creases and expression lines, as well as various JUVÉDERM® products to fill in “smoker’s lines,” nasolabial folds, and sunken facial planes. Whether these non-surgical injectables are pursued as stand-alone treatments or as part of a comprehensive liquid facelift, they can offer natural-looking facial rejuvenation and relatively long-lasting results.

Complementary Procedures To Facelift And Neck Lift Surgery

Signs of age are not always confined to the lower two-thirds of the face and it is not uncommon for patients to seek adjunctive treatments for their concerns. If lax skin and creases are present in the upper third of the face and creating a look of anger or stress, a forehead lift may be an effective complementary procedure to smooth horizontal wrinkles and raise the eyebrows to a more youthful location. Many individuals also undergo blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) with their rhytidectomy to tighten the skin around the eyes, minimize puffy or baggy eyelids, and achieve a more refreshed and rested appearance. For those interested in combining procedures, Dr. Shadfar can consult with you to develop the best treatment plan to make your desired aesthetic a reality.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Signs Of Aging Can Be Treated?

Facelift surgery can be used to minimize the appearance of moderate to significant lines, wrinkles, folds, and creases in the lower two-thirds of the face. In addition, it can tighten lax, sagging skin and loose musculature of the face and neck that may be responsible for jowling and/or noticeable neck bands.

How do I know if I need a neck lift?

The face and neck do not age exclusively, meaning indications of laxity in the neck usually accompany signs of facial aging. More often than not, it can be advantageous to treat the face and neck simultaneously to ensure comprehensive, even rejuvenation. This is particularly true for individuals who exhibit neck wrinkling or loose, hanging skin under the chin (often known as a “turkey neck”). For this reason, Dr. Shadfar typically performs a facelift and neck lift together. However, the best way to know definitively whether you would benefit from a neck lift is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Shadfar, who can evaluate your skin quality to confirm your candidacy for the procedure. 

Does a facelift for men differ from a facelift for women?

While the general techniques for a facelift are the same for all patients, men and women often have innate anatomical differences as well as distinctive aesthetic ideals. These points of contrast, as well as your individual surgical goals, may inform the procedure for both male and female patients. Above all else, Dr. Shadfar performs a facelift and neck lift to reduce facial aging while preserving the natural characteristics of each person’s face. 

What Age Is Best For A Facelift And/or Neck Lift?

There is no definitive age that is regarded as “ideal” for facelift and/or neck lift surgery. Instead, candidacy is determined based on factors such as the severity of one’s aging concerns, the quality of their skin, and the type of results they are hoping to achieve.

Will My Face Have A “pulled” Look After The Procedure?

Dr. Shadfar takes great care to achieve exceptionally natural-looking facelift and neck lift results. During the procedure, he employs a special approach that enables him to lift the facial and muscular tissues in one plane, while carefully redraping the skin in a separate plane. This helps to prevent any excess pulling or tension that often results in a “wind-swept” look.

Will The Incisions Be Noticeable?

Incisions used to perform a facelift are made discreetly around the ears (and beneath the chin if a neck lift is needed). These incisions are small in length as well as width, and carefully planned to ensure they remain as inconspicuous as possible, even when interacting with people at close distances. As part of his aim to achieve natural-appearing results, Dr. Shadfar strives to keep any evidence of surgery to a minimum.

Will There Be A Lot Of Pain?

Dr. Shadfar conducts facelift surgery under deep sedation or general anesthesia to make sure patients remain as comfortable as possible during treatment. After the procedure, any discomfort experienced is generally described as “mild” and can usually be easily controlled with medication, if necessary.

How Long Does It Take For Results To Appear?

Initial results are typically apparent immediately after the procedure, although the full effect of facelift surgery will become increasingly noticeable as swelling gradually subsides over time.

How Long Do Results Last?

Facelift surgery results tend to last an average of approximately ten to twelve years before a touch-up treatment (often non-surgical) may be desired; however, this can vary based on skin quality, lifestyle choices, and numerous other factors. The key fact to remember is this: when a facelift is performed skillfully and correctly, patients will still look younger in ten years than they would if they had never undergone treatment in the first place.

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