Face Lift Surgery

“Face-lift surgery is a cosmetic procedure that involves removing sagging skin and tightening muscle tissue of the face and neck to counter signs of aging. The procedure is also called facialplasty, rhytidoplasty, and cervicofacial rhytidectomy.


The purpose of face-lift surgery is to improve the appearance of the face by repositioning the skin and tightening some of the underlying muscle and tissue. The procedure is designed to counter sagging and looseness in skin and muscle tissue that becomes more pronounced as individuals age. Face-lift surgery will not eliminate all facial wrinkles. For example, wrinkles around the mouth and eyes may benefit little from face-lift surgery. Also, additional procedures including blepharoplasty , chemical peel, botox injections, or dermabrasion may be necessary to achieve desired results.


A face lift takes about two hours and may be performed as an outpatient procedure or it may require hospitalization. General or local anesthetics will be used to sedate the patient. Typically, patients receiving local anesthesia will augment it with “”twilight anesthesia,”” an intravenous sedative that helps to lower their awareness of the procedure being performed. An anesthesiologist will be present to administer the anesthetics and assist in monitoring and maintaining the patient’s vital life functions.

The surgeon makes an incision within the hairline just above the ear. The incision continues down along the front edge of the ear, around the earlobe, and then up and behind the ear extending back into the hairline. The location of this incision is designed to hide any sign of the procedure later. The same procedure is repeated on the other side of the face. The surgeon separates the skin of the face from its underlying tissue, moving down to the cheek and into the neck area and below the chin. Fat deposits over the cheeks and in the neck may be removed surgically or with liposuction at this time. The surgeon tightens certain bands of muscle and tissue that extend up from the shoulder, below the chin, and up and behind the neck. If these muscles and tissue are not tightened, the looseness and sagging appearance of the skin will return. The surgeon trims excess skin from the edges of the original incision and the skin is pulled back into place. The incision is closed with sutures or staples.