As we age, our skin begins to lose its elasticity and volume. This eventually produces wrinkles and loose skin. The facelift – or rhytidectomy – is a surgery that lifts, reaffirms, and tightens sagging facial tissues, giving a more natural and youthful appearance. An incision is performed in front of and behind the ears, which extends to the line of the scalp. Subsequently, the skin and tissues are lifted, removing the excess and achieving the results desired by the patient.

During a facelift, a flap of skin on each side of the face is pulled back, and tissues below the skin are surgically altered to return the contour of the face to a more youthful shape. A neck lift is often done as part of a facelift to reduce fat deposits and sagging skin on the neck. A facelift surgery won’t decrease fine creases or wrinkles in your skin or damage from sun exposure. Other cosmetic procedures can address the appearance or quality of the skin itself.

Pros and Cons of Facelift Surgery


  • Removes loose skin and tightens facial tissues.
  • Reduces the appearance of drooping cheeks.
  • Lifts the corners of the mouth.
  • The incisions are not usually notorious.


  • It is not permanent.
  • If too much skin is removed, the face may look anti-aesthetic.
  • Additional procedures may be needed, depending on age and skin type.

Are You an Ideal Candidate?

Although your doctor is the one who ultimately decides if you are an optimal candidate for this procedure, there are certain criteria that you must meet:

  1. Have flexible skin. Elastic skin is easier to tighten and is less prone to risks and difficulties.
  2. Defined facial structure. Having defined features will improve the appearance of toned skin without wrinkles.
  3. Having real expectations and knowledge of the procedure.
  4. Have good health.

Self-care after the Facelift procedure

A facelift generally takes two to four hours but might take longer if other cosmetic procedures are done at the same time. After a facelift, you may experience:

  • Mild to moderate pain.
  • Drainage from the incisions.
  • Swelling.
  • Bruising.
  • Numbness.

In the first few days after surgery:

  • Rest with your head elevated.
  • Take pain medication as recommended by your doctor.
  • Apply cool packs to the face to ease pain and reduce swelling.

Self-care at home during the first few weeks after your facelift surgery will help your recovery and minimize the risk of complications:

  • Follow wound care instructions as directed by your surgeon.
  • Avoid excessive pressure or motion on and around the incisions.
  • Avoid using makeup.
  • Do not engage in a vigorous or aerobic activity or sports.
  • Avoid direct sun exposure.