Facelift (Rhytidectomy) | What Is It, Steps, Recovery, Complications & What to Expect

The term rhytidectomy (or facelift) refers to a surgical procedure that improves the aging signs in the face and gives it a more youthful appearance.

As your age progresses, you lose the youthful appearance of your face because your skin becomes thinner, and you lose facial fat. Also, stress, hereditary, and smoking may play a role.

In rhytidectomy, the surgeon repositions (or removes) skin, fat, and muscles to reshape your facial contour. But, rhytidectomy is only cosmetic restorative surgery; it can’t change your appearance or stop the aging process.

It is one of the most common cosmetic surgeries. In the United States, more than 130,000 persons do it each year. It’s the 6th most popular after liposuctions, breast augmentation, breast lift, abdominoplasty, and blepharoplasty (eyelid lift).

But, it is an individualized surgery. It is individual to each face, and its results are also unique for each person. As with each surgery, it requires good preparation, depending on your condition. Discuss with your surgeon what the facelift can and can’t do. Ask about the benefits, risks, and possible complications. Ask him what you should expect and the expected results for your face.

Your surgeon can perform this surgery via various procedures; it depends on the used techniques, the targeted areas of the face and neck, and your preferences. Your doctor will discuss these procedures with you and choose the most suitable one. Most people undergo other cosmetic procedures with rhytidectomy, such as rhinoplasty and blepharoplasty.

Now, let’s dig deeper and discuss this surgery in detail.