Facelift Surgery

A facelift is performed to rejuvenate the appearance of the face. A facelift, technically known as a rhytidectomy is the surgical removal of wrinkles. It is a type of cosmetic surgery procedure used to give a more youthful facial appearance. There are multiple surgical techniques. It usually involves the removal of excess facial skin, with or without the tightening of underlying tissues, and the re-draping of the skin on the patient's face and neck. Facelifts are effectively combined with eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) and other facial procedures and are typically performed under general anaesthesia.

Contraindications to facelift surgery include severe concomitant medical problems, both physical and psychological. The risk of postoperative complications is increased in cigarette smokers and patients with hypertension and diabetes. Patients must abstain from taking aspirin or other blood thinners for at least one week prior to surgery.

Steps taken:

A face lift operation takes 2.5 to 3 hours and is performed under local or general anesthetia. There are three m - a traditional face lift, limited incision face lift or a neck lift.

Traditional face lift - The incision is made from the hairline at the temples, continuing around the ear (part of this incision will be partly inside the ears to help hide the cuts) and ending in the lower scalp

Limited incision face lift – This is an alternative to the traditional facelift and uses shorter incisions at the temples, continuing around the ear.

Neck lift – recommended for sagging jowls, loose neck skin and fat accumulation under the chin or extending to the sides along the jaw line.

Non-absorbable sutures or skin adhesives on the incisions on the face and small metal staples around the hairline are used to close the face lift incisions. Once the surgery has been completed, both the face as well as the entire head is bandaged as loosely as possible in order to reduce bruising and swelling. There will intense swelling over the face, which will subside after a few days. The puffiness continues for another week or two. Patient needs to stay in the hospital for 1-2 nights.

Face lift recovery times vary from patient to patient, and smokers take longer to heal. Pain relief medications are prescribed to help with any discomfort.


Surgical face lifts are commonly performed and generally safe. The possibility of face lift risks and complications arising depends on each patient‘s anatomy, their physical reactions, and their healing abilities. Side effects of face lift surgery include Soreness, swelling and bruising lasting up to a month, Scarring - fades over a year, and raised hairline in front of, and behind the ears. Complications of a face lift operation are: Unfavourable scarring, bleeding (hematoma) , Infection , Poor wound healing, Allergic reaction to the anaesthesia , Facial nerve injury with weakness , Asymmetry, Skin loss , Numbness, skin necrosis etc.Your face lift surgeon will give you a check list and a precautions list for your recovery. If you experience discomfort, shortness of breath, palpitations, chest pains or fever after the surgery, you must seek medical attention ASAP.

It may take several months for swelling to fully dissipate and up to 6 months for incision lines to mature. Maintaining or adopting a healthy lifestyle is recommended. Exposure to sun is not good for the incision s and hence must eb avoided completely for at least 1 year.


This is an elective surgery for youthful appearance with good success rate. Individual requirements vary and the type of surgery is based on the type of patient, type of face, age and other factor. The procedure is safe and has many takers.


Are the facelift surgeries free of complications?

No; there are certain risks with this procedure. The most common complications are bleeding, hematoma, damage to the facial nerves, necrosis of the skin flaps or post-operative infections. Smoking increases the risk of skin necrosis 12-fold. Scarring is considered a complication of facelift surgery.

What is the most important contraindication to be considered for dissuading the patients from this procedure?

A psychiatric illness leading to unreasonable expectations for the surgical outcome, such as a distorted perception of reality, is the major contraindication to surgery and the patient must be persuaded not to undertake this intervention.

Are the scars visible following this procedure?

A facelift requires skin incisions; however, the incisions in front of and behind the ear are usually inconspicuous.

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