The procedure is performed in an inpatient setting under Local or a General Anesthesia. The surgery takes around 2 to 4 hours and may vary depending upon the technique being used.
In general, during a face-lift surgery the skin is elevated and tightened through the underlying tissues and muscles. Fat in the face and neck may be sculpted, removed or redistributed. Facial skin is then re-draped over the newly repositioned contours of the face, excess skin is removed, and the wound is stitched or taped closed.
The incisions for the procedure depend on the techniques that will be used and the patient's preferences.
- Traditional Facelift: A traditional face-lift incision starts at the hairline of your temples, continues around your ears and ends behind your ears in your lower scalp. Fat may be sculpted or redistributed from the face, jowls and neck and underlying tissue is repositioned, commonly the deeper layers of the face and the muscles are also lifted. Skin is re-draped over the uplifted contours and excess skin is trimmed away. A second incision under the chin may be made to improve the aging neck.
- Limited Incision: A limited incision is a shorter incision that begins in your hairline just above your ear, wraps around the front of your ear, but does not extend all the way into the lower scalp. Also known as "Mini-lifts", there are usually reserved for patients with less skin relaxation, as the results are less rejuvenating than a full facelift.
- Neck Lift: In this this technique incision starts in front of your earlobe and continues around your ear into your lower scalp. A small incision also is made under your chin. A neck lift addresses the sagging jowls, loose neck skin and fat accumulation under the chin.
The incisions will be closed with sutures that may dissolve or may need to be removed after a few days. Some surgeons use skin glues to seal the incisions. Once healed, the incision lines from a facelift are well concealed within the hairline and in the natural contours of the face and ear.