Facelift – Facts and Fears Addressed

older woman face

Facelift surgery is a great option for patients with the signs of facial aging.  Some patients get concerned when they hear this term, often for the same two reasons: fear of injury to the facial nerves and fear of looking weird.  I would like to put these fears to rest.

Facelift surgery, sometimes called “rhytidectomy”, is the definitive solution for sagging jowls and excess neck skin.  This restores a natural jawline and neckline.  It can be combined with other surgeries, such as browlifts and eyelid surgery to rejuvenate the entire face.  Non-invasive treatments, such as Botox, dermal fillers and laser skin resurfacing can complement the final results.

The newest thinking in facial rejuvenation surgery recognizes the importance of restoring youthful volume to the face; volume that can be lost with aging and/or weight loss.  This volume can be replaced with either fat grafts (that are obtained via liposuction from other areas of the body) or with Voluma injectable filler.

Along with this modern approach has come the realization that the best results require subtlety on the part of the surgeon.  Of course, your results will be noticeable; if no one notices you look better, then your surgeon probably didn’t do anything for you.  The artistry in facelifting comes with delivering beautiful and real results, but without overdoing it and producing a fake look.  I’m careful to produce a desired result while avoiding the tell-tale signs of having had surgery.

Patients’ second concern if often regarding possible injury to a branch of the facial nerve.  The facial nerve controls the muscles of facial expression.  If a branch is injured, the motion of the face may be affected.  The good news is injury to this nerve during facelifting is very unusual – less than 1% of the time.  More good news is that even when a disturbance in facial motion is noted after the surgery, the vast majority of time, it returns to normal with time.