January 2023

Facial aging and facelifts

Most of us don’t enjoy seeing our faces change and age. It is a part of life, but sometimes aging causes specific wrinkles or jowls you want to get rid of. Luckily facelifts are a great way to make some changes to your face for a more youthful appearance.


How do our faces age?


Our skin is affected by age in the same way our internal organs are. Skin is the most visible layer of our body and is the most common sign of aging. It is natural for our skin to age and for wrinkles to appear. Most of us don’t enjoy the process, but it is nothing to be scared of. Change is natural, but some factors can speed up the process of aging skin. These factors include UV radiation, infrared light, smoking, and poor nutrition.

The process of facial aging occurs when deep fat and bony skeleton, along with fatigue of the ligaments, leads to a loss of support. Fat on the face begins to droop a bit. Our faces become less firm and more wrinkled. There are different compartments of fat in the face, and as you age, there is a loss of fat volume, and the face loses support. If you want to make adjustments to your face as you age, there are always procedures available to consider, such as a facelift. [1]

Facial aging

How do facelifts work?


A facelift or rhytidectomy is a surgical procedure with the goal of repositioning the soft tissues in the face for a more youthful appearance. This procedure can also reduce excess skin on the face. Aging causes sagging and jowls in the face, and a facelift can address some of these signs of aging. 

Facelifts are performed with the patient’s concerns and goals for their appearance in mind. The patient’s skin will be assessed thoroughly before the surgery. The patient will have many photos taken of their skin to ensure that their goals are represented to the surgeon. If the patient only wants to focus on jowls or neck sagging, the surgical technique SMAS rhytidectomy will be used. This technique involves folding the facial skin and removing the excess skin. Facelifts can be performed with a variety of different techniques, but usually, a facelift will involve incisions near the hairline. Liposuction of fat may be used. The skin will be pulled and stitched into a new position. Oftentimes facelifts may be combined with brow lifts, fillers, eyelid surgeries, or a fat transfer. [2]

Facelifts are a great option for people who want to address some areas of their face that have changed due to aging. It is great there are such advanced plastic surgery options for people to address any insecurities or bothersome areas of their appearance.


What is the recovery time?


After the surgery, the patient will see their surgeon the next day to have their bandages and drains removed. The stitches will be removed a week after the surgery. Healing involves a lot of cold packs and rest. [2]

Usually, it is recommended that patients take two to four weeks off of work after a facelift. Bruising will be visible for at least two weeks. It will take some time to see the full effect of the facelift. This can take up to nine months. Patients won’t be able to drive for a couple of days after the surgery. Patients will have to avoid any strenuous activity for up to two weeks. 

The recovery isn’t anything to be afraid of. The surgeon will typically prescribe pain medication in case of discomfort. It can feel difficult to wait months to see results, but during that period, the patient will be getting closer to their desired results every day. [3]



[1] ​​Kapoor KM, Saputra DI, Porter CE, Colucci L, Stone C, Brenninkmeijer EEA, Sloane J, Sayed K, Winaya KK, Bertossi D. Treating Aging Changes of Facial Anatomical Layers with Hyaluronic Acid Fillers. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2021 Aug 26;14:1105-1118. doi: 10.2147/CCID.S294812. PMID: 34471372; PMCID: PMC8405095.

[2] Yang AJ, Hohman MH. Rhytidectomy. 2022 Nov 27. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan–. PMID: 33232008.

[3] https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cosmetic-procedures/facelift/#:~:text=A%20...(rhytidectomy)%20is%20cosmetic,mainly%20the%20jowls)%20and%20neck.