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Facelift/Necklift (Rhytidectomy)

photo galleryMost middle-agers have done it. Standing in front of the bathroom mirror, they tug at a jowl or push up a sagging eyelid and imagine what a facelift might do to improve their look.

Facelifts remain one of the most popular cosmetic procedures for patients in the 40-60 age range. And more patients today are getting them well into their 60s, 70s and 80s with good results.

Facelifts are a great solution if you have:

  • A deep line that runs from the corner of your nose to the corner of your mouth
  • A jawline that has lost definition
  • Cheeks with deep wrinkles and/or sagging skin around cheekbones
  • Loose skin, excess fatty tissue or wrinkles in your neck area

Not everyone is a candidate for a facelift due to certain medical conditions such as:

  • High blood pressure that’s uncontrolled
  • Blood-clotting problems
  • Tendency toward excessive scarring

It is imperative that you alert Dr. Barnthouse if you have any of these conditions!

Taking the first step...

Set up a consultation with Dr. Barnthouse and learn how a facelift can improve your facial contours. Be sure to bring along a list of any questions or concerns you have.

At this time, Dr. Barnthouse will carefully evaluate your overall health and outlook to develop your surgical plan.

He'll assess:

  • Bone structure and underlying facial tissues
  • Thickness, texture and elasticity of your skin
  • Severity of the wrinkles and folds
  • Your hairline, to determine where incisions can be discretely placed.

He will expect you to:

  • Be honest about your expectations
  • Fully disclose your health history, previous surgeries including prescription and over-the counter medications as well as herbal remedies, as well as alcohol and drug use
  • Make a commitment to following any and all of his instructions for preparation and care

If you are overweight and have a realistic desire to lose more than 15 pounds, your weight loss could affect your results. It's important to discuss these plans with Dr. Barnthouse.

Dr. Barnthouse may explain additional procedures that can be performed along with a facelift to meet your appearance goals. For example, a facelift is frequently combined with a forehead lift, eyelid surgery, nose reshaping and skin resurfacing treatments to optimize the renewed, refreshed appearance a facelift creates.

About the actual procedure...

Dr, Barnthouse will perform your facelift under general anesthesia as an outpatient, in an outpatient surgery center depending on scheduling and needs.

The technique he uses for your surgery depends on your features, Dr. Barnthouse’s preferences and your desired results.

Your incision will typically be hidden in the natural contour of your ear, and then extend around the earlobe and back into the hairline. Following surgery, the incisions are easily concealed by your hair or with makeup. There may also be a small incision hidden beneath your chin.

Working through these incisions, Dr. Barnthouse frees the facial skin from its underlying tissues and pulls it upward and back. The excess skin is then removed. In some cases, the deeper tissues may also be repositioned to restore a more youthful contour to your face. If necessary, an incision under the chin allows Dr. Barnthouse to remove fatty tissue in that area and smooth the cord-like structures of the underlying muscle in the neck.

Post-Surgery: What to expect.

Following your procedure, you’ll spend time in the recovery room waking from your anesthesia. Dressings or bandages may have been placed over your incisions, and your face will be bandaged to minimize swelling and support your new contours as you heal.

Dr. Barnthouse may have also placed temporary drainage tubes under the skin to drain excess fluid or blood that may collect.

Before you are released, you and your caregiver will receive further post-op care instructions that may include:

  • How to care for the surgical sites and drains
  • Medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection
  • Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in overall health
  • A date for a follow-up appointment with Dr. Barnthouse

Although everyone heals at a different rate, recovery generally follows this timeline:

One Day Post-Op:

  • Discomfort controlled with medication
  • Swelling will be present
  • Head should remain elevated to minimize bruising and swelling

One Week Post-Op:

  • Swelling reaches its peak, and then begins to subside
  • Bandages will be removed and you may shower
  • Stitches will dissolve or be removed
  • You may return to light activity, but continue to sleep with your head elevated
  • You can wear makeup to conceal any discoloration

Two Weeks Post-Op:

  • Most of the bruising will disappear
  • You may resume many of your normal activities, including non-strenuous work

Several Weeks Post-Op:

  • You may resume exercise
  • Swelling and puffiness will continue to subside
  • Numbness in the facial area will diminish; however, some numbness may persist for several months
  • Throughout the healing period, you should avoid exposure to direct sunlight and, for the long term, be conscientious about using sun block preparations to protect your skin.
  • A few months post-op and beyond: You're looking and feeling more youthful than ever!