Face Lift (Rhytidectomy)

Surgical Facelift Procedure | All About Facelift | Before and After Face Lift | Leyla Arvas MD

What is a face lift?

A face lift also known in medicine as rhytidectomy is a surgical intervention in aesthetic and plastic surgery of the human face. The procedure allows you to tighten the facial skin and underlying connective tissue, thereby giving it more tension, which looks like “smooth skin” and a young version of yourself.

The facial aging and face lift

face liftSince our face is the most important organ that enables us to communicate with the outside world, the aging of our face has a different importance compared to the aging of our entire body.

Every person will naturally face the aging process, this is inevitable, but not just our skin; adipose tissues, connective tissues and bones change in this process. 

As we age, our skin loses its elasticity, becomes dry, and the amount of collagen decreases and becomes thinner. Fat tissue decreases, especially in the upper part of our face. With aging, the bones around our eyes and the front part of our upper jaw decrease. These changes in tissues with aging lead to:

  • Formation of transverse lines (wrinkles) in the forehead area
  • Crow’s feet wrinkles
  • Under-eye pit formation
  • Nasolabial folds
  • Wrinkles around the lips
  • Decreased cheekbones fullness
  • Sagging in the chin area

Aging can occur with many factors. All people naturally experience chronological aging with genetic characteristics that determine the rate of aging. Chronic diseases and hormonal changes affect chronological aging. In external aging, basically; Factors such as nutrition, exposure to sunlight, gravity are effective.

Facelift is the name given to the surgical treatment of changes that occur with aging. During facelift, excess skin is removed, sagging and loosened underlying tissues are moved to their former places, and if there is volume loss in the mid-face area, it is corrected with fat transfer. With a face lift, you look 10 years younger than the age you had the surgery. For example, someone who is 55 years old will have a chance to look like 45 years old.

Types of face lift

Face lift operations cover lifting procedures containing three sections the upper, mid and lower parts of the face. These three sections are conventionally divided at the level of the eyebrows and nostrils by horizontal lines. First, signs of aging are noted in the upper zone, then in the middle, and further in the lower and in the neck. 

Face lift operations are mostly preferred after the age 50. This operation can be combined with upper and lower eyelid operation and fat transfer.

New face designed with a face rejuvenation operation must create a natural and specific look. Results that could disturb the patients must be shared with the patient before the operation. Face lift is a very serious and important operation. Therefore, a doctor who builds successful communication with the patient should be chosen.

Indications for a circular face lift are drooping of the outer corners of the eyes, deep nasolabial folds, sagging and drooping soft tissues of the face and “double” chin. 

It is impossible to perform face lift if the patient has diseases (exacerbated chronic diseases, oncological, infectious, endocrinological) or blood clotting is impaired.

The lifting may affect the eyebrows and forehead, middle area, lower 2/3 of the face, neck. You can also perform a circular tightening of three zones together. It is possible to use endoscopic techniques.

Carrying out a circular face lift procedure

The operation takes 2 to 6 hours and is performed under general anesthesia. An incision is made in front of the ear, then around it along the groove behind the ear. Depending on the situation, excess skin is removed or moved, and the plasty of the superficial musculo-aponeurotic system is performed. The doctor then sutures.

What is indications for face lift

Manifestations of age-related changes in the upper and lower parts of the face have different intensities. The face shape of a 35–40-year-old woman resembles a triangle with an upwardly directed base. Rejuvenating surgery of the upper 2/3 of the face is often indicated for patients in this age group. 

After forty, the medial displacement of the soft tissues of the cheek forms a pronounced nasolabial fold, and in the area of ​​the corners of the mouth – folds of the “puppet” and “flew”. A triangle with an upward-directed base transforms into a vertically oriented rectangle. The above changes are indications for lifting the lower 2/3 of the face and neck. The division of indications for the type of surgery by passport age is conditional. During the consultation, we will determine the optimal treatment and tactics for you.

Who is a face lift suitable for?

A face lift can be an effective way to improve your appearance and build self-confidence, but this procedure is not suitable for everyone. Generally healthy patients with relatively thin skin may achieve the best results. A face lift is usually performed on patients aged 40–60 years, but good results can be achieved even at the age of 70–80 years. A circular face lift is recommended for healthy women and men who show the following signs of aging:

  • Loss of skin elasticity, deep wrinkles on the cheeks and cheekbones
  • Excess skin, folds and excess fatty tissue in the neck
  • Fuzzy jawline
  • Deep nasolabial folds

Despite the fact that face lifts provide excellent results in most cases, the procedure should be treated with caution if the patient suffers from the following problems:

  • High blood pressure
  • Blood clotting problems, risk of thrombosis
  • When healing wounds, visible scars remain

If you suffer from the above problems, you can report them to your doctor.

How is face lift surgery made?

The facelift operation is usually started by cutting the upper skin tissue in front of the ear and opening it. The skin tissue is lifted upwards to reach the deeper area. The deeper ligaments, called ligaments, are repositioned and the skin is stretched and the excess part is removed. The remaining skin is closed by sewing in front of and behind the ear in an inconspicuous manner. It starts with oil injection. In mid-face lifts, the middle face is pulled upwards by lifting the deep ligaments from the inside of the eyelid or endoscopically. 

Afterwards, if there is volume loss, the fat tissue taken from your own body is injected into the desired areas. Those who have a facelift can also have a forehead and eyebrow lift. This step is recommended for patients who have problems in the upper part of the face. In this procedure performed endoscopically, the incision is extended to the temporal side.

Typically, with a face lift, surgery is limited to the deep subcutaneous tissue. In exceptional cases, for example, when lifting the cheeks, manipulations can extend to the periosteum below the zygomatic bone. Also, the deeper structures are affected by the correction in the neck area and to obtain long-term results; for example, platysma plastic (thin muscle in the neck).

To lift a specific area, it is pulled together with sutures, which may or may not be absorbable, and attached to fixed structures, while the pulling of different areas also occurs in different directions. Lift usually results in the formation of excess skin, which is removed before the skin is sutured back together discreetly and without tension.

A face lift can be done endoscopically using a camera or several small incisions. The latter method is mainly used on the forehead because there is usually no excess skin. There are also options for the operation without incisions. Due to the thread lifting with gold or synthetic threads and hooks, incisions are no longer necessary, but since excess skin cannot be removed here, this procedure is limited to younger patients.

How is full face lift operation made?

face liftFull face lift operations start from the front of the ear and end at its back. Full face lift operations are made by lifting the skin with an incision from the back of the ear to the scalp. If the patient has no drooping in his/her neck, the scar is left by the ear, and this procedure can also be called face lift with a short scar.

This cosmetic operation is the procedure of suturing and lifting and shaping the layer beneath the skin that contains our mimic muscles, and it is very important for the patient not to regain its former facial form. If there is drooping or excess fat in the neck and double chin, fats are removed with the help of vaser liposuction. If the patient has wrinkles in his/her neck, the neck is opened with a short incision from the chin and neck muscles are sutured together. This procedure makes the angle of the neck prominent.

What is an endoscopic face lift?

Endoscopic face lift is not suitable for patients with excess skin. It is especially suitable for patients in their 40’s. Endoscopic face lift is performed with special tools and camera systems.

How is endoscopic face lift performed?

Endoscopic face lift takes 1 to 2 hours. It is performed with general anesthesia. The patient is kept under control for 1 night in the hospital after the operation. The patient is discharged by the doctor the next day. 

In endoscopic face lift, it is applied with imaging systems by entering through small holes. Endoscopic face lift is permanent. Minimal scar remains after the application. Recovery occurs in a very short time. Complications such as pain, bleeding and infection after endoscopic face lift are very few. Operations such as eyelid surgery, cheek fat injection, nasal tip aesthetics combined with endoscopic face lift can be performed.

What is a mini face lift?

Generally, women between the ages of 40 and 60 are disturbed by the signs of aging such as lines descending from the cheeks to the chin, sagging on the face, formation of under-eye bags, drooping of the eyebrows, sagging of the upper and lower eyelids, sliding down of the fat pads on the cheekbones, sagging of the chin. Mini facelift is also an operation that will remove the signs of aging of women.

Small and limited problems observed on the face under the age of 40 are eliminated with applications such as fillers and botox. However, there may be problems that cannot be resolved with filling and botox applications, and the person may request a face lift for an old appearance and sagging skin. 

The doctor decides on the suitability of a mini facelift. Because it may not be suitable for everyone. In a mini facelift, a 5-7 cm incision is made that is hidden inside the ear and extends to the scalp. Traces remain in the ear and in the hair. It is applied in a limited area and the facial skin is pulled up. Very natural results are obtained. Swelling and bruising are minimal after a mini facelift. Recovery takes a very short time.

How to do a modern face lift?

Face lift operations form a whole. Therefore, according to the needs of the person, eyelid aesthetics, forehead stretching, neck stretching, removing crow’s feet, surgical peeling of fine wrinkles, stem cell applications are applied simultaneously. In open face lift surgeries, there is a scar that goes in front of the ear, right to the bottom of the hair in the temple area, and extends to the back of the ear in some patients. 

Usually, time heals scars very well and it can be seen as very difficult. However, since the stretching of the skin in face lift surgery will not provide the desired permanent result, the tissue under the skin, which we call SMAS, may need to be shaped and brought back to its former position and fat injection may be required to the areas with volume loss. Your doctor will choose and apply the appropriate MACS Lift, High SMAS, Lateral SMASectomy and SMAS plication techniques for you.

How is the recovery process of face lift operation?

Many people who will have facelift surgery work hard and live actively, so patients want to be able to return to their daily lives quickly after the surgery.

Facelift surgery is performed under general anesthesia. Depending on the combined surgical procedures, the operation time varies between 3-7 hours. The first 48 hours after surgery are spent in the hospital. Being under observation for the first 24 hours is a medical necessity. When you come out of the surgery and are taken to your room, you will have a bandage on your face. This face bandage extends from around the ears to the neck under the head and exposes the center of the face. The purpose of the face bandage is to prevent bleeding under the skin after surgery. In total, this bandage is worn for 24 hours and is removed by your doctor the morning after the surgery. The first night, your doctor will give you a routine pain killer and you will not have much pain.

  • You will have your first control examination 1 week after the operation. 
  • After a week the bandages that cover the incision of the face will be removed. 
  • Taking shower and bath will be allowed. 
  • Our doctors are using aesthetic sutures and they will be absorbed or in other cases they will be removed by the doctor. 
  • You will be able to use make-up materials for covering the bruises on your face. 
  • Swellings will be gradually decreased. You will be able to start exercises. 
  • While you are sleeping you will need to continue keeping your head raised so you will get rid of the swellings.
  • The next controls will be in the first and third months. 
  • You can return to your social life 10-14 days after the surgery. Swelling becomes less noticeable.
  •  You can engage in light physical activities and low-stress work These days when your face will not fully heal; Make-up and hairstyle are very important in these periods. You can apply foundation to scars.
  • Your post-operative scars are not noticeable around 3 months and are barely visible even with a close look in the first year. 
  • After several weeks, most of the swellings will be gone by this time. Patients should continue to avoid the sunlight by using sun creams to protect the treated areas. 
  • Complete disappearance of bruises and swelling will take 20 days. However, it may take 3 months for the face to get fit and gain its final shape, depending on the procedures applied and thickness of the patient’s skin. 
  • The patient should protect himself/herself against direct sunlight for 3 months, as he/she should do after all face operations.

What is a non-surgical face lift?

 non-surgical face liftWhen it comes to non-surgical facial rejuvenation, botox (botulinum toxin application) and filler applications come to the fore first. The permanence of botulinum toxin applications is 4-6 months, and the permanence of filler injections is 6-18 months (depending on the thickness of the filler used). This method provides you with a younger appearance by filling the wrinkles in the skin.

Another non-surgical facial rejuvenation method is thread lift. Thread lift technique has a history of about 20 years. Especially in recent years, thanks to the new generation threads used in thread lift, they tighten the tissue on them with carriers rather than hanging the skin. These new generation threads are highly resistant to breaking. They have medical silicone on them and the probability of forming a reaction is negligible. It is a method that can be preferred by the doctor in suitable patients.

Frequently asked questions with face lift:

How should I prepare before face lift operation?

One should not take aspirin, smoke and consume alcohol for three weeks preceding the operation. It is recommended to avoid blood thinners within the last week before the operation.

For the best results from a circular face lift, it is very important to follow your doctor’s instructions.

Refrain from smoking for 3-4 months before surgery and for several weeks after surgery.

Do not take medications such as aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs.

Grow your hair so you can hide scars underneath.

What to expect during face lift recovery?

Recovery begins immediately after surgery. A bandage may be applied to your face to help regulate the swelling, and small drainage tubes may be placed under your skin to keep fluid from collecting.

After facelift surgery you may have inevitable pain, discomfort, pain killers can help in this situation. Every patients have different healing process, however there are following steps for all patients.

Is anesthesia required for face lift operation?

Face lift operation is done under general anesthesia in the hospital environment.

How long does a face lift operation take?

This operation generally takes 3-6 hours. If the person also needs eyelid lift, the operation will take 5-7 hours.

Does face lift bring permanent results?

After the operation, the aging process continues and loosening and drooping can be expected in lifted areas. However, the face never returns to its preoperative form. 

Permanence of results varies depending on the person’s features and technique used by the physician. If the person has a thick and oily skin, drooping can be observed earlier. The operation consists of several procedures determined according to the patient’s needs. It is very important that the patient and surgeon understand each other well and discuss the procedures to be applied.

What is the difference between a face lift operation and thread lift?

Face lift operation is a surgical procedure bringing completely permanent results. With a surgical method, excess skin tissue is cut and the face is sutured tightly. Face lift operation is performed under general anesthesia.

Thread lift is a medical application. It does not bring permanent results. Thread lift is applied with tiny incisions. Thanks to threads placed underneath the skin, skin is lifted up. Because medical threads are used in this application, the result fits mimics. Face lift operation is recommended to those with higher level skin drooping. If you have slight drooping and fine wrinkles, you can consider having a thread lift procedure

At what age is face lift operation made?

Facial rejuvenation operation is generally recommended in cases of high-level drooping. With a face lift operation, a drooping face that cannot be treated with botox or thread lift is rejuvenated permanently and effectively. Face lift is generally recommended to patients at the age 50 and over. But if the patient’s drooping and wrinkles are more than normal, face lift operation can also be made before age 50. In case of need, medical skin rejuvenation applications such as botox may be used as well.

What are the Risks of a surgical face lift?

As with any surgery, complications can also arise with a face lift. Common risks may include swelling, redness, subsequent bleeding, infections, and impaired wound healing with increased recovery times. Cases of scar formation are not excluded. For people who are prone to hypertrophic scars, postoperative treatment with an ointment to dissolve the scars may be helpful.

Special risks in face lift: elimination or intensification of asymmetry on the face. Each face has some asymmetries that are accentuated or diminished after the lifting.

How much does face lift cost in Turkey?

The prices of face lift operations vary according to the technique to be applied. Face lift prices are affected by many factors such as patient factors, hospital fees, doctor’s experience and choice of technique to be applied, and other combined surgeries. For the most accurate face lift price information for you, it would be appropriate for you to be examined first. 

You can contact us directly to make an appointment for an examination and to get general information about the prices of face lift operation. For Turkish Ministry of Health-accredited centers, it is not legal to specify prices on their website. Therefore, please dial +90212 241 46 24 to contact our clinic and get information on our face lift prices in İstanbul.

    Related Projects