What Is a Facelift (Rhytidectomy)?

Over time, gravity and sun exposure take a toll on your face and neck. Deep creases appear running from each side of your nose to the corners of your mouth; your jawline slackens; and your neck develops loose folds and fat deposits. Rhytidectomy, better known as a facelift, counteracts these signs of aging by tightening muscles, removing fat and trimming excess skin. A facelift improves the look of the lower and middle areas of the face and neck. It is most effective for correcting:

  • Mid-face sagging
  • Deep creases under the eyes
  • Nasolabial folds
  • Jowls
  • Sagging fat
  • Loose skin and fat under the chin and jaw

Although a facelift removes or reduces signs of aging, over time they will gradually reappear. Rhytidectomy does not improve the look of the brow, eyelids or nose and some parts of the mid-face. A patient who wants to improve those areas might combine facelift with a brow lift or eyelid surgery and/or injectable soft-tissue fillers, facial implants and skin resurfacing.

Is a facelift right for you?

The best candidates for a facelift want to correct one or more of the signs of aging indicated above; have some facial sagging but still have elasticity in their skin; are generally healthy; do not smoke; and have realistic expectations about what rhytidectomy can do for them. Rhytidectomy is typically performed as an outpatient procedure in an office-based facility, surgery center or hospital. Patients may choose IV sedation or general anesthesia. A traditional rhytidectomy is a “full” facelift that rejuvenates the face, jowls and neck and includes sculpting and redistributing of fat; lifting and repositioning of muscle and deeper tissues; and trimming and re-draping of skin. A limited-incision facelift improves the area around the eyes and mouth by reducing nasolabial folds and other deep creases.

Recovery after a facelift

You may feel postsurgical swelling, numbness, bruising and a feeling of tightness or tension in the face and neck. Your face may look uneven or distorted. Most of these side effects resolve within several weeks. Many patients return to work by the third week. Camouflage cosmetics can minimize the appearance of bruising.

When you’re ready to love the way you look, look to Aron Kressel, MD. Call 212.772.6968 or use our convenient Request a Consultation form. We welcome patients from Wayne, Upper East Side, Lenox Hill, Midtown, Midtown East and surrounding locations.

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  • Dr. Kressel and his team were all very kind and kept me comfortable while waiting for the surgery. The before care, during, and aftercare from him and his team made this experience worth it. I knew I was in good hands from the beginning, and I'd recommend Dr. Kressel to anyone! The results from his work are phenomenal and I am glad he was my doctor.
    - P.R

  • Dr. Kressel went above and beyond, meeting me outside of operating hours to stitch up my face. Everything went well and the stitches were removed less than a week later with minimal scarring.
    - K.S

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