A facelift, or Rhytidectomy, is one of the most common facial procedures to help return a more youthful look to the face. This procedure is performed on more than 150,000 men and women a year. At Ponte Vedra Plastic Surgery in Jacksonville, Florida, our knowledgeable and experienced surgeons will work with you to improve the overall aesthetic of the face and create a more youthful appearance. A facelift addresses the concerns of the lower two thirds of your face. It removes lax facial skin, repositions and reduces underlying excess fat deposits, and tightens underlying muscles and deeper tissues, giving you a more rested, youthful look. Today’s facelift is more effective, natural-looking, and longer lasting than ever before. Many patients can look as much as 10 to 15 years younger. Facelifts are often performed in conjunction with other procedures such as: neck lifts, eyelid surgery, brow lifts, dermal fillers, and/or skin treatments.
There are various techniques used today to perform a facelift. Facial anatomy, skin laxity and the overall aesthetic goal of the patient will determine the best approach. Each procedure will be unique to the patient and will vary based on the type and location of the incision, the number of tissue layers affected, the plane of elevation and the level of invasiveness.
Skin Only Facelift
The skin only facelift has been in practice since the early 1900s. Known as a cutaneous facelift, this technique is less invasive because it addresses the skin only. The result of this surgery is a bit subtler than some of the newer muscle tightening procedures. However, it also offers a lower risk and recovery period for the patient.
Traditional Facelift (SMAS)
This SMAS facelift is considered the gold standard. This surgery, while more complicated, produces results that are more dramatic and longer lasting. The technique involves manipulating a group of muscles beneath the skin known as the superficial musculo-aponeurotic system (SMAS). This section of muscle controls facial expression. An incision is made along the hairline from the temple to just behind the earlobe. The skin is then separated and lifted. The underlying muscles and tissue are tightened and secured so they maintain their new position.
Deep Plane Lift
The deep plane lift goes a step further than the traditional approach. It is better suited for those with severe sagging and drooping — usually reserved for older patients. In addition to the SMAS layer being adjusted, a deeper section, known as the deep plane, is also treated. While this procedure offers certain advantages over a traditional facelift, surgeons must be skilled and act with caution so facial nerves are not damaged during the surgical process.
A mini facelift is geared towards patients who want some of the benefits of a facelift, while at the same time minimizing the cost and invasive nature of the surgery. Some procedures that are considered “mini” include the “Quicklift” or “Lifestyle Lift”. Patients who wish to maximize the outcome of their surgery, resulting in the most dramatic results, will most likely need to turn to having a full facelift in order to meet these aesthetic goals.
All facelift procedures are performed under general anesthesia at an accredited surgical facility. The length of the surgery will vary, but it generally takes between 3-4 hours. This surgery is considered an outpatient procedure. However, some patients may be required to stay overnight in the hospital. After surgery, patients will be bruised and swollen and the face and neck will feel tight. This will gradually improve within a few days. It is common for patients to feel anxious about how their face will appear. Patients need to understand it can take several full months for the final results to appear.
BOTOX®, injectable fillers, microdermabrasion and chemical peels are examples of some non-surgical procedures that can assist in smoothing out wrinkles, improving fine lines and adding facial volume. These procedures also help to even out skin tone. However, these are treatments that will only affect the skin’s surface. Patients with loose skin, drooping jowls or a sagging neck will need to consider surgery if they want these features improved.
Will I Look Fake?
In the days immediately following facelift surgery, patients will feel tight and pulled. These are some short-term effects, but they will subside. It’s important to find a reputable surgeon skilled in facial surgery. Surgeons who know what they are doing will make every effort to work within the confines of the patient’s bone, skin and muscle structures so a younger, more natural look can result.
Facelift surgery does require a long incision. However, in almost all cases, these scars are well hidden as they fall just along the hairline and around the ears in the natural folds of the scalp. In most cases, the scars should be barely visible to the naked eye.
The common age range for patients who undergo a facelift is between 50-70. It is safe to say most patients will look 5-10 years younger following a facelift procedure. Younger patients (40-50 years old) generally have stronger skin elasticity so their results may last longer than those of someone older. However, older patients may have results that appear more dramatic and, for them, this can be very worthwhile. Patients should think of a facelift as a process to turn back the aging clock. You will still age, but you will appear a few years younger.
"After leaving my appointment with Dr. Sternberg at the south-side location yesterday, I am now confident to proceed with a lower face-lift. His comments to me made me realize how beneficial the skin care I have received with Emily's guidance...proved to be beneficial! Emily has always been very professional with each appointment, her direction as to what would be best for my skin type, the encouragement to be consistent with monthly facials over the last two years allowed my to have the results that not only I can see but others too! Obviously Dr, Sternberg and his nurse, Robin were able to see the results. Thank you Emily for being the best of the best and helping me!!"- J.J. / Office Visit / Nov 11, 2015
"Ready for Prime Time in 1 Week- NATURAL Result! Ponte Vedra Beach, FL - Genuine, knowledgable, honest, skilled, experienced and trustworthy. Strives for a natural result. You will look like you only refreshed! - - I am 57 years old and had been consumed with pulling my face back tight every time I looked in the nirror. It's like in the last 10 months my face fell and became uneven (where there had been symmetry) and SQUARE where there used to an oval face. Being told "you look tired" along with avoiding photo opps. Until Enough! I had been able to hold my face together with Botox and Juevederm and sculptra but clearly injections were not enough. I met with 3 Drs in the practice and liked what Dr Runseys plan for me was which was a simple mini face lift and upper eye lid surgery. NO fat injections as an outpatient!. Both surgeries perforned at their Ponte Vedra Beach location with an anesthesologist from the Baptist Beach hospital I wanted a natural and refreshed look.... not dramatic like Meg Ryan @ the Tony's although I do like her movies. I guess some would describe him as conservative but he isn't... He just likes to keep it natural! He is genuine, honest, smart, skilled and experienced doctor. Here I am 7 days post op and I look normal! In fact I was up and about Day 2 on BUT did not overdo it to help with the swelling. I had:have no bruising, the swelling is not notifciable. the only thibg noticable are the cuts on my eyes. It will take a bit for the scars to form, lighten and blend in. As for my result.... I have an oval face, I have a nice youthful jaw line and my eyes look brighter and large... I dont look TIRED. I am tempted to post pre and post photos. Dr Rumsey is a masterful surgeon, an artist and again.... Keeps it real/ natural. The only areas that are not quite comfortable are my ears... But they sure look pretty great. I also did my part with the resting, diet, fluids and cleaning/ medicating the sutures .Tips: for eye lid surgery a must is Swiss Therapy transdermal eye mask set of 3. These are AMAZING!! And for both surgeries... 100% natural pineapple juice daily! My biggest regret was not havig this procedure done 10 months ago. I finally look as young as I feel and I feel GREAT! A bonus, since my face is oval again and not square my husband says I look like I lost 20lbs with just the difference in my facae! I don't need to lose weight but this just shows how unflattering a heavy square jowled face can be."- I. / RealSelf / Jun 28, 2016
Each facelift surgery is unique and will be tailored to each patient. Most patients can expect to pay between $6,000-$8,000 for a less invasive/skin only facelift, while more invasive procedures, such as the SMAS facelift and the deep plane facelift, can run between $8,000-$14,000. RealSelf.com lists the average facelift cost at $11,050.