Facelift and Necklift

When features of the face begin to appear lackluster and show signs of aging, facelift surgery can significantly improve these issues. Depending on your concerns and aesthetic goals, Dr. Ho will tailor her facelift technique accordingly to bring back contour and youth to your face in a natural way.

What is Rhytidectomy?

Rhytidectomy is the technical term for the facelift procedure and is designed to surgically rejuvenate the midface, jawline, and neck areas. Youthful faces typically portray a more inverted pyramid appearance that includes good cheek and jaw definition. With the aging process, gravity forces over time flip the pyramid and bring about jowling (sagging of skin below the jawline) with decreased jaw definition, increased neck skin laxity, and neck muscle banding. Although non-surgical treatments such as filler injections and threading may help temporarily hide or soften these issues, the skin and soft tissue changes in the midface, lower face, and neck can only be definitively addressed by surgery. The facelift procedure is designed to redrape and resuspend the skin and deeper tissues of the face and neck to restore a more youthful appearance. This surgery requires the expertise of a surgeon who specializes in plastic surgery of the face and understands facial anatomy well, as associated possible risks with this procedure include injury to the facial nerve. Dr. Ho specializes in aging face procedures and performs each facelift according to the anatomic findings and surgical goals of the individual patient.

What is Neck Lift?

Neck lift is a surgical procedure that focuses on rejuvenation of the neck. In similar fashion as the facelift, this surgery repositions the skin and deeper tissues of the neck to create a more youthful contour. The incisions for a neck lift are often more limited compared to those of a facelift. Depending on the anatomy and surgical history and goals of the patient, this procedure may be performed alone or in conjunction with a facelift. Dr. Ho is experienced in performing neck lift and will thoroughly evaluate each patient and discuss with them whether they are a candidate for this procedure.

What is Dr. Ho’s approach to Facelift and Neck Lift?

As a facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Ho specializes exclusively in aesthetic and reconstructive procedures of the head and neck region. She possesses dedicated training in aging face procedures from one of the top facial plastic and reconstructive surgery fellowship programs in the country. Dr. Ho dedicates ample time and effort with every patient to determine the best surgical plan and to establish realistic goals and expectations with surgery. Her surgical technique focuses on creating a natural, more youthful-appearing result that is tailored to the individual patient’s anatomy. Dr. Ho places incisions along the hairline and natural skin creases for minimal scarring. Her surgical approach targets repositioning of the skin as well as the deeper tissue layers including the SMAS (superficial musculoaponeurotic system) layer, an important muscle layer involved in suspension of tissues in the face. Furthermore, Dr. Ho often performs fat transfer in conjunction with facelift and neck lift to restore volume to facial areas in the face such as the temples, cheeks, and lips and further enhance a patient’s rejuvenated appearance. Her goal is to create a fresh, more youthful, and unoperated look for every facelift and neck lift patient.

What should patients expect after Facelift and Neck Lift?

Each facelift and neck lift procedure is different and catered to the individual patient. Therefore, the types of incisions utilized as well as extent of swelling, bruising, and tenderness that occur after surgery will vary by patient. Closed suction drains are typically placed in the surgical sites underneath the skin to collect bloody drainage and help reduce the formation of a hematoma (blood fluid collection) or seroma (serous fluid collection) that may interfere with healing after surgery. A compression dressing is placed around the head and neck region at the conclusion of the surgery to prevent hematoma or seroma formation as well. Every facelift and neck lift patient will follow-up with Dr. Ho the following day after surgery for compression dressing removal and replacement and drain removal. Each patient will then follow-up again at one and two weeks after surgery for suture and staple removal. Any immediate bruising and swelling after surgery can be managed well with icing, head elevation, and compression dressing adherence with the majority resolving by two weeks out from surgery. Patients who undergo additional fat transfer may experience more lingering swelling that may take up to one month to resolve. Post-operative pain is usually managed well with prescribed pain medication. Improvement in the appearance of the face and neck is typically observed immediately or after most of the swelling has subsided. Dr. Ho seeks regular follow-up with her patients to ensure that every patient heals well and is satisfied with their surgical outcome.

What type of patient is the ideal candidate for Facelift and Neck Lift?

The ideal candidate for facelift and neck lift is a healthy non-smoker patient who has no remarkable medical or surgical history, does not take blood-thinning medications, and demonstrates strong bony facial features, normal hyoid position, and good skin elasticity. Patients with moderate to significant skin and soft tissue laxity in the midface, lower face, and neck areas will most benefit from facelift and/or neck lift. The Dedo classification of the aging neck helps guide the plastic surgeon in identifying ideal candidates for facelift and neck lift as well as the specific anatomic components of the lower face and neck of the individual patient that need to be addressed with surgery. Class VI patients have an abnormal hyoid position and will likely have suboptimal results with facelift and neck lift surgery. Dr. Ho utilizes the Dedo classification principles as well as her aesthetic experience and intuition to restore natural, freshly rejuvenated facial and neck contours in her patients.

What is Platysma Banding?

Platysma banding is considered as one of the first signs of aging in the neck. It refers to the appearance of vertical neck lines usually in the midline of the neck that become more pronounced with facial animation and is due to hyperactivity of the platysma muscle. There are various non-surgical and surgical treatment options for improving this issue that range from neurotoxin to platysma plication, which can be performed at the time of facelift and neck lift. Dr. Ho is experienced in both non-surgical and surgical management of platysma banding and will work with each patient to determine the best treatment option based on their neck anatomy and treatment goals.

What are other surgical procedures that are routinely performed with Facelift?

It is common for other procedures to be performed at the same time as facelift surgery, depending on the patient’s anatomic issues and surgical goals. They include but are not limited to the following: neck lift, fat transfer, platysma plication, submental liposuction, chin augmentation, and blepharoplasty. Dr. Ho is experienced in a wide range of aging face procedures and will thoroughly evaluate each facelift candidate and discuss with them whether they would benefit from additional procedures at the time of their facelift surgery.

What is the difference between Facelift and Lower Facelift? What is a Mini Facelift?

Plastic surgeons who specialize in facelift surgery may use a variety of terminology to label the procedure to help distinguish their surgical approach for marketing and patient education purposes. Lower facelift typically refers to a facelift procedure that only addresses the lower face including the jawline. Mini facelift can be described as a facelift surgery that involves smaller incisions and less tissue resuspension and benefits those patients with milder skin and soft tissue laxity issues. Therefore, terms such as lower facelift and mini facelift may give patients the impression that the anticipated surgery is less invasive with shorter downtime compared to traditional facelift surgery. Dr. Ho spends ample time and effort to explain her customized surgical approach to each facelift patient and address their questions and concerns to ensure that both are on the same page regarding surgical goals and expectations.

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