Face Lift

Other names

  • Rhytidectomy
  • Face lifting
  • Facial or face plastic
  • Facial lift


Brief description

The face is formed by layers of skin, muscle and fat, arranged over the facial bones. Similar to a rubber band that was stretched, the face tissues weaken, thus losing elasticity, sturdiness and vigor. Damages caused by the sun among other factors destroy the skin’s support network, built up of collagen and elastin.

Moreover, the face muscles weaken and become distended, and the fat deposits, which generally give the face a rounded and smooth appearance, drop off and downsize, creating dimples. All these changes lead to deep wrinkles, jowls and sagging skin in the lower face.

The face rejuvenation surgery alleviates these aging signs, thus restoring a firmer and more youthful appearance. It is possible:

  • to lift the outer eyebrow edge and the cheeks,
  • to stretch the neck skin,
  • to reduce the jowl, double chin, and furrows around the lips.

In sum, the whole face skin is lifted up, boosting the face appearance harmoniously in order to grant it a younger, healthy, recovered and firmer appearance.

The procedure allows very natural outcomes as long as surgeon and patient discuss the possibilities thoroughly.

It is important to remember that a facelift does not correct fine lines or irregularities of skin shape and texture.

Note that, by the complete facelift, the skin detachment and access to deep structures are greater than the so-called mini facelift, a faster, smaller procedure with less scars, but with limited outcomes, treatment of more lateral structures and smaller skin resection. Each of both has its indication.


What is the ideal age to undergo a facelift?

There is no ideal age to undergo a facelift. It depends on the anatomical changes, the patient’s bio-psycho-social and health conditions allowing this surgical intervention.

Most often, the facelift is performed between 45 and 55 years of age.

However, there are cases of disorders such as the cutis laxa syndrome, a characteristically great facial skin sagging already in tender ages, as well as much more elderly patients in very good health conditions, able to submit to the surgery.

In sum: The most important is the patient’s health condition rather than his/her age!


The scars

By the classical facelift, the incisions are placed on the scalp (hidden under the hair), and in front and behind the ear. The scars tend to be quite discrete and under cover.


Postoperative period

Smoking reduces the blood supply significantly. The facial skin is very thin and thus more susceptible to problems caused by blood supply shortages, such as epitheliosis (proliferation of epithelial cells) or even necrosis. Therefore, especially by a facelift, it is highly recommended to avoid smoking at least one month before and one month after surgery.

Postoperative pain is rare, solved by a common painkiller.

Common postoperative intercurrences are: hematoma, seroma (fluid accumulation that must be punctured), swelling, dehiscence (wound reopening), little asymmetries, temporary nerve paralysis. The following are rare: extensive skin necrosis, unaesthetic scars (stretched scars and keloid), permanent facial asymmetry, permanent nerve paralysis. All fairly manageable through postoperative reinterventions.

Most patients experience mild to moderate swelling, which fades away around the 2nd week, and small areas of open wound, especially behind the ears, improving around the 3rd week by using specific ointments.

Bruises, the most frequent acute complication, last 1 or 2 weeks, but, if promptly treated, they do not cause major problems.

The recovery process lasts generally 2 to 3 weeks.

It is important to plan the surgery so that you can stay away from social contact during approximately 15 days, since you will have operative wounds with stitches and little scabs, bruises and edema (swelling), which may motivate unfavorable comments.

The return to work will depend on the type of tasks performed. Usually in 2 to 3 weeks, this return is possible.

Even if you feel fit to return to work within 1 or 2 weeks, it is recommendable to avoid strenuous activities, such as workout or fitness up to one month, so that your body has sufficient time to heal. Lymphatic drainage is recommendable to speed up and enhance the swelling reduction process.

The bruises are reabsorbed, and the surgery outcome is noticeable after about 30 days.

If a surgical drain is used, it is usually removed one day after surgery, and not absorbed stitches are removed 7 to 15 days after surgery.

Sun exposure and extreme heat should be avoided as long as bruises persist, at least until the 2nd month. However, intense sun and heat should be avoided ideally until the 6th postoperative month in order to minimize reactions such as hyperpigmentation (scar darkening). You should always wear sunscreen.

Factors that may interfere with the final surgery outcome are: preexisting facial asymmetries as well as resistant wrinkles and furrows.

By the preoperative evaluation, these factors as well as skin elasticity / sagging level, folds, wrinkles and dimples are canvassed.

Complementary treatments, such as special creams, botulinum toxin (Botox), dermal fillers, chemical peels, laser etc., may be recommended, depending on the skin type and preexisting problems.

The facelift outcomes last from 3 to 10 years, and even longer in case of favorable skin quality. The surgery postpones but does not stop the evolutionary aging process. However, the facelift can be repeated without major problems.

Watch our video about face lift.
Watch our video about forehead lift.

Solicitar exportação de dados

Use este formulário para solicitar uma cópia de seus dados neste site.

Solicitar a remoção de dados

Use este formulário para solicitar a remoção de seus dados neste site.

Solicitar retificação de dados

Use este formulário para solicitar a retificação de seus dados neste site. Aqui você pode corrigir ou atualizar seus dados, por exemplo.

Solicitar cancelamento de inscrição

Use este formulário para solicitar a cancelamento da inscrição do seu e-mail em nossas listas de e-mail.