Facelift is a cosmetic surgery procedure used to reposition sagging facial tissues and remove redundant facial skin. Medically often referred to as rhytidectomy, facelifts were first performed over one hundred years ago and began as simple excisions of small amounts of skin near the ears and along hairlines to tighten loose facial skin. In the 1970's the SMAS facelift technique was introduced by Dr. Tord Skoog of Sweden that lifted the soft tissues of the cheek by diverting tension away from the skin to the deeper SMAS (superficial musculoaponeurotic system) layer of the face. This technique resulted in a major shift in how facelifts were performed and laid the foundation for most modern facelift procedures. In the 1980's improved versions of the SMAS technique were developed in the U.S. by Dr. Sam Hamra, Dr. Bruce Connel, Dr. James Stuzen and others. In the 1990's, Dr. Sydney Coleman developed techniques for fat grafting to the face to restore lost facial fullness and correct facial atrophy. Techniques to lift the mid-face, the upper, inner part of the cheek, were introduced by Dr. Oscar Ramirez, Dr. Steve Byrd, Dr. Rod Hester and others at this time. In 2000 Dr. Henry Mentz, triple board certified plastic surgeon of Houston, wrote the facelift chapter in Operative Plastic Surgery and introduced the combination of skin tightening, soft tissue lifting and volume restoration. In 2002 Dr. Timothy Marten of San Francisco published "Maintenance Facelift: Early Facelift for Younger Patients" in the textbook "Facelift: State of the Art" and introduced a treatment philosophy and technique designed to treat younger patients. In 2005 Dr. Marten published the "Lamellar High SMAS Face and Mid-face Lift Technique" that allowed simultaneous and combined lifting of the face and mid-face, and bidirectional shifting of the superficial and deep layers of the face in the Art of Aesthetic Surgery.
The newest facelift techniques can lift, restore and rejuvenate the face and produce a more long lasting, youthful and natural appearance with fewer tell tale signs that surgery has been performed. The surgery is done in the operating room and typically takes 3 to 6 hours. Local anesthesia, local anesthesia with sedation, and general anesthesia are used depending on the patient's circumstances and the surgeon's preference. Recovery is limited by bruising and swelling, and varies depending on the technique used. Patients generally return to work in 1 to 4 weeks and are typically healed in 4 to 6 months. The complete healing process can encompass 9 to 12 months. Related procedures to rejuvenate other areas of the face are frequently performed in conjunction with facelifts, including forehead lifts, neck lifts, rhinoplasty (nose reshaping), and blepharoplasty (eye lifts).
It is very important to have your surgery performed by a surgeon who is extensively trained to work on the face: Usually either Otolaryngology, Maxillofacial Surgery, or Plastic Surgery.