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In time, gravity, sun exposure, and the stresses of daily life take their toll on our faces and necks. Deep creases appear beside the mouth, the jaw line slackens and becomes jowly, and the neck develops loose folds and fat deposits. Face lifts counteract these signs of aging by tightening muscle, removing fat, and trimming excess skin, giving your face a fresher, youthful look. After surgery, some patients look 10-15 years younger.

What can a face lift do for me?


Face lifts, technically known as rhytidectomies (literally, “removal of wrinkles”), rejuvenate the mid- to lower face and neck. Face lifts are most effective for patients who want to correct:

Midface sagging

Deep creases under the eyes

Deep creases between the nose and mouth (nasolabial folds)

Jowls due to loss of muscle tone

Sagging areas of fat

Loose skin and fat under the chin and jaw

Face Lift Intended Results


A more rested and youthful contour to the face and neck.

What won’t a face lift correct?


Face lifts can produce a dramatic improvement in appearance for patients with the problems mentioned above. However, face lifts do not stop the aging process; in time, signs of aging will gradually appear once again.

Further, face lifts will not rejuvenate the brow, eyelids, nose, and some of the midface. Patients who want to improve these areas may consider combining a face lift with a brow lift or eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty).

Injectable soft-tissue fillers, facial implants and skin resurfacing can also enhance the effects of a face lift.

Am I a good candidate for a face lift?


If you have experienced a loss of skin elasticity and muscle tone of the face and neck.

If you have the appearance of jowls and deep creases between the base of the nose and the corners of the mouth.

If you have developed facial and neck wrinkles.

If you believe you lack youthful chin and neck contours.

If you think you have a tired facial appearance.

The best candidates for rhytidectomy:

Wish to improve one or more of the signs of aging indicated above

Are men or women whose faces have begun to sag, but whose skin still has some elasticity

Are generally healthy

Do not smoke

Have realistic expectations

Are considering a face lift for personal reasons, not because someone else is pressuring them to do so

How is a rhytidectomy performed?


Face lifts are typically outpatient procedures and may be performed in an office-based facility, surgery center or hospital. Patients may have a choice of IV sedation or general anesthesia. The procedure takes about two hours.

The way a face lift is performed varies depending on the surgeon, the patient’s facial structure, and the extent of correction desired. The three most common incision techniques are:

Traditional face lift: The “full” face lift for rejuvenating the face, jowls and neck, including fat sculpting, lifting and repositioning of muscle and deeper tissues, and skin trimming and redraping. The incision begins at the temples and travels down to the front of the ear, around the earlobe, and behind the ear to the lower scalp at the hairline. Sometimes, another incision is made under the chin.

Limited-incision face lift: For limited rejuvenation around the eyes and mouth, including nasolabial folds and other deep creases. Short incisions are made at the temples and around the ear, and possibly in the lower eyelids and/or under the upper lip as well.

Neck lift: A neck lift concentrates on jowls, loose skin on the neck, and fat under the chin. The incision is made around the ear lobe and behind the ear to the lower scalp.

In all three methods, incisions are closed with stitches or tissue glue. Scars are hidden in the hairline and natural contours of the face.

Are there different techniques to perform a face lift?


There are several face lift procedures, and each one has its advantages and disadvantages. Dr. De La Cruz will decide with you the face lift procedure that would produce a rested and more youthful face. The face lift procedures that Dr. De La Cruz performs are:

MACS Face lift

3D Volumetric Face lift with fat transfer

High SMAS or Deep Plane Face lift

What is the recovery from a face lift like?


After your rhytidectomy, your plastic surgeon will wrap the incisions in bandages and may place drainage tubes in the area. The tubes will be taken out the next day, when your hair will be carefully washed. If surgical clips are used to hold the incisions closed, they will be removed one week after the face lift along with your stitches.

At first, you may experience swelling, numbness, bruising, and a feeling of tightness or tension in the face and neck. Your face may look uneven or distorted, and your facial muscles may feel stiff. Most of these usually resolve within 3-6 weeks, and sensation typically returns to normal within a few months. Scars become less red, raised, lumpy or itchy in time.

Many patients return to work by the third week. Camouflage cosmetics can be used to minimize the appearance of bruising.

You should be gentle with your skin and hair as you recover. Men may need to shave behind the neck and ears where areas of beard-growing skin have moved.

How long do the effects of a face lift last?


Results of a face lift do not last forever. You may want to have another procedure in five or ten years. But in another sense, the effects are permanent; years later, your face will continue to look better than if you had never had a face lift.

What are the risks of rhytidectomy?


Possible complications of face lift include: bleeding, infection, bruising, uneven swelling or discoloration, allergic reaction to the anesthesia, skin blistering (usually only seen in smokers), and temporary or permanent loss of sensation in the face. Dr. De La Cruz will discuss the risks and benefits of a face lift with you before your surgery. Dr. De La Cruz will also discuss with you which technique would be best suited to your goals and would give the best possible outcome that would give a more rested and youthful face.

» Schedule your Face Lift Consultation with Dr. De La Cruz today by calling 832.520.1844

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