Facelift - GO.CARE Blog
Author: Hào Nghiêm
Review Date: August 5, 2018 | Last Modified: January 22, 2019


1. What is a facelift?

A facelift, or rhytidectomy, is a procedure in cosmetic surgery that aims to give a more youthful appearance to the face.

2. What is the purpose of a facelift?

facelift phẫu thuật nâng mặt

A facelift can help reshape the lower half of the face by removing excess facial skin. It tightens loose, hanging skin around the jawline, also known as “jowls.” It can also remove deep creases around the mouth and nose, and excess, hanging skin and fat under the chin and in the neck.

The procedure can also tighten the underlying tissues, and it may be combined with surgery to enhance the forehead, cheeks, brows, and eyelids.


1. When is a facelift needed?

As you get older, your facial skin changes — sagging and becoming loose. This can make the lower part of your face appear rectangular in shape. A face-lift can give your face a more youthful heart-like shape.

You might consider a face-lift if:

  • Your facial skin has become loose
  • Your cheeks are sagging
  • The creases below your lower eyelids and around your lower lip and chin are becoming deeper
  • You have excess skin hanging from your lower jawline (jowls)
  • You’ve lost definition and have excess fat in your neck
  • Vertical bands of skin in your neck (platysmal bands) have become visible

A face-lift isn’t a treatment for superficial wrinkles, sun damage, creases around the nose and upper lip, or irregularities in skin color.

2. Who are eligible for a facelift?

A face-lift isn’t for everyone. Your doctor might caution against a face-lift if you:

•   Take blood thinners.

Use of blood thinners (Coumadin, Plavix, others) can affect the blood’s ability to clot and increase the risk of bleeding after a face-lift.

•   Have a medical condition.

In case of you have a medical condition, such as an unusual tendency to bleeding, you won’t be able to have a face-lift. If you have a condition that might interfere with your ability to heal after a face-lift, such as uncontrolled diabetes or high blood pressure, your doctor might urge caution.

If possible, your doctor will work with you to manage your condition in preparation for a face-lift.

•   Have a history of repeated weight gain and loss.

Repeated stretching of the facial skin can cause your skin to prematurely become loose again after a face-lift.

•   Smoke.

Smoking increases the risk that you’ll experience skin loss after a face-lift. If you smoke, your doctor will recommend that you stop smoking before surgery and during recovery.

Need further information? Contact GO.CARE manage team to get more details from expert doctors and medical specialists.


A facelift is expensive. The average cost for a facelift in the U.S. in 2016 was $7,503. It is not normally covered by insurance.


1. What should I do before a facelift?

Initially, you’ll talk to a plastic surgeon about a face-lift. During your first visit, your plastic surgeon will likely:

  • Review your medical history

The doctor will ask you for some questions about current and past medical conditions, such as high blood pressure. Talk about any medications, including over-the-counter drugs and herbal supplements, you’re taking or have taken recently — especially those that might affect your blood’s ability to clot — as well as any surgeries you’ve had.

  • Do a physical exam

To determine your treatment options, the doctor will examine your facial skin, facial bone structure and neck. Patients who have thin, angular faces are likely to achieve better results from a face-lift than are patients who have round faces, low cheekbones or short jawbones.

The doctor will also note any scars, skin irregularities or asymmetry in your face before recommending a specific technique. He or she might also take pictures of your face for your medical record.

  • Discuss your expectations

Explain why you want a face-lift and what you’re hoping for in terms of appearance after the procedure. Make sure you understand the benefits and risks, including scarring and hair loss. Everyone has some asymmetry in their face that will remain after surgery.

Before a face-lift you might also need to:

  • Follow medication directions

You’ll likely need to avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements, which can increase bleeding. Also, if you’re prone to high blood pressure, you might need to take blood pressure medication before a face-lift.

  • Wash your face and hair

You’ll likely need to bathe and wash your hair the night before and the morning of your face-lift.

  • Avoid eating

You’ll be asked to avoid eating anything after midnight the night before your face-lift.

  • Arrange for help during recovery

If your face-lift is done as an outpatient procedure, make plans for someone to drive you home after surgery and stay with you for at least one to two days.

2. What should I do after a facelift?

Incisions and bandages must be kept dry, and the patient should follow the specific instructions about bathing and washing.

It is important to follow the doctor’s instructions, as this will speed the healing process and allow for the best possible result.

It is worth remembering that while genetics play a role, a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and sufficient exercise can also help to maintain the appearance of the skin.

Avoiding smoking and limiting alcohol intake, stress, sun exposure, and contact with pollutants can all help extend the youthful appearance of skin.

The same habits can help maintain the effects of facelift surgery.

Need further information? Contact GO.CARE manage team to get more details from expert doctors and medical specialists.


facelift phẫu thuật nâng mặt

1. How long does a facelift last?

Facelift surgery usually takes between two and four hours. For extensive and/or multiple treatments, your doctor may schedule two separate sessions. Some surgeons complete one side of the face at a time, while others alternate from one side to the other throughout the procedure. The person can normally go home on the same day after surgery.

2. How is the procedure of a facelift?

A face-lift can be done in a hospital or an outpatient surgical facility. Sometimes the procedure is done with sedation and local anesthesia, which numbs only part of your body. In other cases, general anesthesia — which renders you unconscious — is recommended.

During the procedure

Techniques used to remove facial skin and reposition facial and neck tissues vary depending on your desired results. The specific technique your plastic surgeon chooses will determine the location of the incisions and the resulting scars.

Your doctor might use one or more of the following techniques:

  • Traditional facelift

Your doctor will make incisions in your hairline starting at your temples, continuing down and around the front of your ears and ending behind your ears in your lower scalp. An incision might be made under your chin to improve the appearance of your neck.

  • Limited-incision facelift

Your doctor will make short incisions in your hairline starting at your temples and continuing down and around the front of your ears. Incisions might also be made in the lower eyelids or under the upper lip.

  • Neck lift

Your doctor will make incisions starting in front of your earlobes and continuing around behind your ears in your lower scalp as well as a small incision under your chin.

After making the incisions, your doctor will sculpt or redistribute fat from your face, jowls or neck and redistribute the underlying tissues. He or she might also use a suction technique to remove fat (liposuction).

In some cases, fat suctioned from other areas of your body might need to be added to specific areas of your face. Your skin will then be draped over the new contours and excess skin will be removed. Your surgeon will close the incisions by stitches or tape.

3. What happens after the procedure?

After a face-lift, the doctor will place bulky bandages to cover your incisions that provide gentle pressure to minimize swelling and bruising. A small tube might be placed under the skin behind one or both of your ears to drain any excess blood or fluid.

In the first few days after a face-lift:

  • Rest with your head elevated and take pain medication as recommended by your doctor
  • Avoid exposing your incisions to excessive pressure or motion
  • Don’t wear clothing that needs to be placed over your head

Most patients experience some discomfort, but medication can relieve tenderness.

Bruising and swelling will be at their worst after 2 days, and they can persist for a few days.

You’ll probably see your doctor the day after your face-lift.

The doctor will likely remove your drainage tube, apply antibiotic ointment to your incisions and may place new bandages on your face. Two to three days after your face-lift, you may be able to switch from wearing bandages to an elasticized facial sling.

Your doctor will likely remove your stitches during separate visits about a week after your face-lift. Besides that, he or she will also carefully check your incisions for ingrown hairs, which need to be removed to prevent infection and inflammation.

Your incisions will crust as they begin to heal. Don’t pick at the crusts. In most cases, you can shower and wash your hair with shampoo to gently and gradually remove the crusts.

You might prefer to remain home while you’re recovering from a face-lift. A week after your face-lift, you can begin using makeup to the edge of your scars to conceal any redness or bruising. Avoid unprotected sun exposure until your scars are no longer pink. While the length of recovery varies it is best not to plan any important social engagements until about six weeks after the surgery.

After a face-lift, contact your doctor immediately if you have:

  • Pain on one side of your face or neck within 12 hours of surgery
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Irregular heartbeats

Need further information? Contact GO.CARE manage team to get more details from expert doctors and medical specialists.

Complications & Side Effects

1. What complications could arise from a facelift?

Complications of facelift surgery are infrequent, and cosmetic procedures are generally safe, as long as they are carried out by a qualified and experienced professional.

However, any surgery comes with some risk.

The risks and complications of facelift surgery include:

  • Bleeding
  • Complications of anesthesia
  • Damage to the facial nerves controlling muscles, usually temporary
  • Hematoma
  • Infection
  • Loss of hair around the incision site, but this is uncommon
  • Numbness, which can improve within days or weeks
  • Skin necrosis, or tissue death
  • Unevenness between two sides of the face
  • Widening or thickening of scar

2. What are the possible side effects of a facelift?

Possible side effects may include:

  • Pain and numbness
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Scarring

Need further information? Contact GO.CARE manage team to get more details from expert doctors and medical specialists.

Please choose the best hospitals and clinics that provide facelift in Asia to get the most suitable healthcare for your condition.

GO.CARE does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

1. Face-lift https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/face-lift/about/pac-20394059 Accessed June 14, 2018.

2. Face Lift Surgery Risks https://www.docshop.com/education/cosmetic/face/face-lift/risks-complications Accessed June 14, 2018.

3. Facelift: What you need to know https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/244066.php Accessed June 14, 2018.

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