What Is A Facelift? What Is A Rhytidectomy?

A facelift is a surgical procedure that is typically used to give a more youthful appearance to the face. Technically, it is also called a rhytidectomy. This type of cosmetic surgery reshapes the lower one-third of the face by removing excess facial skin. Some facelift procedures also include the tightening of underlying tissues. To achieve the best result, it is often combined with other additional procedures addressing the forehead, cheeks, brows and eyes. According to statistics, facelifts are increasingly popular among both men and women.

The first facelift was performed in Berlin in 1901 by surgeon Eugen Holländer.

According to Medilexicon’s medical dictionary, a rhytidectomy is:

“Literally, excision of wrinkles. Usually used to designate rejuvenative surgery of the cheeks and neck performed by tightening the facial supporting structures and excising excess skin; face-lift.”

The facelift procedure
The traditional facelift. An incision is made in front of the ear extending up into the hair or hairline. The incision stretches downward in front of the ear, comes under the ear and then upward behind the ear. It then ends in the hair or hairline behind the ear. If necessary, the deeper tissues of the face can be tightened. The excess skin is removed.

The incisions are then closed with sutures and staples. In some cases a drain is placed under the skin behind the ear to drain off any excess blood and fluids. This drainage tube is removed a day or two after the procedure. Then bandages are applied.

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