What is facelift and neck lift surgery?

Face and/or neck lift (rhytidectomy) are procedures made solely or together to help fixing signs of aging of face and neck and get a more youthful appearance. Especially deep facial lines, saggy jaw lines, necklines with face and neck skin, appearance due to fat sagginess can be fixed.

Who are the eligible candidates for facelift and/or neck lift surgery?

Facelift and neck lift surgery is a quite individualized procedure. People who have sagginess and lines on their face and neck area and wants to have a more youthful face appearance are eligible candidates. Additionally, the eligible candidates should be physically healthy, nonsmoking, and with realistic expectations. Our plastic surgeon will review your medical history along with your desired changes. Hypertension, diabetes, smoking, kidney disease, heart problems and other serious health problems will be evaluated.

What are the purposes of face and/or neck lift surgery?

Purpose of face and neck lift surgery is to fix lines and sagginess on face and neck; therefore, getting a more youthful face and neck appearance with better contours. Facelift’s results are permanent; however, it does not have an effect to stop aging process. In necessary cases, there can be combined procedures by adding forehead lifting and eyelid aesthetic.

What is done during face and/or neck lifting surgery?

Face and/or neck lifting surgery is a procedure operated with general anesthesia which takes around 3 or 4 hours. After the procedure, you may stay under hospital follow-up for 1 day or you may be discharged after the anesthesia effect goes down. According to your complaints, combined procedure can be made together with only facelift or neck lift.

In conventional facelift, cut starts from hairy area above ear and goes from ear front till ear back.  Alternatively, in mini-facelift, only cuts from ear front till ear back are made. Neck lifting cut starts from earlobe front and goes till ear back. Additionally, to better the results, a cut under the jaw is also made.

Afterwards, skin is removed to reveal the tissues under it. Extra fat tissues are removed or distributed to the areas that need it. Generally, looseness in muscle tissue under is also tightened.  Extra face and neck skin are also cut and removed and re-adapted for a more youthful and nature appearance. Lastly, cuts are stitched and hidden under hairy area at ear front and back.

What are the scars?

As plastic surgeons, we know the importance of cosmetic results. We make all efforts to optimize the scar size and hide it under the less seen part of lobe. In facelift, scars usually start from hairy area at ear front, goes from ear front till ear back. In mini-facelift, there are scars only from ear front till ear back. Neck lifting scars, on the other hand, starts from earlobe front till ear back. What is more, there may be scars under jaw.

Emergence of scars varies between individuals and is strongly related to person’s genetic susceptibility. Scars generally fade away slowly in time, but it is hard to guess its final size and color.

How is the recovery period? How long resting is needed? When can you continue exercising?  

For a comfortable post-surgery period and good results, it would be better to rest after the procedure. After the procedure, in order to reduce the amount of swelling, medical dressing is applied around the face. A small plastic drainage tube may be placed under the skin in order to prevent accumulation of excessive liquid or blood under the skin. This drainage is usually removed within 24 hours. In order to reduce swelling and bruise on head and face area to minimum, you should rest your head up for the first couple of days and ice can be applied periodically. There can be ache and swelling responding to medicine during first couple of days after the surgery. Many patients can go back to work within 1 or 2 weeks. During the recovery period, tiring physical activities like heavy lifting and pulling should be avoided for 4 weeks after the surgery.

What are the complications of the surgery?

The complications are rare as in other cosmetic procedures, and there can be scars, asymmetry, bleeding, infection, weak injury healing, swelling or numbness. Complications specific to facelift are hair loss in cut areas, skin loss, change in hairline, weakness and asymmetry in muscle movements related to facial nerve damage. Some of these complications may require additional surgical operations. Your plastic surgeon will give you detailed information about the expected results including possible complications.

When will we see the absolute results of the surgery?

The results of the surgery will be seen right after the procedure. As the swellings are reduced, recovery will continue. Generally, cuts are recovered in 2 weeks, swelling and bruises pass. Small amount of swelling in unnoticeable amounts may continue for a few months after the surgery. Final contour and scar results continues for at least 6 months after the surgery.

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