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M. Kirk Moore, MD
Thomas E. Geraghty

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Facelift (Rhytidectomy)

You may be candidate for facelift (rhytidectomy) if you have experienced a loss of skin elasticity and muscle tone of the face and neck. A facelift may also be desirable if you have the appearance of jowls and deep creases between the base of the nose and the corners of the mouth, and developed facial and neck wrinkles. A facelift may also be helpful if you believe you lack youthful chin and neck contours and/or feel you have a tired facial appearance.

Everyone deserves the chance to turn the clock back, to look younger and to feel better about the way they look. A facelift can improve the visible signs of aging. It can tighten sagging facial muscles and loose neck skin, and remove excess fat to give you a more youthful appearance. Very often a facelift is done in conjunction with eyelid surgery or a forehead lift.

Your surgeon will make an incision in the hairline at the temples and continue along the natural creases in front of the ear, around the earlobe and along the lower scalp. Sometimes an incision is made just under the chin to remove excess neck fat and tighten the neck muscles. The skin is separated from the fat and muscles. The fat is removed from around the neck and chin to improve the contour, then the muscles are pulled back and tightened. Excess skin is removed and the incisions are closed. Scars are hidden in the hairline and in the natural creases of your skin. They will fade with time.

To some extent, a face-lift represents a form of rejuvenation for many patients, and in addition to enhancing the appearance may also improve morale and self-image, leading to an overall improvement in lifestyle. Sagging, wrinkled skin is caused by overexposure to sunlight and ultraviolet light. This type of radiation affects the structural collagen in the skin, causing it to lose elasticity. The skin is further stretched by the layer of subcutaneous fat beneath it, a layer that may increase in thickness as the skin loses elasticity and takes on the characteristic sag patterns represented by folds of skin that progressively hang downward, eventually falling over the angle of the jaw and forming jowls. Subcutaneous fat is responsible also for the loss of the contour around the cheekbone, a feature of the youthful face. Conversely, loss of subcutaneous tissue together with natural stretch eventually give rise to short, deep, vertical lines in the upper lip which tend to become progressively more marked. The major principle behind the facelift is simple. To be taut, the skin must be freed from its underlying tissue ("undermined"), and pulled backward and upward. Redundant skin can then be snipped off and discarded. A face-lift can be an expensive procedure and is usually not covered by insurance plans.

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Buckhead Plastic Surgery
Specialists in Plastic Surgery North Carolina
Tom Haas, M.D.