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Aging, exhaustion, sun exposure, and other factors can contribute to deep wrinkles and creases appearing along the face, which can have a significant effect on how we feel about the way we look. For decades, facelift surgery has been one of the most effective and commonly performed aesthetic enhancement procedures. A facelift can take years off your appearance – smoothing out wrinkles and folds and rejuvenating your entire facial aesthetic. Our plastic surgeons at OSU are experienced and skilled with an array of surgical facial rejuvenation procedures and can help you attain your goals with results that look natural and beautiful – in fact, others may see the fantastic results, but not even suspect you’ve undergone plastic surgery.

Facelift Benefits

Over time, facial skin can take on a lax quality, losing elasticity and exhibiting pronounced signs of age and exhaustion. A facelift is designed to reverse these effects, smoothing out even the deepest wrinkles and creases, making facial features appear more rested, refreshed, and youthful. This procedure can be very beneficial for patients in their 40’s through 60’s and beyond, and there are a number of facelift techniques that can provide full facial rejuvenation or skin renewal for more specific areas of the face.

One of our OSU plastic surgeons will be happy to meet with you in a one-on-one consultation to discuss your facial rejuvenation goals. All of your questions about facelift surgery will addressed at this initial meeting, and together, you and your surgeon will decide if this procedure is the best option for your needs.

Facelift Procedure

At your initial consultation, your OSU plastic surgeon will talk with you about various facelift techniques. Although there are a number of methods, traditional facelift surgery involves incisions made above the hairline at the temples, and then extending to the front side of the ear or inside the ear cartilage going to the back of the earlobe. One of the chief benefits of facelift surgery is that the incisions are very discreet, and residual scarring is often virtually invisible. The skin is then lifted and separated from underlying muscles. The muscles are then tightened and excess skin is removed. The remaining skin is then smoothed out for a less wrinkled, more youthful appearance. Most facelift procedures take about two to three hours to complete, and can be performed as an outpatient.

Facelift Recovery

There will be some bruising and swelling after facelift surgery, and you will need to wear bandages on the face for a few days. Any pain and discomfort can be controlled with medication. You will need to keep your head elevated for the first few days after facelift surgery. Your OSU plastic surgeon will advise you to refrain from strenuous activity for at least two weeks after treatment. Most patients are able to resume normal daily routines after about 10 days. Results from facelift will likely be fully apparent within a few weeks.

Facelift Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the best age for facelift surgery?

Much like other cosmetic procedures, there is not a specific age that plastic surgeons consider “best” for facelift surgery. At OSU, our facelift patients range from people in their 30s to people in their 60s and beyond. More so than age, our doctors focus on the extent of one’s aging symptoms, the overall health of their skin, and the particular results they wish to achieve in order to determine candidacy for facelift surgery.

Which aesthetic concerns can a facelift treat?

Facelift surgery can be custom-tailored to address signs of aging in the lower two-thirds of the face. Aesthetic concerns that are most commonly treated with this procedure include moderate to significant lines and wrinkles, skin folds, volume loss in the cheeks and midface, sagging skin, and jowling. For patients whose aesthetic concerns are also located in the eye and/or forehead region, our surgeons generally recommend combining facelift surgery with blepharoplasty and/or brow lift surgery.

Will my incisions be obvious?

Facelift incisions are made as carefully and discreetly as possible to help diminish any apparent signs of surgery. For most patients, much of the facelift incision can be concealed behind the hairline, and any potential scarring that is not covered by hair tends to be relatively inconspicuous—even at close distances. Our doctors will provide specific instructions for how to care for your incisions following the procedure to help ensure they heal well and result in minimal scarring.

Is facelift surgery painful?

The facelift procedure is typically performed under general anesthesia to ensure patients remain completely comfortable during treatment. Following surgery, there will likely be some bruising and swelling in the face, but any discomfort experienced is typically described as nothing more than moderate to minimal. These symptoms can usually be effectively managed with medication.

How long before results appear?

While some results will be noticeable immediately, the full effects of facelift surgery will become increasingly apparent over the course of a few weeks (sometimes months) as postoperative swelling gradually resolves.

How long do facelift results last?

For the majority of women and men, facelift results last an average of about 10–12 years before another treatment—typically something non-surgical like cosmetic injectables—may be desired to help maintain a more youthful appearance. Factors that can impact the longevity of results include one’s skin quality, lifestyle habits, environment, genetics, skin care regimen, and more. Regardless of whether results last ten years, twelve years, or shorter/longer, patients who have undergone facelift surgery will always appear younger at this time than they would if they

Schedule a Facelift Consultation

For more information on facelift surgery, please contact one of our plastic surgeons at The Ohio State University Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Our doctors will be happy to meet with you to help you determine if facelift surgery is the best option for your goals.