Everything You Need to Know About Getting a Facelift

Facelift, professionally known as rhytidectomy, is a type of cosmetic surgery done to make your face look more youthful. Removing excess skin from your face helps to re-create a more youthful look. Rhytidectomy can remove the creases around the nose and mouth and hanging skin and fat under the neck and chin. It can also tighten the loose, hanging skin around your jawline, referred to as jowls. A facelift can also tighten your subcutaneous tissues, and your surgeon can combine it with surgery to enhance the eyelids, brows, cheeks, and forehead. In 2016 in the United States, about 107,000 women and 14,000 men had rhytidectomy. It was among the most popular cosmetic surgeries done that year and each year since.

Ideal Candidates

Good candidates for rhytidectomy include individuals who:

• Don’t smoke.

• Don’t have medical conditions that can hinder recovery from surgery or wound healing.

• Have realistic expectations of what the results from the procedure will be. 

Preparation for a Facelift

Adequate preparation for rhytidectomy can keep you healthy and relaxed before and during surgery. Your preparation begins with a consultation with Dr. Eades. It is important to carefully adhere to all pre-surgical instructions given by Dr. Eades. If you smoke, you should stop smoking at least two weeks before surgery. Smoking interferes with the flow of oxygen throughout your body, and thus, it could heighten the risk of surgical complications and recovery time. Particular nutritional supplements like Vitamin E, blood thinners, and aspirin can also cause complications after surgery, and you may need to change your medications according to Dr. Eades’ instructions.

You should also get ready for the procedure by planning for transportation and aftercare, and mentally preparing for the downtime. You should expect to take about two weeks off from work, but the exact duration may depend on your health status and the length of your procedure. 

The Rhytidectomy Procedure

Often, facelift surgery can be done using local anesthesia, and this gives you the option of remaining alert during rhytidectomy. However, during more intensive operations, general anesthesia may be administered. The length of your facelift surgery determines whether general or local anesthesia will be applied. Since adverse reactions to anesthesia cause most of the complications associated with facelift procedures, you need to discuss the risks of a facelift with your cosmetic surgeon.

Dr. Eades will perform a traditional rhytidectomy by making a cut on your hairline in or above your hair and in front of the temporal region (around the ear). Here, he will extend this cut downward in front of your ear, below your ear, and then upward behind your ear. The surgeon will then lift the skin and fatty tissues from the connective tissues known as fascia and underlying muscle forward as required to tighten the loose skin. Dr. Eades can tighten the underlying muscles and fascia using sutures if necessary. He will then pull the skin back and upward and excise the excess skin. He will then close the wound using stitches and staples. Sometimes, a drain may be left in the wound to remove excess blood, and then bandages will be applied.


The recovery time for a facelift is relatively quick for most individuals. Usually, you can get back to your daily schedule in about two weeks. However, you need to wait about four weeks before engaging in any strenuous exercise. Bruising and swelling are normal after rhytidectomy, and they usually reach their peak two-to-three days after the surgery. After that, the bruising and swelling subside gradually within 14 days. Remember, a facelift won’t change your fundamental appearance and prevent you from aging. Even though the results are permanent, your skin will continue aging. But living a healthy lifestyle and minimizing daily exposure to sunlight will help you keep your facelift results.

Rhytidectomy is an excellent way to eliminate lines and wrinkles and early signs of aging from your face. It is a safe procedure with minimal risks. However, you need to ensure that your surgeon is qualified and board-certified because this ensures that specific standards of expertise, education, and best practices are maintained. If you need more information regarding rhytidectomy, contact Dr. Eades of Edward Eades, M.D. at 520-323-6994 to book an appointment.