Also known as a face lift, rhytidectomy is one of the most common cosmetic surgery procedures. It involves the removal of excess facial skin to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, sagging skin and deep lines.
Patients may choose rhytidectomy to lift their whole face or specifically the brow area or lower face.
Because the neck is another major area that reveals the signs of ageing, a rhytidectomy is often combined with a neck lift (platysmaplasty) to remove sagging skin on the neck and jaw line.
There are various types of rhytidectomy procedures, which can depend on the area of the face being treated. All treatments are carried out under anaesthesia.
In a traditional face lift, the surgeon typically makes an incision in the hairline which continues down in front of the ears. The surgeon separates the facial skin from the underlying tissue and works on removing excess fat and tightening muscles before lifting back and trimming the skin.
Other rhytidectomy procedures include Minimal-Access Cranial Suspension (MACS), in which smaller incisions are made in the temples and ears.
Consultation and after care following rhytidectomy treatments
Immediately following rhytidectomy surgery, the treated areas of a patient's face will be wrapped in bandages. These can usually be removed the following day, prior to departure from the hospital. Patients may also be fitted with plastic drainage tubes in the treated areas during their hospital stay, to allow excess blood and fluids to drain.
Rhytidectomy treatments are long-lasting, so patients should seek a consultation before undergoing surgery to help them decide whether the treatment is right for them. They will also advise patients of any medication they should stop taking prior to surgery, and may advise patients to lose weight or stop smoking to achieve optimum results.
Rhytidectomy patients can usually return to work within two to three weeks of surgery. It is essential to attend follow-up appointments with surgeons during the recovery period to aid the healing process.