Facelift surgery in Seattle


What is a facelift ?

A 'facelift' is a relatively generic term that describes a set of procedures designed to rejuvenate the appearance of the face and neck. There are a variety of 'styles' of facelift procedures- some simple and others quite complex.

The basic idea behind a good facelift operation is to reposition facial soft tissues (fat) in a more youthful position, and correct laxity of the soft tissues that support facial and neck skin. While it might make sense intuitively to just tighten the skin, such a 'skin only' facelift does not have the lifting 'power' and longevity of a good bi-planar facelift.

What is a bi-planar facelift ?

In a quality facelift, the skin is treated separately from the underlying soft tissues. The soft tissues that envelope the cheeks, jawline and neck are separated from the overlying skin. The soft tissues are then partially separated from the deeper structures of the face, including the muscles of facial expression. Thusly, two separate lamina are created in the face - the skin and the SMAS layers.

Does a facelift change facial shape ?

A good facelift dramatically improves facial shaping. Improved facial shape and a tighter neckline is created when the soft tissue envelope of the face (SMAS layer) is tightened. Excess skin is then re-draped over this re-shaped face. Skin is repaired under zero tension to maximize scar quality. This results in a more youthful profile and facial shape.

What are facelift scars like ?

There are a variety of scar patterns after facelift surgery. In most patients, there is some variation of scar concealed in front of the ear, possibly swinging beneath the earlobe and running behind the ear.

Can facelift surgery be combined with other procedures?

Yes- a facelift is frequently combined with facial fat grafting, eyelid and brow lift surgery, or chemical peels or laser skin resurfacing treatments.

Does a facelift address neck skin laxity ?

A well done facelift that includes tightening of the platysma muscles and redraping of loose neck skin will address the neck. 

What is recovery after facelift surgery like ?

It depends on the extent of the facelift and what adjunctive procedures were performed. Most patients in my own practice have some degree of bruising and swelling that can last up to 2 weeks, sometimes longer. After about 2 weeks, scars can be concealed with make-up and patients feel comfortable in public.
Article by
Seattle Plastic Surgeon