Facelifts are a very popular and very common plastic surgical procedure; they were one of the top five most popular cosmetic surgery procedures in 2010.  Despite this popularity, there are many misconceptions about what exactly a facelift does.  Patients often expect that having a facelift will rejuvenate everything from sagging eyelids to loose skin over the neck, but this is actually not the case.  A standard facelift addresses only the mid-face: the area from your cheekbone to your jawline.  The main area of improvement is along the jawline where jowling starts to show as we age.  Facelifts may also soften the lines around the mouth.  Any lax skin over the neck or under the chin is treated by a neck lift.  This is commonly done at the time of a facelift, but is actually a separate surgical procedure.  Facelifts do not address the forehead, eyelids, or overall skin texture, a fact which surprises many of my patients.  To treat these areas may require additional surgical procedures, such as a brow-lift or eyelift.  Overall skin texture is generally treated by a laser peel. Look at the graphic below, and you will see that several separate procedures are actually required for “full-face” rejuvenation.

 

Wrinkles after a facelift

I think that part of this common misconception may be due to advertising.  I have seen many before and after pictures on television and in magazines advertising a facelift, but if you read the fine print, the patient actually had several other procedures done in addition to the facelift.

 

Do you have any questions about facial rejuvenation?

Greer Plastic Surgery