Dr. Rowley is an experienced rhytidectomy (face lift) surgeon with extensive training in facelift techniques
from some of the nation’s top plastic surgeons in New York City. This procedure is not as painful as is often assumed and can bring satisfying results.
WHY DO PATIENTS SEEK A FACELIFT (RHYTIDECTOMY)?
Patients often complain of sagging in the face due to age, especially along the neck and jawline.
This is sometimes in conjunction with skin laxity (loosening), and excess fatty tissue around the neck and jaw line.
BRIEF SURGICAL FACTS
This procedure typically takes 2-3 hours with a general anesthetic and is usually performed in our office operating suite. The patient awakes from anesthesia with a dressing and a small drain which is normally kept in place for 24 hours. Sutures are removed usually in a week and often the patient can return to work in 10-14 days. While swelling will last 6-8 weeks, it is often very minimal after the first 2-3 weeks.
Facelift incisions vary depending on the amount of skin laxity, especially in the neck and jaw line. The incisions almost always start above the ear in the hairline and come down in front of the ear and wrap around the earlobe going back into the hair behind the ear for a variable length. The skin is then elevated off of the underlying tissues, and often a tightening of the superficial muscle layers is done as well. Liposuction of the chin and neck area is often performed at the same time. Sometimes, laser resurfacing of the area around the mouth and eyes is used in conjunction with the facelift. The skin is then redraped and excess skin is removed. Great care is taken, so that no tension is placed on the visible portion of the incision. Please note that nicotine restrictions also apply to this procedure.
DR. JANE ROWLEY’S THOUGHTS ON
THE FACELIFT PROCEDURE (RHYTIDECTOMY)
“Overall, I think the facelift has gotten a bad reputation in great part because they are done by too many people who do not understand the surgical principles involved with this procedure. My goal with this procedure is to achieve the most natural look that I can. Recent trends include a lot of fat injection into the lips and cheeks, but this can leave a very unnatural appearance. I spend a long time talking to my patients about what they think we can accomplish together with a facelift. Most of my patients are in their late 40s to 50s when they begin to think about it. I tell them the results will often last about 7-10 years. My goal is for someone in the 50s or 60s to look natural, but younger than their age, as opposed to someone who looks lifted and has very obviously had surgery. I also think it is important to be aware of new noninvasive procedures that claim to do what a facelift does—there is no quick fix. Lasers that claim to do what a facelift does usually only provide minimal short-term results. I am the first to tell a patient if they do not need a facelift, but often this is the only procedure that will achieve the results a patient is looking for. But again, I cannot stress enough that this procedure is not as painful as people perceive it to be, and it does not have as bad of a recovery as people perceive it to be. I think the bad press is due to inexperienced surgeons, but there is a gold standard for tightening the skin in the face, especially around the neck and the jaw line, and I hold to that standard.”