Lower Facelift (Rhytidectomy)

Tightening the chin, neck and mouth for a more youthful look.

By Brandie Umar, Executive Director of ContentLast modified: November 29, 2011

Lower Facelift (Rhytidectomy) Defined

The aim of a lower facelift (rhytidectomy) is to tighten and lift skin around the chin removing deep wrinkles around the mouth, fat from under and around the jawline and make you look as youthful as you feel. Simply by recontouring your jawline, plastic surgeons can remove years from your appearance.


Lower Facelift (Rhytidectomy) Procedure


In order to perform lower facelift surgery (rhytidectomy), plastic surgeons must access the underlying muscle and connective tissue layer of your face underneath the skin. Facial connective tissue and muscle (SMAS) weakens and droops with age. once surgeons have made an incision the muscle layer is tightened, excess fat is removed and the skin is pulled firmly back into position and suture into place. The skin is then pulled tightly back into position and sutured into place. Plastic surgeons will then remove any excess skin from beneath the jawline.

The incision for a lower facelift is normally made starting in the hairline on the forehead and curves around the ear. The incision is to allow surgeons to lift back the skin and easily suture it back into place. As the facelift scar will be underneath the hairline, it is not noticeable once the incision is healed.

Patients who require less tightening of the muscles may be suitable for an S-shaped incision made in front of the ear. Plastic surgeons then perform the facelift through this smaller cut working on the top layers of underlying tissue and muscle. This facelift incision site is normally recommended for younger facelift candidates.

It may be possible for your plastic surgery to be performed endoscopically, using small cameras to guide the doctor through the surgery. If your lower facelift surgery is performed using this technique plastic surgeons will make small incisions and using the cameras for guidance perform the surgery without lifting the skin.

If your neck has loose or wrinkled skin, your cosmetic surgeon may recommend that you combine your lower facelift procedure with a neck lift procedure to enhance the results of your surgery.


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