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What is facelift?

Facelift surgery is usually done as an outpatient procedure. It may involve a local anesthetics and sedatives or general anesthesia.

The procedure can take from 2 to 5 hours, and the person can normally go home on the same day after surgery.

In a traditional facelift, the surgeon makes an incision in front of the ear, extending up into the hair or hairline as well as behind the ear into the hair-bearing scalp.

The surgeon lifts the skin off the deeper facial muscles and fat, gently pulls the skin in an upward and posterior direction, and removes the excess skin. They may tighten the deeper tissues of the face.

A small incision, or cut, may be made under the chin to tighten the skin and deeper tissue of the neck. This is known as a neck lift.

The incisions are then closed with sutures and possibly staples. A drain may be placed under the skin behind the ear for one or two days, to remove any excess blood and fluids. Bandages are applied.

Is it worth it?

A facelift aims to create a smoother, more youthful appearance.

The procedure:

  • removes and tightens sagging skin
  • reduces the droop of the cheeks around the jaw line
  • lifts the corners of the mouth
  • reduces the creases between the cheeks and the lips
  • The incisions in front of and behind the ear are usually not noticeable.

However, there can be some disadvantages.

A facelift does not last forever.

Research suggests that five and a half years after surgery, 21 percentTrusted Source of facelifts relapse, but that 76 percent of people still look younger than they did before the operation.

In men, it can be harder to achieve a natural appearance after surgery, because they have hair in front of their ears, or sideburns. If the sideburns are pulled backward and upward, this can look odd.

In both men and women, a facelift can lead to distorted earlobes.

If too much skin is removed, the face can look pulled-back or startled.

For the best results, a person may need additional procedures, such as a neck lift, eyelid surgery, liposuction, fat injection, removal of cheek fat, forehead lift, brow lift, chemical or laser peel, and cheek or chin implants.

A facelift is expensive. The average cost for a facelift in the U.S. in 2016 was $7,503. It is not normally covered by insurance.

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