Facelift (Rhytidectomy)

You often hear that 40 is the new 30, and 50 is the new 40. That may be a shift in societal attitudes, but it still has its basis in physical appearance and reflects the widespread acceptance of plastic surgery and non-invasive cosmetic treatments. Yet the fact remains that external factors such as time, gravity, and sun exposure have not changed and continue to negatively affect our appearance as we age. One of the most common requests Dr. Westine hears is "to make the outward appearance reflect the more youthful energy I feel inside." This leads many patients to want to correct sagging neck skin and hanging jowls, turning back the clock to a time when they saw a smoother contour and firm jowl and neck area. In most cases, it is a facelift that will achieve the desired result.

A facelift will address:

  • Sagging in the mid-face
  • Deep creases below the lower eyelids
  • Deep creases along the nose extending to the corner of the mouth
  • Fat that has fallen or is displaced
  • Loss of muscle tone in the lower face that creates jowls
  • Loose skin and excess fatty deposits under the chin and jaw that make even a person of normal weight appear to have a double chin

A facelift (rhytidectomy) can have one of the most dramatic effects on one’s appearance as any other facial cosmetic surgery. Rhytidectomy is a safe, effective procedure performed to restore a more youthful appearance and less fatigued look without compromising function. In increasing numbers, many women and men in today's competitive corporate workplace are seeking facelift procedures to restore a younger look that more typifies their energy level and enhances the perception that they are on a competitive level with younger co-workers.


When patients consult for the first time with Dr. Westine about facial plastic surgery, it's quite common for them to focus on a single aspect of their appearance rather than the overall picture. The most frequent complaint he hears from patient seeking a facelift is the "turkey wattle," the loose skin dangling under the chin. Oftentimes, patients will request just a "neck lift." While an isolated neck lift may be appropriate for a man with a midline excision in the neck, women are poor candidates for this type of procedure. In order to address the neck in women, a facelift needs to be performed because of the underlying structures and attachments involved, which Dr. Westine will explain in great detail.

As Dr. Westine is a board-certified facial plastic surgeon, trained to perform plastic surgery exclusively on faces and necks, he knows that his responsibility is to evaluate not only the areas of concern, but also the motivation behind the requests. Some patients may not be ready for cosmetic surgery and are better served with conservative measures, such as Botox for treatment of fine lines and fillers for deeper wrinkles. By helping patient educate themselves about facial rejuvenation, they will know when and if the time is right to proceed.

When discussing rejuvenation procedures, the best place to start is by looking at before-and-after photos to see just what can be accomplished. As you will see in our photo gallery, patients often ask to combine a facelift with other cosmetic surgery. Eyelid lift, chin implants, rhinoplasty (nasal surgery), otoplasty (ear surgery), and lip surgery can also be performed in conjunction with a facelift.

At your initial consultation, Dr. Westine evaluates the bony and soft tissue architecture of your face and neck. Assessment of the face and neck provides the basis for what one may expect from a facelift. Skin type, ethnic background, and age, along with the degree of degeneration and function, are important factors influencing the outcome of surgery.

As with all facial plastic surgery, a thorough health assessment and realistic expectations are prerequisites. Your understanding of procedures, routines, and risks is essential to a successful final result. Following your consultation, we continue our discussion at the preoperative appointment.

The success and safety of your facelift depends very much on your complete candidness during your initial consultation. Dr. Westine will ask a number of questions about your health, desires, and lifestyle.

Be prepared to discuss:

  • Why you want the surgery, your expectations, and desired outcome
  • Medical conditions, drug allergies, and medical treatments
  • Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco, and drugs
  • Any previous surgeries

Dr. Westine may also:

  • Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
  • Take photographs for your medical record
  • Discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment
  • Discuss likely outcomes of facelift surgery and any risks or potential complications

The Surgery

  • In House Surgical Center or hospital
  • 2-3 hours duration
  • Post-Op return office visit the next day

The Recovery

  • Moderate discomfort
  • Bruising up to two weeks

For examples of the before-and-after results of facelifts performed at Delray Beach Plastic Surgery, visit our Gallery.

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