According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, facelifts are the sixth most popular cosmetic surgery performed after liposuction, breast augmentation, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) and breast lift.
A facelift is performed to rejuvenate the appearance of the face. Aging of the face is mostly shown by an appearance of the jowl (a broken jaw line), a descent of cheek fat, and sagging lower eye lids. The skin is a fourth component in the aging of the face. The ideal age for face-lifting is at age 50 or younger. Some areas, such as the nasolabial folds or marionette lines, in some cases can be treated more suitable with Botox or liposculpture.
A facelift usually involves the removal of excess facial skin, with or without the tightening of underlying tissues, and the redraping of the skin on the patient's face and neck. Facelifts are effectively combined with eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) and other facial procedures and are typically performed under general anesthesia or deep twilight sleep.
There are several different facelift procedures. The differences are mostly the type of incision, the invasiveness and the area of the face that is treated. Each surgeon practices multiple different types of facelift surgery. At a consultation the procedure with the best outcome is chosen for every patient. Expectations of the patient, the age, possible recovery time and areas to improve are factors taken in consideration before choosing a technique of rhytidectomy.
The surgical techniques for facelifts have continuously improved over the years. Surgeons started to care more about minimizing scars, restoring the subcutaneous volume that was lost during the ageing process and they started making use of a cranial direction of the lift, instead of posterior.