Lower facelift surgery, more technically referred to as lower face rhytidectomy, aims at rejuvenating the bottom third of the face, including the neck and the jaw line. It involves the tightening of the face’s underlying structures that sag and droop with age, forming jowls and an overly fleshy neck. Once these areas have been addressed the excess skin is trimmed, thus smoothing it, reducing the appearance of crease and wrinkle lines.
As we age, the skin, muscles and tissues in our face start to sag and droop as the skin loses its elasticity. This is further accentuated by other factors such as exposure to sunshine, smoking, other bad habits, and gravity! The bottom third of the face, which is the area a lower face lift concentrates on, is an area which is likely to suffer disproportionate sagging to the rest of the face.
While a mid facelift is better served for those who are only just starting to see the signs of ageing, the lower facelift is better designed for a slightly older generation who have developed more serious signs of ageing. The lower face lift aims at tightening the skin to the underlying tissues around the corners of the mouth, as well as the neck and jaw line in order to give the patient a more youthful and vibrant look.
The surgical procedure is much like all other forms of facelifts, in that incisions are made around the ear or hidden in hairline and extend downwards. Once these have been made, the skin and underlying structures are pulled back and tightening before the skin is then re-draped over the face, with the excess skin trimmed away and discarded. At this stage excess fat can either be removed or repositioned. The operation can be performed with or without the use of an endoscope and whether local or general anaesthesia is used is a decision that must be made by the surgeon and the patient mutually.
Neck lifting can also be performed in conjunction with a lower facelift for a smoother more natural transition. During the procedure, neck muscles are tightened or shortened and heavy fatty deposits may need to be removed from the neck and jowl area by lipoaspiration technique. This allows the surgeon to achieve the smooth, natural looking profile and appearance that patients desire.
Smokers must quit smoking for an extended period of time both before and after a facelift procedure as smoking thins the skin, which will seriously decrease your chances of a full recover. It is also advised that you are at a stable weight after your surgery as weight loss can also have an adverse affect when it comes to healing time. As with all forms of cosmetic surgery, lower facelift surgery is not without risk and therefore considerable time should be spent when considering going under the knife.