What is a Facelift (Rhytidectomy)?

Sagging of the skin under the neck is usually the first sign of aging (occurring typically in your 40s), followed by the appearance of jowls (deep cheek folds). A facelift addresses these concerns by removing excess skin and wrinkles from the cheeks, jowls, and lower neck. It’s a highly popular surgery that is met with a high degree of patient satisfaction, and can offer long-lasting results. 

Headshot of a woman highlighting facelift in Upper East Side.

What Are the Benefits of a Facelift?

  • Reduces sagging skin
  • Tightens the facial muscles
  • Improves creases in the eye area
  • Tightens and tones lax skin around the jawline
  • Delivers an overall more toned and youthful look

How the Face Ages

When we’re young, we have plenty of collagen and elastin in the skin. This is why the skin is so taut, smooth, and resilient during youth.

However, as the years go by, our body’s collagen production slows down. This results in the skin gradually becoming looser, with skin that appears wrinkled and more saggy. Assisting in the skin’s aged appearance are sun exposure, environmental factors, and smoking.

“Dr. Reitzen is very warm and understanding. She is also very easy to get ahold of and responds quickly. Highly recommend!”

Upper East Side Patient

Facelift Surgical Details

A facelift is typically performed under general anesthesia, but some cases are done under local anesthesia with sedation. Using incisions that are placed in natural shadows and contours in front of and behind the ear, Dr. Reitzen will tighten the facial and neck musculature and remove excess sagging skin. Newer procedures are designed to tighten the muscles separately from the skin in order to prevent the appearance of an overdone or “wind tunnel” look. Fat injections may additionally be added to increase the volume of the cheeks and help smooth out contour irregularities.

Am I a Candidate for a Facelift?

If you’re considering a facelift in the Upper East Side, you may be an excellent candidate. Individuals who are ideal patients for this procedure are men and women who:

  • Are in their 40s, 50s, and 60s 
  • Are just beginning to see sagging skin of the face and neck
  • Are non-smokers in general good health 
  • Have healthy, realistic expectations for what a facelift can accomplish
  • Fully understand the surgery, risks, recovery, and what to expect
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Facelift Results and Recovery

Everyone will heal from a facelift differently based on how aggressive your surgery was; what technique was used; your age and health, and how closely you follow the home instructions that Dr. Reitzen provides you with. For two weeks, you should sleep on your back to prevent your stitches from being “torn down”. A reclining chair may be helpful during this time. 

In addition, any kind of strenuous activity will need to be avoided for one month.

As with any surgery, bruising and swelling are to be expected during recovery. Some patients also experience a “tight” sensation or tingling. All of this is temporary. Be sure to not apply any kind of heat to your face, but cold compresses are fine. 

One week after a facelift in the Upper East Side, most patients feel much better and are able to perform very light activity such as walking. At two weeks, you’ll be past the hardest part of recovery and most patients return to work at this point. After one month, you should be able to resume exercise. Results are visible around the three-month mark, and these results can last up to ten years. 

Facelift FAQ

Is 60 Too Old For A Facelift?

How Painful Is A Facelift?

How Many Years Younger Do You Look After A Facelift?

What Is The Best Age For A Facelift?

How Do You Sleep After A Facelift?

How Many Facelifts Can You Have In A Lifetime?

Does A Facelift Include The Neck?

Is 60 Too Old For A Facelift?

If you’re 60 or older and worry that a facelift is too risky for someone your age, most sources claim that plastic surgery safety for people over 60 mostly depends on their health and not age. For most patients, the best age for a facelift is between ages 40 to 60, when wrinkles and folds appear on the lower face and neck.

How Painful Is A Facelift?

Generally, there is very little pain following a facelift, but you may feel a deep bruised sensation. Because of the swelling, your face may feel heavy. Additionally, the bandage you must wear the first night after your surgery may feel quite snug under your chin; it won’t restrict your breathing but should minimize bruising and swelling.

How Many Years Younger Do You Look After A Facelift?

While facelift results vary for each patient, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons states that, on average, patients felt they looked 12 years younger after their facelift surgeries. After a significant recovery period, most patients undergoing facelift surgery are satisfied with their results.

What Is The Best Age For A Facelift?

There’s no golden age for a facelift – instead, you should consider a facelift when signs of aging bother you and when non-surgical treatments no longer produce the desired results. Generally, a facelift works best for people in their 40s, 50s, and 60s when signs of aging are more prevalent. Deep lines, wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging skin are best corrected through surgical techniques, so a facelift is not generally for anyone under 30.

How Do You Sleep After A Facelift?

You should sleep on your back with your head slightly elevated using pillows for two to four weeks after a facelift. This specific sleeping position reduces swelling, promotes proper healing, and reduces the risk of postoperative complications such as inadvertently pulling out stitches. If you’re worried about rolling over in your sleep, you might try using additional pillows or rolled-up towels on either side to prevent shifting positions during the night.

How Many Facelifts Can You Have In A Lifetime?

While there is no limit or “magic number” concerning how many facelifts can be performed in a lifetime, you want to ensure your results remain as natural as possible. Too many surgeries can make your face appear “worked on.”

Does A Facelift Include The Neck?

A facelift removes excess skin, smooths folds or wrinkles, and tightens facial tissue on the bottom two-thirds of the face. The procedure can include the neck or décolletage when necessary.

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Why Choose Dr. Reitzen

Performing both cosmetic and functional surgery, Shari Reitzen, MD is a female plastic and reconstructive surgeon serving Manhattan’s Upper East Side. She also has an extensive background as an ENT specialist. Dr. Reitzen puts her patients first and closely listens to achieve their desired results. Her goal is to safely deliver a natural look that doesn’t appear overdone. Her patients love her down-to-earth warmth, her straightforward approach, and her personalized approach to procedures. If you’re in the Tribeca and Upper East Side area and you’re interested in a facelift with Dr. Reitzen, we invite you to contact us today to set up your consultation. 

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