facelift procedure

Reverse your aging look with facial plastic surgery

Oct 28th 2021

Do the natural effects of aging have you feeling down? Are you worried about what you see when you look in the mirror? Good news, you’re not alone. Millions of other people feel the same way, which is why they turn to plastic surgery to help alleviate those concerns. 

For many, the answer lies in a facelift—what we call a rhytidectomy—a cosmetic procedure that reduces the visible signs of aging in and around a patient’s face and neck, helping to reverse the common effects of aging and providing a boosted sense of self.

Frustrated with frown lines? Worried about wrinkles? Schedule a consultation with us today to find out what a facelift can do for you.

What Is a Facelift?

A facelift, or rhytidectomy, is a hugely popular cosmetic procedure that alleviates the visible signs of aging, including sagging, deep-set wrinkles and creases, double chins, and “turkey neck” (a condition that’s caused by weakening muscles that have lost their elasticity over time, allowing neck skin to droop). This surgery removes loose skin and excess fat through a series of small incisions, and is performed on more than 130,000 Americans every year. 


Oftentimes, this surgery is completed in conjunction with other like procedures, such as blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), rhinoplasty (nose job), or with the addition of dermal fillers. All of these options offer patients a more youthful appearance.

Why Are Facelifts Performed?

Over time, our skin loses its natural pull and elasticity, resulting in drooping and sagging at the bottom of the face. Wrinkles along the neck, jaw and forehead may develop as well. These effects are perfectly natural and normal, but not always welcome. 

Facelift surgery helps minimize those physical side effects by reducing their prominence. Once complete, a facelift can restore their once-lost youth, helping self-conscious people feel more attractive and more confident in their appearance.

Types of Facelifts

A facelift isn’t just one single procedure. In fact, the umbrella of facelifts includes a variety of procedures that can rejuvenate a patient’s appearance. While there are many options your board-certified plastic surgeon should review with you, here are the three most common procedures:


A mini-facelift allows cosmetic surgeons to tighten the skin by using smaller incisions along the hairline to remove excess tissue. This option is known commonly as a “weekend facelift” due to its quick recovery time, allowing patients to return to normal activity in just a few days.

mini facelift surgery

The results of this procedure are less dramatic, so it’s an ideal option for younger patients who are noticing the earlier signs of aging but aren’t quite ready for a full facelift.


A mid-facelift is commonly used to treat the middle area of the face—typically the cheeks and cheekbones. This surgery involves the creation of small incisions along the hairline above the ears and inside the patient’s mouth, allowing the repositioning of fat and tissue near the cheeks to tighten skin.

This procedure is ideal for patients who don’t yet have sagging neck skin, improving facial definition and creating a younger appearance through contouring.

Traditional Facelift

A traditional facelift is the typical facelift. During this procedure, incisions are made along the ears, hairline, and chin to tighten fae muscles and neck skin. To assist in the creation of a defined neckline, bundles of muscle may be sutured together and excess fat is removed as needed. 

This option provides the full effect that many patients expect, providing a premium level of correction to restore the patient’s youthful appearance.

Does the Surgery Hurt?

The question everyone wants the answer to: Will it hurt? We’ll be honest, it’s not going to tickle. While facelift surgery itself isn’t necessarily painful, the after effects may be.

Many patients are put under anesthesia for the procedure to sidestep any painful side effects during the surgery. But, as with any surgery, there is a level of pain and discomfort in the days following as the skin and muscle tissue begins to heal.

laser face lift

The good news is that, by taking prescription medication and following your doctor’s post-operative instructions, pain and lingering side effects and can be reduced or alleviated by some degree.

Road to Recovery 

No surgery is 100% safe. Complications occur, but everything we do is done with your safety in mind. With that, here’s what you can look forward to during your recovery:

  • Bruising and swelling are at their worst 2–3 days after facelift surgery
  • Recovery typically takes upwards of two weeks, with most patients resuming normal activity after four weeks
  • Sutures are often removed 5–10 days after surgery
  • Scars will fade over time, but that process could take up to a year
  • Following your doctor’s post-operative instructions will speed up your recovery
  • Avoid smoking, sun exposure, and alcohol to maintain your new look

Looking for a plastic surgeon in Richmond, VA? Dr. Kitto can help. Schedule your consultation or call us at 804- 294-1777 to find out what facelift surgery can do for you today. 

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