Facelift surgery, or a rhytidectomy, is designed to restore a more youthful appearance by reversing facial aging changes such as

deep creases between the nose and mouth, the loosening and slackening of the jaw line, the jowls, and the folds and fat deposits on and around the neck.

While a facelift cannot stop or even slow down the aging process, it can set back the clock by repositioning sagging facial and neck deep soft tissues and re-draping the skin. Excess skin is then removed at the site of incision around the ear.

Candidates For A Facelift

Ideal candidates for facelifts are healthy men or women whose skin on their neck and face have begun to sag. These aging changes start to become evident around mid forties and progress with time. Genetic predisposition to aging and lifestyle factors influence the extent of aging. After a facelift, a patient should look like themselves, only younger and fresher.

Before Surgery

Dr Chun will evaluate patient’s medical history and physical condition in order to determine their overall health.

Dr Chun’s objective is to create a natural appearance that is pleasing to the patient. Before and after photographs will be used to demonstrate possible outcomes. During the consultation, it is also important for the patient to discuss their expectations and goals in order to ensure the desired and realistic outcome. There are many different facelift techniques including minimal scar lift. Dr Chun will discuss options and recommendations. Also a facelift is often accompanied by other procedures such as browlift, eyelid surgery and fat injections. These will also be discussed.

The Procedure

After making skin incisions around hairline and ear (exact location varies with different techniques), the skin flap is lifted from underlying deeper tissues. These tissues(SMAS) are tightened and more importantly repositioned. Excess skin is trimmed and re-draped. Combination of internal dissolving and external removable stitches are used to close the skin layers. Drains remove excess fluid and blood from the surgical field postoperatively to promote faster healing.

Post Operative Care

It is necessary to have someone drive and stay with the patient for the first 48 hours. Initially there is a facial dressing wrapped around the head. Drains are typically removed on the first postoperative visit. Stitches around the ears will be removed in 7 days.

Swelling and bruising gradually resolve over the first two weeks. It may take several months for scars and numbness to settle.

Avoid any strenuous activity and alcohol. Allow your body to heal optimally by getting plenty of rest.


Complications following facelift are rare. These include bleeding, infection, loss of skin behind the ears, facial nerve injury, discoloration of the skin, numbness, asymmetry and scarring. As mentioned, the risk of bleeding is greater if aspirin or blood thinners are consumed within 2 weeks of the surgery. The risk of wound complications increases in smokers and diabetics.

By following pre- and post-operative instructions, you will minimize potential problems.

This information is a brief review of the topic but not meant as the definitive description. Please refer to a personal consultation with Dr Chun for all pertinent information.