As you age, your skin becomes slack and your muscles become less taut. This makes your skin sag and you look older than you actually are. People ask you if you are tired or sick or angry when you are actually in a pleasant mood. While it can not restore skin elasticity, a facelift can make you look and feel years younger. Facelifts (rhytidectomy being the clinical term) are designed to pull the excess skin tight again and tighten the muscles underneath.
Different doctors recommend different modes of anesthetizing facelift patients for surgery, but you should discuss what you are comfortable with in your consultation. Patients on general anesthesia will sleep through the entire procedure but are more likely to be hospitalized for a day. The other option is to have local anesthesia and take a sedative. Patients who chose this option will be awake but relaxed and drowsy during the operation and due to the local anesthesia will feel no pain.
Then the incision is made behind the hairline to hide the scar and then around the front of the ear. Sometimes a second incision is made in the chin. The surgeon separates the skin from the underlying tissues and removals excess fat that affects the way that the skin hangs over the face. Then the facial muscles are tightened. Finally the skin is rolled up to the incision line and the excess is trimmed away and the incision is sewn back.
Pain associated with recovery from a face lift is usually minimal and most patients are glad that they had the surgery. Facelifts are often performed in conjunction with other types of cosmetic surgery including brow lift and eyelid surgery.