A face-lift is cosmetic surgery that tightens loose, sagging skin. The procedure is most commonly done on people ages 40 to 70.
You may be a candidate for face-lift if you have:
The results of face-lift surgery are visible in the lower two-thirds of your face. Reversing changes in the eye or forehead area may require eyelid surgery or a forehead lift. Removing fine wrinkles that are a natural part of aging, such as those around your lips and eyes, may require a chemical peel or laser resurfacing.
A face-lift is usually done under general anesthesia, but sometimes under local anesthesia. The surgery is done through incisions made in skin creases and hair-bearing areas in the scalp above the ears. Mayo Clinic surgeons make every effort to minimize and hide scars in and around the hairline.
The surgeon moves the skin and often the deeper tissues and muscles to achieve the best possible symmetry (balance). Excess skin is removed and the incisions are closed. Face-lift surgery takes three to five hours and usually requires a one-day hospital stay.
At Mayo Clinic, you receive close follow-up care to ensure proper healing. You may experience bruising for up to three weeks as well as swelling for at least four to six weeks. You can expect to return to work in about two to four weeks and resume exercise in four to five weeks.
The results of a face-lift usually last five to seven years, depending on your exposure to sun and tobacco products and your genetic makeup.
As with any surgery, face-lift has risks. These can include:
Mayo Clinic specialists work with you to minimize these risks. Your Mayo doctor will recommend: