Facelift (Rhytidectomy)

Introduction to Cosmetic Surgery

Hello, I am Dr. Jean-Paul Leva, a cosmetic surgeon at Leva Medical. Cosmetic surgery is a broad field that encompasses various procedures designed to improve physical appearance and, in some cases, function. Today, we're focusing on one of the most popular cosmetic procedures - the facelift.

An In-Depth Look at Facelifts

Facelift, medically known as rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure designed to counteract the visible signs of aging in the face and neck. To fully grasp how a facelift works, we need to delve into the biological process of facial aging.

The Biology of Facial Aging

facial aging

With age, the skin loses its elasticity as a result of decreased production of collagen and elastin, proteins that contribute to the skin's firmness and flexibility. Simultaneously, the distribution of subcutaneous fat shifts, and the facial muscles lose their tone. These collective changes result in wrinkles, sagging skin, and less defined facial contours, particularly in the jawline and neck.

How a Facelift Helps

A facelift addresses these age-related changes by tightening the slackened skin and repositioning the underlying muscles and soft tissues. The goal is to recreate the youthful contours of the face and neck. However, it's crucial to recognize that while a facelift can effectively "turn back time," it doesn't halt the natural aging process.

Complementing a Facelift

Complementary procedures such as skin resurfacing treatments or filler injections can further enhance the rejuvenating effects of a facelift and contribute to the maintenance of its results. This multi-faceted approach to facial rejuvenation ensures a comprehensive and long-lasting outcome.

eyelid surgery

The Science Behind Facial Aging and Facelift Surgery

Facial aging involves a combination of skin laxity, volume loss, and gravitational pull. Facelift surgery aims to correct these issues by repositioning the deeper layers of the face (SMAS - superficial musculoaponeurotic system), tightening loose skin, and sometimes adding volume through fat transfer or fillers. The procedure can be tailored to target specific areas, like the mid-face, lower face, or neck.

vectors of facelift

Cosmetic Surgery Options at Leva Medical

At Leva Medical, we offer a comprehensive range of cosmetic surgery options, including upper and lower blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), brow lift, neck lift, liposuction, among others. Non-surgical options such as laser skin resurfacing (perioral laser, under eye laser) and fat injections are also available, allowing us to customize treatment plans based on individual patient needs and desires.

The Significance of Personalized Treatment Plans

At Leva Medical, we prioritize a patient-centric approach. We recognize that each individual is unique, with distinct needs, aesthetic goals, and anatomical considerations. This requires a personalized approach for optimal results. For example, the surgical approach for a 60-year-old man may significantly differ from that of a 54-year-old woman due to variations in skin quality and aesthetic preferences.

Comprehensive Consultation for Tailored Treatments

Our consultation process is an integral part of creating these personalized treatment plans. During consultations, we take the time to understand a patient's motivations and expectations, and to examine their facial anatomy in detail. This insight is invaluable in recommending procedures that will best meet their aesthetic objectives.

Combining Procedures for Harmonious Results

While facelifts are a core part of our offerings, we may suggest complementing procedures such as lower or upper blepharoplasty to address eyelid concerns, or fat grafting to replenish facial volume. When thoughtfully combined, these procedures can create a more comprehensive and natural-looking rejuvenation. In cosmetic surgery, the most satisfying outcomes often stem from a well-planned combination of procedures, designed to harmonize with each patient's unique features.

Understanding the Risks and Benefits of Cosmetic Surgery

Like any surgery, cosmetic procedures carry potential risks and complications, which can include infection, adverse reaction to anesthesia, and dissatisfaction with the aesthetic results. However, these risks are relatively low, especially when the procedure is performed by a qualified and experienced surgeon. Additionally, the potential benefits, such as improved self-esteem and quality of life, often outweigh these risks for many individuals.

Consultation Process and Patient Education

Education is an important part of the process at Leva Medical. During your consultation, we will discuss your goals, review your medical history, and explain the details of the proposed procedures, including their benefits, risks, and alternatives. This comprehensive approach ensures that each patient is fully informed and able to make the best decision for their individual circumstances.


Cosmetic surgery can significantly enhance quality of life and boost self-confidence, but it is not a decision to be taken lightly. At Leva Medical, we are committed to providing thorough patient education and exceptional patient care. If you are considering a cosmetic procedure, we invite you to schedule a consultation to learn more about your options and how we can help you achieve your aesthetic goals.


A facelift, or rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure that improves visible signs of aging in the face and neck. It typically involves removing excess skin, tightening underlying tissues, and redraping skin on the face and neck to improve contour and eliminate wrinkles and sagging.

A necklift, or lower rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure that improves visible signs of aging in the neck and jawline. It typically involves removing excess skin and fat and tightening underlying muscles to eliminate a double chin or "turkey neck."

A deep plane facelift is a specific type of facelift that goes beyond just tightening the skin. It involves lifting and repositioning the muscles and connective tissue underneath the skin, which can provide more lasting and natural-looking results.

Plication refers to a surgical technique where the surgeon folds or gathers tissue to tighten or reshape it. In facelifts or necklifts, plication is often used to tighten the SMAS (Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic System) layer of the face, which can help improve the contour of the face and neck.

Good candidates for facelifts, necklifts, or deep plane facelifts are typically individuals in good overall health who have realistic expectations and want to address signs of aging in the face and/or neck. Specific age can vary, but many patients are in their 40s to 60s.

Recovery typically involves some swelling and bruising that can last a couple of weeks. Patients are generally able to return to work and normal activities within 2-3 weeks, though full healing can take several months.

The results of a facelift or necklift can last many years, often around 10 years or more. However, these procedures do not stop the aging process, so over time, natural aging and gravity will still have effects on the face and neck.

As with any surgery, there are risks, including bleeding, infection, nerve injury, and complications from anesthesia. Specific to these procedures, there can be risks of poor healing, irregularities in the skin contour, or changes in skin sensation.

Surgeons make every effort to place incisions in discreet locations, such as along the hairline or behind the ear. With proper care, these incisions typically heal well and become less noticeable over time.

A traditional facelift primarily tightens the skin, while a deep plane facelift also lifts and repositions the underlying muscles and connective tissue. This can often provide more comprehensive and natural-looking results.

Non-surgical alternatives can include injectable treatments like Botox or dermal fillers, laser skin treatments, or ultrasound or radiofrequency treatments that can help stimulate collagen production.

Yes, a facelift and a necklift are often performed together to achieve a more harmonious result. By addressing both areas simultaneously, the surgeon can create a smoother, more natural transition between the face and neck.

Yes, it's common to combine facelifts and necklifts with other cosmetic procedures like eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) or brow lifts to achieve more comprehensive facial rejuvenation.