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Facelift: “Rhytidectomy”

A facelift, or rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure designed to smooth and soften changes in facial tissues that result from aging, solar damage, daily stress and other factors. Over time deep creases and sagging skin begin to take form, especially between the nose and mouth, the jaw line and neck. Though these changes are gradual, wrinkles and other signs of aging can make individuals feel older than they really are. A facelift improves the most obvious signs of aging by removing excess fat deposits, tightening underlying muscles, and redraping the skin of the face and neck.

A facelift is often performed in conjunction with other facial procedures in order to maintain facial harmony. Often the aged, tired look someone notices in the mirror results from sagging eyebrows and skin excess around the eyes, as much as the loose skin about the mouth, jowls and neck. Procedures such as a browlifts and eyelid surgery help address these often associated problem areas and are performed in conjunction with a facelift.

  • Facelift surgery is helpful whenFace and neck skin, muscles and fat are sagging.
  • Excess neck skin is present.
  • Heavy jowls are formed at the corners of the mouth to the jaw line.
  • Deep creases have developed along the nose to the mouth.

The Surgical Process

Surgery for a facelift typically involves incisions above the hairline at the temples, tracing the curve in front of the ears, and then continues around the earlobe and behind the ear. Dr. Morales then separates the skin from the muscle in order to reposition them in a higher location; the skin is pulled up, tightened, and the excess is trimmed away. A facelift usually takes several hours, depending on the number of procedures completed at the same setting.


Those who have minimal signs of aging may be better suited for a “mini facelift” in the mid to upper portion of the face. Dr. Morales will discuss your options during an initial consultation. “Mini-facelifts” involve more limited incisions when less suspension in needed. Tissues of the face are then separated, stretched and resuspended, and excess skin is removed. Redundant neck skin is addressed with a small incision under the chin as well, to help re-drape and remove loose skin.

Facelift Recovery

Recovery typically involves keeping the head elevated fitted with bandages in a restful, relaxed environment. Surgery can be outpatient with monitoring or a short overnight stay as an inpatient. Any discomfort is treated with oral medication. Return to work is generally between 10-14 days but some bruising may still be present for up to 3-4 weeks; return to more strenuous activity after 4 weeks. Complications are rare, however bruising, swelling and numbness can be transient and patients can minimize potential problems by carefully following the directions given before and after their surgery.

Previous patient results may be seen in before and after plastic surgery photos. If you would like to gain insight to the care offered by Dr. Morales and our professional staff, you may read patient testimonials.

Consulting With Your Surgeon

Highly qualified to perform a variety of facial, breast, and body surgeries, Dr. Morales has more than 10 years of experience. He is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) as well as a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

A complimentary consultation regarding facelift surgery may be scheduled by calling (214) 827-8407. For your convenience, you may use our contact form. Patient registration forms are also provided, which can be filled out prior to your visit.