Face lifts are no longer reserved for the rich and famous. Recently they have become more affordable (around $7,000, but prices vary) and with that one of the most frequently performed cosmetic procedures in the U.S.
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Face lifts are most often performed to firm sagging jowls and deep smile lines. A face lift provides an overall lift to the lower third of your face by tightening loose skin in the neck, jowls and jaw line. Therefore, facelifts are often called "neck lifts". Brow lifts or forehead lifts can also be combined into a face lift depending on individual's desire.
During a face lift procedure, the muscles and tissues in the lifted areas are flattened so that frown lines are decreased and deep lines on the forehead are smoothed out completely.
Face lift incisions are normally made above the hairline so they are cloaked by the hair after they heal. The incisions typically run along the natural line in front of the ear and along the curve behind the earlobe into the scalp.
A face lift usually takes a few hours to perform, and you'll likely experience swelling or bruising for a few days after the surgery. Pain is minimal, but it can be controlled with oral medication.
A facelift normally takes about 3 weeks to heal. During recovery time you will experience a slight level of discomfort, and you will have to abstain from wearing makeup until your skin is fully healed. Your face will be fully healed within 10 to 12 weeks.
Those who have undergone a face lift should avoid direct sun exposure - especially the first few weeks post-surgery. In general, the results of a face lift can last for 5 to 10 years - depending on patient's age and lifestyle. Bottom line: the younger a patient is and the healthier their life style is - the longer the effects of a face lift will last.