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Limited Incision Rhytidectomy

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Aug 31, 2022.

What do I need to know about a limited incision rhytidectomy?

A limited incision rhytidectomy is a face lift that uses fewer, smaller incisions than a regular face lift. It may also be called a mini face lift. The goal of this surgery is to remove signs of aging. It can tighten the skin and the underlying tissues of your face and neck.

How do I prepare for a limited incision rhytidectomy?

  • Your surgeon will talk to you about how to prepare for surgery. He or she may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your surgery.
  • You may be told to stop certain medicines 2 weeks before surgery. Your surgeon will tell you which medicines to take or not take on the day of your surgery.
  • Arrange for someone to drive you home and stay with you for at least 1 night.
  • You may not be able to have surgery if you have a history of smoking. You will need to stop smoking for several months before and after surgery.

What will happen during a limited incision rhytidectomy?

  • You may be given general anesthesia to keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. You may instead be given local anesthesia to numb the surgery area. With local anesthesia, you will also be given sedation to keep you relaxed and sleepy. Small incisions will be made in front of your ears, hairline, and lower jawbone. A small incision will also be made near the outer edge of your eyes.
  • Your surgeon will pull your skin and tissues upwards to lift sagging cheeks and brows. He or she will pull up the extra skin on your neck and chin. Medical glue may be applied over the tissue in your cheeks and forehead. This may add fullness to the area and help prevent bruising. A gel-like filler also may be used to add fullness to your face. Your surgeon will close the incisions with stitches and cover them with bandages.

What will happen after a limited incision rhytidectomy?

  • You will need to keep your head and upper back elevated with pillows or rest in a recliner.
  • Keep cold packs on your face as much as possible the first 72 hours after surgery.
  • The bandages will be removed the first day after surgery. The stitches may be removed 1 to 2 weeks after surgery.
  • You will have a lot of swelling and bruising for at least 2 weeks after surgery. It takes about 6 months to see the final result of surgery.

What are the risks of limited incision rhytidectomy?

You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. You may not be happy with the results of your face lift. You may have scars or hair loss. Your face may swell or parts of your face may droop. You may have large bruises caused by bleeding in your face and neck. These bruises can cause tissue in your face and neck to be damaged. You may have pain in your jaw, which may make it hard for you to open your mouth. You may have nerve damage that causes parts of your face or neck to be weak or numb. You may need another surgery to fix these problems.

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