Facelift and Aging face.Facelift (Rhytidectomy) - The Aging Face

Learn about facial aging, facelift (rhytidectomy), and sculpture of the facial region by Dr. Michael Bermant, MD plastic & cosmetic surgery.

Michael Bermant, MD
Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery

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Facelift Surgery - Rhytidectomy are names for a group of operations performed to restore the effects of aging. Time and gravity take their tolls on our facial beauty. Tissues lose their youthful tone and sag. Sun and the environment etch the lines of time into the surface of the face with wrinkles and lines. For some cultures these effects represent the earned years of wisdom and respect. For other cultures the aging process is a loss of youth and possible competitive edge. More and more people, both men and women, want to look as young as they feel.

Bermant Plastic Cosmetic Aesthetic Surgery facelift / rhytidetcomy.

I have always had a fascination with the aging face. Here is a pen and ink study I drew in 1970.

How has your face aged? Sit down with a mirror and one of your younger photographs. The photograph should be of your face as a younger adult. To project how your face may age, look at an image of your parents or family members at an older age. See how time can change facial features. If you bring your pictures with you during your consultation, I can better understand your particular aging patterns.

The aging brow can have:

  • descent of tissue and lowering of the eyebrows
  • horizontal furrows and folds
  • vertical lines between the eyebrows
  • elevated hairline - loss of hair

Bermant Plastic Cosmetic Aesthetic Surgery facelift / rhytidetcomy.Bermant pen and ink 1970

The aging eyelid tissue can have:

  • folding of redundant tissue of the upper eyelid that can make it difficult to keep the eyelid open
  • weakening of support for the lower eyelid that can let the lid sag away from its protective position against the eye
  • sagging of skin and muscles of the lower lid robbing a youthful appearance and in extreme cases creating festoons (folds of tissue) above the cheek
  • transparency of eyelid skin revealing the darkness of the eye socket behind them
  • wrinkling of skin at the outer corners of the eyes extending towards the hairline - "crow's feet"

Bermant Plastic Cosmetic Aesthetic Surgery facelift / rhytidetcomy.Bermant pen and ink 1970

The aging face has a downward migration of facial structures:

  • descent of tissue from the cheekbones towards the cheeks resulting in less prominent cheeks
  • deepening of the nasolabial folds (the lines between the nose and the corners of the mouth)
  • extra tissue below the jaw line creating bulges called jowls
  • redundant tissue about the neck, when excessive producing a turkey gobbler like waddle
  • sagging neck muscles that can tighten into bands with expression
  • blunting of the angle between the chin and the neck with a loss of jaw definition

Facial skin ages creating lines (rhytids)

  • Shallow wrinkles that disappear with stretching of the skin
  • Deeper wrinkles that do not disappear with skin stretching
  • Lines of facial animation

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This page last updated on: April 21, 2012

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