Facelift & Neck Lift (Rhytidectomy)

FACELIFT & NECK LIFT (Rhytidectomy)Face_and_Neck
Surgery performed by Dr. Schenden and Dr. Elswick 

The ideals of universal beauty change across time, cultures, ethnicity, and gender. Facial beauty is achieved when good taste, balance, and proportion are in harmony. As people age, the effects of gravity, exposure to the sun, and the stresses of daily life can be seen in their faces. Deep creases form between the nose and mouth; the jawline grows slack and jowly; folds and fat deposits appear around the neck. A facelift can't stop this aging process. What it can do is set back the clock, improving the most visible signs of aging.

Our objective is using modern “cutting edge” surgical technique to restore the youthful balance and to have a rested appearance. We combine safe and efficient surgical techniques, resulting in a high degree of patient satisfaction. A facelift can be done alone, or in conjunction with other procedures such as a forehead lift, eyelid surgery, or nose reshaping.


Facelift and Neck lift involves enhancing the contour of the face and neck by adjusting the proportions to achieve harmony. We prefer to analyze the overall appearance of the face. The ethnicity, body habitus, and general proportions of the face should be considered. A 3-D approach is used to analyze patient’s facial volume, skin texture, muscular activity, and bony skeletal support. After a thorough physical examination and a detailed analysis using 3D Vectra technology, facelift and neck lift is individualized to improve the deep cheek folds, jowls and loose, sagging skin around the neck that come with age.


The best candidate for a facelift is a patient with excessive skin laxity in the face and/or neck region seeking to improve contour, symmetry, and skin laxity. Most patients are in their late 40’s to 80’s. A facelift can make you look younger and well rested, and it may enhance your self-confidence in the process. Ideal candidates are seeking an improvement but not perfection and have realistic expectations, healthy, nonsmokers, and off select medications (ask your Plastic Surgeon).


Facelifts are very individualized procedures. In your initial consultation Dr. Schenden will examine and evaluate your face, including the skin and underlying bone structure, and discuss your goals for the surgery.

Our Vectra 3D Imaging Software allows you to visualize your potential surgical outcome during the consultation process. Our doctors make sure your questions are answered and your goals are understood. Patient expectations are important to discuss at the consultation. Surgical technique is individualized to each patient based on shape and anatomy. Be sure to mention smoking, medications, medical history, and previous surgeries.


Our qualified staff will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for the surgery, including guidelines on diet, medications, activity level, and smoking. Detailed instructions on activity after surgery will be discussed. Following these instructions carefully will increase the success of your surgical outcome.

If you smoke, plan to quit at least 4-6 weeks before the scheduled surgery. Avoid sun exposure before and after surgery as may will interfere with your healing.


Surgery is usually done on an outpatient basis, but some patients may elect to be hospitalized for one day after surgery. Certain medical conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure should be monitored after surgery and may also require a short inpatient stay.

Patient preference will be incorporated into this decision. The facilities we are privileged to operate from include Columbia Surgery Center (our private surgical suite) and William Beaumont Hospital of Troy, MI where Dr. Schenden is currently Chief of Plastic Surgery. Dr. Elswick has privileges at William Beaumont Hospital Troy and Royal Oak as well as McLaren Macomb Hospital.


General Anesthesia (complete sleep) or I.V. sedation with local anesthesia (twilight anesthesia) may be individualized based on complexity of the procedure and patient preference.


A facelift usually takes 3-5 hours depending on complexity and combination with other surgeries such as eyelids, neck, or fat grafting. Incisions usually begin above the hairline, extend in the natural creases in front of the ear and continue behind the earlobe to the lower scalp. If the neck needs work, a small incision may also be made under the chin. Fat may be trimmed or suctioned from around the neck and chin to improve the contour and jaw definition. The muscle under the chin is tightened to improve the contour of the neck. Excess face and skin are pulled in multiple directions to achieve the optimal aesthetic appearance and sutured along the edges of the ear and behind the ear along the hairline. Most of the scars will be hidden within your hair and in the normal creases of your skin. Two small drains may be placed and removed in 1-2 days after surgery.


Bed rest with head elevation is encouraged. Swelling, bruising, headaches and pain are expected but controlled with medications. Detailed activity and wound care instructions will be provided at the consultation. Temporary numbness of the skin is expected but will return to normal in a few weeks or months. Sutures will be removed at 5-7 days after surgery.

Normally you may return to work after 2 weeks but with light duty and no heavy lifting or strenuous activity for 6 weeks. Swelling is expected with the majority of the swelling will improve within the first 4 weeks after surgery. Expect the final outcome of the facelift at 6 months after surgery. Scar will continue to mature (color change) up to 12 months. Short and frequent follow up visits will be scheduled after surgery to ensure appropriate healing during recovery.


Most patients achieve a high satisfaction of the facial and neck rejuvenation after surgery. Initially there will be swelling and bruising followed by changes in skin color, dryness, and sensitivity. The final results of the facelift and neck lift will take 3 to 6 months. Your more youthful appearance will show both physically and with added confidence.


Every surgical procedure involves a certain amount of risk and it is important that you understand these risks and the possible complications associated with them. In addition, every procedure has limitations. An individual’s choice to undergo a surgical procedure is based on the comparison of the risk to potential benefit. Although the majority of patients do not experience complications, you should discuss them with your plastic surgeon to make sure you understand all possible consequences of facelift and neck lift.

Call today to set up your consultation. 248.524.0620