How is it Performed?


Maripaz Duque, M.D.


  Center of Skin Laser Treatments


Face and neck skin flaccidity, skin wrinkles, facial expression lines are some external manifestations of body aging and they generally  appear after the fifth decade.  The surgery to correct this situation is called Rhytidectomy or Face Lift. In patients under 45 years, the procedure to correct small amounts of skin flaccidity is called Mini-rhyitidectomy.

Because patients are over 40 years old, during  the initial consultation the doctor should ask about all the patient’s medical and surgical history, specially about high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, alcohol and smoking habits or current medications. Pre-surgical routine laboratory tests must include chest X-rays and an  electrocardiogram. Cardiology and respiratory evaluation may be useful before going to see the anesthesiologist. 

The surgery is performed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with mild sedation, always under an anesthesiologist’s care. The patient should remain in the hospital for 1 or 2 days. The procedure lasts 3 to 5 hours depending on extension  of skin resection.




Pre-auricular fold                                          Surgical planning


Through a pre-auricular skin incision , the skin is raised and the muscular layer is identified and tightened to obtain a real lifting of the facial structures. If there is any fat deposit around the neck area, it is treated with liposuction. The skin is re-draped and a small amount of it is removed.




Skin incisión


Skin rising


Deep tissues tightened




Skin lifting and resection               Final closure and drainage


Drainage tubes are left on both sides. The wound is closed with non-absorbable sutures and a compressive bandage surrounds face, neck  and head to prevent bleeding in the postoperative period.   

If the patient is younger than 45,  or a small amount of skin needs to be removed, mini-lift is the election.

The skin incision and  raising are more limited, as is the muscle tightening. This surgery may be done under local anesthesia with sedation and it lasts 1 to 2 hours.




Left side operated                  Both sides operated


The head should be raised 45 degrees for 48 to 72 hours. Swollen face  and bruises around the cheeks and neck disappear after 10 days to 2 weeks after surgery. Drainage tubes are discarded after 2 days and sutures are left in place for 10 days. A special garment is designed for permanent use around the face and neck for 2 weeks and then only at night for 1 month. Sun exposure should be avoided for 3 months to prevent skin pigmentation.







After  3 weeks







After 3 weeks

  The scar is  noticeable initially, but it fades away during the first year. The final results are evident after 3 months and last for 8 to 10 years for full face lift, and 2 or 3 years for mini-facelift procedure.  
Maripaz Duque, M.D.
Plastic Surgeon


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