What is a Facelift?

Facelift Surgery | Kristin J. Tarbet, MD | Bellevue, WA

A facelift, technically known as a rhytidectomy, has become a well-known, widely used procedure designed to reverse signs of aging. Over time, gravity, sun exposure and other external factors take their toll on our faces and necks. A facelift reverses the signs of aging by tightening muscles, removing fat and trimming excess skin. Patients can have a fresher, more youthful look. To “grow old gracefully” now has new meaning!

What Can a Facelift Fix?

A facelift covers the lower and middle areas of the face. These areas specifically include:

  • Mid-face sagging
  • Deep under eye creases
  • Nasolabial folds
  • Jowls
  • Sagging fat
  • Loose skin and fat under the chin and jaw

Candidates for a Rhytidectomy

The ideal candidate for a rhytidectomy wants to correct one or more signs of aging in their face. In addition, candidates need to still have elasticity in their skin in order to undergo a facelift. Patients should not smoke, be in generally good health, and have realistic expectations as to what a rhytidectomy can accomplish.

“Dr. Tarbet is experienced and outstanding in her field. I highly recommend seeing Dr. Tarbet for all cosmetic needs and especially for eye surgery or a facelift. I promise you will not be disappointed.” – Beckie P.

Before & After Facelift


The Facelift Procedure

Dr. Kristin J. Tarbet performs facelifts as an outpatient procedure while the patient is under local or general anesthesia. The procedure takes about 2 hours but can vary based on the patient. Dr. Tarbet will go over the surgical plan during your consultation. This will detail how she will perform the surgery as the approach differs based on the patient’s facial structure, the extent of areas that are going to be corrected, and where is best to place the incisions. Incisions are typically hidden in the hairline or along the natural contours of the face.

Since a facelift only corrects certain areas of the face many patients choose to combine it with additional procedures. Including a forehead lift or eyelid surgery will extend the procedure time but allow the patient to recover from both procedures at once. Dr. Tarbet will discuss your combination options with you during your consultation.

Rhytidectomy Recovery

After the facelift procedure, Dr. Tarbet will wrap your incisions in bandages and may place drainage tubes. The next day patients can have the tubes removed and wash their hair. At your follow-up appointment, Dr. Tarbet will remove any stitches or surgical clips from the incisions. Patients often experience stiff muscles and diminished sensation in the face but this typically goes away within a few weeks. Scars, which are mostly hidden, become less red, raised, and lumpy within a few months.

Before & After Facelift


Results of a Facelift

While a facelift can reverse signs of aging it does not stop the aging process. Therefore, the results are not permanent. Some patients choose to undergo another facelift 5 to 10 years later. However, the effects of a facelift are permanent so your face will continue to look better than if you had not had a facelift.

Are There Side Effects from a Facelift?

Patients can experience some side effects after their facelift. Most side effects resolve themselves within 3 to 6 weeks but can include:

  • Bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Discoloration
  • Infection
  • Nerve Injury
  • Swelling
  • Numbness

Dr. Kristin J. Tarbet | Bellevue, WA
Dr. Kristin J. Tarbet | Bellevue, WA

Dr. Tarbet spoke at the ASOPRS 49th Annual Fall Scientific Symposium about Facelift Complications

Schedule a Consultation

If you are interested in a facelift or want to learn more schedule a consultation today by calling (425) 455-2131. Kristin J. Tarbet, MD serves Bellevue and surrounding areas in Washington.

Call our offices at 425-455-2131 or use our online contact form to schedule your appointment today!

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