Lower Rhytidectomy

Look Decades Younger With a Lower Rhytidectomy

As we naturally age, we begin to notice drastic changes in our face and neck. While facial sun spots and wrinkles are some of the more obvious ways of determining one’s age, an individual’s lower face and neck have a phenomenal impact in the way that person is perceived. Because the neck is often exposed to the sun and environment just as much as the face is, it tends to show signs of aging sometimes faster than a patient’s face would! Fortunately, board-certified cosmetic plastic surgeon Dr. Adibfar—and his proficient and experienced team at Toronto’s Elements Spa—provide the phenomenal option of taking years off a patient’s perceived age with results that are surprisingly subtle and natural-looking. In this article, we’ll be exploring the lower rhytidectomy, more commonly known as a lower face and neck lift!

As previously mentioned, signs of aging occur in the face and neck for various reasons, ranging from genetics, sun damage, skin type and overall lifestyle. Some patients show signs of aging around their eyes and brows, while others display more prominent signs of aging in the lower half of their face, jaws and necks. Sadly, patients showing these signs may relay an appearance of tiredness and fatigue regardless of their state and energy levels. In these cases, a lower rhytidectomy can greatly reduce the appearance of deep facial wrinkles, sagging jowls and any lax or excess skin in the neck. Patients who’ve undergone lower rhytidectomies are happy to see a firmer, more fresh and enthusiastic appearance that more accurately represents their real age and the way they feel. 

The Procedure & Recovery

Much like an overstretched garment of clothing, our tissues and muscles weaken and lose their elasticity and firmness as we age. Our skin may sag and create hollow areas and shadows in our face, while creating deeper wrinkles and creases. A lower rhytidectomy functions to stretch the skin and tissues upward in a way that accentuates a more defined jaw and a firmer, more youthful neck.

Depending on the patient, Dr. Adibfar may choose to administer local, or a light general anesthesia. Markings are made around the perimeter and behind the ear (in the hairline) for scars that will be virtually undetectable. Dr. Adibfar then carefully cuts and elevates the skin away from underlying tissues of the lower portion of the face and jawline, tightens the muscles followed by stretching the skin upward (rather than towards the ears) and removing any excess skin before the incision is gently secured and closed. 

For patients also undergoing a neck lift, Dr. Adibfar makes a small incision under the chin. The procedure may include Dr. Adibfar re-positioning the neck muscles, as well as stretching and closing the neck bands (also known as the platysma muscles) so that there are no gaps and the neck muscles reflect a symmetric fan like resemblance. This will address any prominent display of an adam’s apple or vertical muscle bands. Once the underlying structure is remodelled, Dr. Adibfar will stretch and remove any excess skin before closing the incision with sutures. 

Patients may experience swelling, bruising and discomfort in the lower face, as well as mild tightness in the neck. These are all normal signs of recovery, and patients are advised to refrain from strenuous physical activity until Dr. Adibfar says that it is fine to return to their previous fitness regimen. Patients are usually able to return to work 1-2 weeks post procedure under the careful watch of Dr. Adibfar’s post procedure, self-care instructions. 

While the lower rhytidectomy will never stop the natural aging process, patients are relieved to be able to gracefully age with their new youthful and rejuvenated appearance. Patients are very surprised to see how the procedure’s results naturally acclimate to their face and smoother neck contour, better reflecting the way they feel on the inside. 

Click here to learn more about the lower rhytidectomy or to book a consultation with Elements Spa’s board-certified cosmetic plastic surgeon Dr. Adibfar.