Facelift (Rhytidectomy)

Facelift Surgery in Gilbert AZ

Many factors cause the skin to wrinkle and sag. Exposure to the sun, genetics and the natural aging process are a few. Children and young adults have smooth, round faces due to fatty tissue that is evenly distributed throughout the contours of the face. As we age, the skin loses elasticity, sags and fits more loosely. Skin folds become prominent, especially around the chin, the jaw line and along the neck.

Call Gilbert Office Phone Number 480-279-3113 with questions about a Facelift or to schedule your consultation.

Dr. Spanganberg performs Rhytidectomies, or Face Lifts, to enhance your appearance and correct these conditions. A Facelift involves tightening of facial and neck muscles as well as the removal of excess skin. The procedure is often performed in conjunction with other cosmetic surgeries such as Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), Forehead Lift, Chin Augmentation, Cheek Augmentation, Liposuction or Rhinoplasty (nasal surgery).

If you would like more information on facelifts or other procedures, please call us at Gilbert Office Phone Number 480-279-3113.

These cosmetic procedures can be performed any time after signs of aging appear. In general, a more natural appearing, longer lasting result can be obtained by having surgery when the changes of aging are first bothersome rather than waiting until one is older.

In order to perform these surgical procedures with the highest quality and safety, Dr Spanganberg has built a state-of-the-art surgical facility. In most cases, surgery is performed at this center. This allows us to keep your fees as reasonable as possible. In more complex cases, the surgery may be best performed in a hospital setting.

The Facelift Consultation
Before proceeding with a surgical procedure your medical history will be reviewed in order to determine your overall health. If necessary, we may request that you be seen by your physician for evaluation prior to surgery. Dr. Spanganberg will discuss with you potential benefits of surgery and tips for recovering as quickly as possible. Our objective is to create a natural appearance that is pleasing to you.We will provide you with preoperative instructions that will include the elimination of specific drugs containing aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (Advil, Aleve, etc.) and Vitamin E several weeks before surgery to minimize excess bleeding. Antibiotics will also be prescribed to help prevent infection.

Before Surgery

Preoperative Instructions for Patients Undergoing Intravenous (IV) Anesthesia

  • The patient may not have anything to eat or drink (including water) for six (6) hours prior to the appointment except to take your normal medication or medication prescribed by our office.
  • A responsible adult must accompany the patient to the office, remain in the office during the procedure, and drive the patient home after the procedure.
  • The patient should not drive a vehicle for 24 hours following anesthesia or for 4 hours after taking narcotic pain medication.

Wear loose fitting clothing with short-sleeved shirts or sleeves, which can be rolled up past the elbow. Contact lenses, jewelry and dentures should be removed before the time of surgery.

Facelift Surgery Procedure

Incisions are made inside the hairline at the temple, extending and hidden in front of the ear, then around the earlobe and behind the ear, ending in the hair of the scalp. The loose skin is separated from underlying tissue and is pulled up and back. Excess skin is removed. Sagging muscles and connective tissues are tightened. In some cases, fatty deposits are removed from beneath the chin and neck with liposuction technique. Small sutures are used to close the incisions. The procedure may take 2 – 5 hours depending on the extent of the procedure and whether any additional procedures are performed at the same time

Postoperative Care

After facelift surgery it is important to have good post-operative surgical care. Recommendations will be discussed at your pre-surgical consultation. Bandages are applied to the area of surgery and are removed within a few days. Pain is moderate and controlled with oral medications. Your sutures are removed within the first 5 to 10 days. In order to minimize scaring, the doctor may remove the sutures in stages. Incisions normally fade quickly. Swelling and discoloration are usually gone within 2-3 weeks. Tightness in your face will be present for several weeks and there may be slight changes in your hair pattern around the incision.

It is recommended that you avoid the sun for several months after face lift surgery. Although you are usually ready to return to normal activities in 2 weeks, healing is gradual so you will not see final results for up to 6 months. The amount of improvement varies, depending on your initial condition. It is advisable to maintain your new more youthful appearance by using appropriate skin care products, and visiting our Medi-Spa for a patient maintenance program.

After Face Lift Surgery

  • Positioning: For the first 10 days, it is best to keep your head elevated, to help decrease swelling and bruising. For the first several days after surgery, you may be most comfortable in a recliner chair or lying on a sofa with your head elevated. Initially, you will have a compression dressing over your face. You may want to place a cold pack (ice chips in a “baggie” or frozen peas) over the front part of your face. After 24 hours, ice does little to prevent swelling, but you may continue to use ice if it feels better. When sleeping, keep your head elevated above the level of your heart. Extra pillows under your head or a blanket or two under the mattress works well. You do not need to sleep upright.
  • Cleaning: After several days, you will be given a head dressing that you will put on and take off. This is the time to begin cleaning the incision lines and stitches. Twice a day, wash stitches and incision lines gently with soap and water, and place a light coat antibiotic or A&D ointment. Rubber drains may be present behind the earlobes to allow for drainage. If present, these will be removed several days after surgery. Keep the pressure dressing in place at night, and off and on during the day through the 10th post-operative day.
  • Swelling/Bruising: Swelling and bruising are normal body responses to surgery. Swelling usually peaks the second or third day after surgery then begins to decrease. Most of the swelling is gone after 10 days, but the remainder takes months to completely resolve. Taking medications as prescribed and following these instructions will help minimize swelling and bruising and promote quick healing.
  • Nutrition: Good nutrition is very important in optimizing healing after surgery. Make sure you eat a balanced diet.
  • Exercise: Light exercise, such as evening walks, can begin 3-4 days following surgery. Do not lift heavy objects, bend over, or return to strenuous activity until cleared by Dr. Spanganberg or staff. On average, moderate exercise begins in 10-14 days and rigorous exercise 5-6 weeks after surgery.
  • Medication: If you are able to take Ibuprofen, take over-the-counter Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) 200 mg tablets (3 tablets) 4 times per day, for 3 days after surgery. Take narcotic pain medication as needed. Do not drive for 4 hours after taking narcotic pain medication.

Before Facelift Surgery

Before Facelift Surgery

After Facelift Surgery

After Facelift Surgery


Before Facelift Surgery

Before Facelift Surgery

After Facelift Surgery

After Facelift Surgery


Before Facelift Surgery

Before Facelift

After Facelift Surgery

After Facelift


Before Facelift Surgery

Before Facelift Procedure

After Facelift Surgery

After Facelift Procedure


Before Facelift Surgery

Before Facelift Surgery

After Facelift Surgery

After Facelift Surgery