A facelift, also known as a rhytidectomy, is a popular plastic surgery that restores a youthful appearance to the face by removing loose skin. The skin begins to loose moisture and elasticity with age, which causes lines, wrinkles, and skin folds. During a facelift, Richmond facelift expert Dr. Matthew Bridges M.D. FACS, a facial plastic surgeon, surgically excises the excess skin from the face. Dr. Bridges will then ensure that the facial muscles and tissues are smooth and use liposuction on any fat pockets. The skin is then redraped so patients look natural, but also vibrant and refreshed.
"I’m that person who would look in the mirror and say, “ugh...I need a plastic surgeon on speed dial.”I’m also that person who is terrified of needles, surgery, hospitals, and anesthesia. Enter Matthew Bridges. From the moment I decided to have the surgery, he calmed me down, answered all of my questions, and essentially held my hand during the entire process. The results have exceeded my expectations. He’s given me the profile I’ve wanted since I was a teenager. I’m left wondering why I waited so long. Don’t be me. Make the phone call and get the consultation. You won’t be sorry."- L.S. / Google / Jun 06, 2019
"So impressed with his knowledge and skill! - Dr. Bridges is a wonderful surgeon. I highly recommend him if you want a skilled hand . He is also one that will tell you if you don’t need something done or if he doesn’t think it is the right procedure for you. The time he spends with you explaining procedures and recovery time puts your mind at ease. You will not feel more comfortable with anyone else. I would highly recommend a consult for any concerns or improvements you might have thought about . It’s worth the visit!!"- 1. / RealSelf / Dec 11, 2019
"Dr. Bridges is a Fantastic Plastic Surgeon - Dr. Matthew Bridges is the best plastic surgeon anywhere.I had a facelift 3 years ago by another plastic surgeon in the west end of Richmond and the results were not good if any thing it was worse than before the facelift.. A year ago I decided I had to do something. I found Dr. Bridges I got a second facelift I am so glad I did my face looks so natural and 15 years younger. I am so happy with my facelift...a great job..I love Dr. Bridges he is kind, spends time with you and explains everything to you. He is fantastic and a perfectionist when it come to his work. He is the best and I could never go anywhere else. I trust him to the fullest. I have had filler done before by Dr. Bridges and getting ready to have fillers in the next month.I love the office girls they are so helpful so nice. I feel right at home.."- A. / RealSelf / Sep 25, 2018
"The Best Decision I’ve Ever Made. - You know how people say, “run, don’t walk” when something is great? Well, grab your running shoes and hightail it to Dr Bridges. My results have exceeded my expectations. I’m thrilled. You will be too. Updated on 20 Jun 2019: This was fifteen days after my lower facelift and chin implant. I am so happy with my results. I wish I had done the implant 40 years ago. Fear prevented me. Don’t be me. This was so much easier than I ever anticipated."- N. / RealSelf / Oct 09, 2019
"Deep lines are gone and my skin is smooth again - Could not have been better. Dr Bridges & staff were exceptional. No waiting around in the waiting room, everyone was attentive, kind, and paid attention to my wishes and my needs. Dr Bridges did a fantastic job, seriously amazing job on my face and I could not be more pleased. Yes, it hurt, yes, it took a week or more before I went out in public but the result is well worth it.Deep lines are gone, my skin is smooth again, and he went above and beyond diagnosing a skin cancer spot and making sure it was taken care of. I am anxious to have my next procedure (neck lift) done as after this first experience, I am confident all will go well. The entire experience was very good. Thank you so much.Updated on 18 Apr 2022:After laser, my turkey neck was terrible so opted for lower face and neck lift. Hospital staff were wonderful, sore and swollen still 3 weeks out but I have a chin at last and wobble neck is gone. I cannot recommend Dr Bridges enough. His entire staff is attentive , kind and helpful as well. Regarding costs, I believe the laser was 4000, I added in neck laser for 500 more. The lift was 10,500. A wee bit more as I had to get a pre op physical (300 at urgent care clinic) plus medication and creams, which are pricey. Results are worth every penny. No more big scarves, big sunglasses and hiding !"- F. / RealSelf / Dec 10, 2021
There are various techniques used today to perform a facelift. Facial anatomy, skin laxity and the overall aesthetic goal of the patient will determine the best approach. Each procedure will be unique to the patient and will vary based on the type and location of the incision, the number of tissue layers affected, the plane of elevation and the level of invasiveness.
Skin Only Facelift
The skin only facelift has been in practice since the early 1900s. Known as a cutaneous facelift, this technique is less invasive because it addresses the skin only. The result of this surgery is a bit subtler than some of the newer muscle tightening procedures. However, it also offers a lower risk and recovery period for the patient.
Traditional Facelift (SMAS)
The SMAS facelift is the more modern lifting procedure . This surgery, while more complicated, produces results that are more significant and longer lasting. The technique involves manipulating the tissue beneath the skin known as the superficial musculo-aponeurotic system (SMAS). This tissue connects with muscles that control facial expression. An incision is made along the hairline in front of the ear the temple to just behind the earlobe. The skin is then separated and lifted. The underlying muscles and tissue are tightened and secured so they maintain their new position.
Richmond Deep Plane Lift
The deep plane lift goes a step further than the traditional approach. The deep plane technique involves dissection below the SMAS layer, providing more mobilization of tissue and greater ability to lift.
Richmond Mini Facelift
There are lots of "mini" facelifts described and advertised around the country. Most of the mini lifts also give mini results. They typically do not create long-lasting results. Mini lifts typically involve incisions in front of the ear only, without the typical extension of the incision into the hairline behind the ear. Dr. Bridges does not typically perform the type of mini-lift that gives minimal results. Instead, he offers a lifting procedure utilizing the state-of-the-art deep plane techniques achieved through a short scar typically used in mini-lifts. The facial tissues are elevated in the anti-gravitational vertical direction, which achieves the best correction of the sagging neck and jowls. Although the incisions are "mini", there is nothing "mini" about the result. For most patients, incisions in front of the ear are all that are needed. Sometimes a short extension behind the ear and occasionally an incision under the chin are required. This short scar, deep plane vertical lift is Dr. Bridges' preferred technique. Dr. Bridges is one of the only facelift surgeons in Richmond who performs this type of advanced lifting procedure.
Most facelift procedures are performed under general anesthesia at an accredited surgical facility. The length of the surgery will vary, but it generally takes between 3-4 hours. This surgery is considered an outpatient procedure. However, some patients may be required to stay overnight in the hospital. After surgery, patients will be bruised and swollen and the face and neck will feel tight. This will gradually improve within a few days. It is common for patients to feel anxious about how their face will appear. Patients need to understand it can take several full months for the final results to appear. Incisions typically heal rapidly and are hard to see, even after 3-4 weeks.
Plan Your Procedure
BOTOX®, injectable fillers, microdermabrasion and chemical peels are examples of some non-surgical procedures that can assist in smoothing out wrinkles, improving fine lines and adding facial volume. These procedures also help to even out skin tone. However, these are treatments that will only affect the skin’s surface. Patients with loose skin, drooping jowls or a sagging neck will need to consider surgery if they want these features improved.
Will I Look Fake?
In the days immediately following facelift surgery, patients will feel tight and pulled. These are some short-term effects, but they will subside. It’s important to find a reputable surgeon skilled in facial surgery. Surgeons who know what they are doing will make every effort to work within the confines of the patient’s bone, skin and muscle structures so a younger, more natural look can result.
Facelift surgery does require incisions. However, these scars are well hidden as they fall just along the hairline and around the ears in the natural folds and shadows. In most cases, the scars are be barely visible. Dr. Bridges short scar deep plane vertical lifting technique limits the length of the incision to minimize the scars.
The common age range for patients who undergo a facelift is from the mid to late 40's and older. It is typical for most patients will look 5-10 years younger following a facelift procedure. Younger patients (40-50 years old) generally have stronger skin elasticity so their results may last longer than older patients. However, older patients may have results that appear more dramatic and, for them, this can be very worthwhile. Patients should think of a facelift as a process to turn back the aging clock. You will still age, but you will appear a few years younger.