A Rhytidectomy Restores Youthful Contours

While a rhytidectomy may sound frightening, it’s simply the technical term for a facelift. Boston, MA, plastic surgeon Dr. Christopher Davidson frequently performs this surgery on patients seeking a more youthful face, but no matter how many he handles, he notes that each successful facelift requires a large amount of planning, dedication, and care to ensure the outcome is as expected. Plastic surgery remains both and a science.

Dr. Davidson, who specializes in facelifts in Boston, is an artist. He painstakingly uses the smallest incision possible to get the best possible result.


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Discover the benefits of a customized facelift. Boston, MA, area residents can call (781) 237-7700 or request a consultation.

Facelift: The Procedure

The aging process dictates change that no one really likes to see happening. Firm skin becomes loose, lines develop where there were none before, and the jaw loses its sharpness. While these changes inspire discontent in some, they don’t mean you have to accept them and the loss of self-esteem that can often accompany the change. Getting a facelift means you can lessen the effects of aging and experience a more youthful look again. In fact, many patients opt to combine a facelift with other procedures such as skin resurfacing for greater end results.

Dr. Christopher J. Davidson's approach to facelift surgery in Boston emphasizes natural-looking results.
Dr. Davidson carefully calculates the optimal angle for lifting the face and neck. This helps provide an individualized result and achieves the most natural outcome possible. This calculated approach will also avoid undesired effects (flattening of the mid-face, pleating of the skin in front of the ears, or bunching of the skin under the chin area), which typically occur if the direction of the lift is excessively vertical or horizontal. Furthermore, Lifting of SMAS fascia (underlying tissues) prevents a pulled look by repositioning tissue beneath (not just the skin). In this manner, the area is naturally lifted because the underlying structure is repositioned, not pulled.

Surely you’ve noticed the type of facelifts that look too taut or artificial, and you want to avoid that type of result. Dr. Davidson can give you natural results with his top-notch surgical skills, making your friends and family wonder what skin product you’re using, rather than what procedure you had done. For a facelift friends and family will notice, come to Dr. Christopher Davidson.

There is no cookie cutter version of the facelift procedure. Dr. Davidson prefers to customize the rhytidectomy surgery to best suit your individual needs, always aiming to place the incision in the least noticeable location. If you are worried about scarring that could result from such a procedure, know that a mini-facelift will produce a more subtle effect. By tightening the neck muscles and lifting the supporting tissues in the face through a small incision in the crease below the chin, a younger look can be achieved.

Facelift: Before and After Photos

View photos that reveal what real patients look like when they choose a facelift in Boston from Dr. Christopher Davidson.


Photo Gallery

See What Dr. Davidson Can Do
View before-and-after face photos of real patients.

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Facelift: The Consultation

Your consultation provides an opportunity for you to discuss your needs and wants with Dr. Davidson. Together, you will determine the goals for your facelift. During this time, Dr. Davidson will assess your entire physique and ask about your past medical history. Include any surgeries, no matter how minor they are, in the conversation.

It’s important to bring a current list of all medications and herbal supplements to the consultation, as well as to tell the doctor of any past or current alcohol or drug use. This will give Dr. Davidson insight into any extra measures needed to prepare for your rhytidectomy.

Tell him what you want. He will make suggestions about the type of facelift needed, as well as any other possible surgeries to maximize the significance of the final outcome. He will also discuss the types of incisions and anesthesia necessary for your upcoming facelift. Dr. Davidson’s care team will take photographs of you to further plan your procedure.

Facelift: Preparations and Surgery Details

The night before your scheduled facelift procedure, you will need to stop eating or drinking at midnight unless you are expressly told otherwise. You may, for instance, need to take routine medications with a small sip of water.

Shower with an anti-microbial soap. This lessens the amount of potentially harmful bacteria introduced into the operating room. Repeat this process again the morning of the rhytidectomy procedure before going to the hospital or surgical center. Remove any jewelry or piercings from your neck and face.

The surgery begins with sedation. Dr. Davidson will determine the amount of medication needed based on the extent of the surgery planned. Most of the time, it will be administered by an anesthesiologist.

Many traditional facelifts require an incision that travels along the hairline, near the front of the ear, under the earlobe, and to the back of the ear. While this may seem extreme, physicians have been perfecting the facelift technique for generations. Depending on the extent of work needed, Dr. Davidson may choose to use limited incisions, all of which will be well hidden in the hairline and normal curvature of your facial features. He will then close the incisions and send you to the recovery room.

Facelift Recovery

Facelift Before & After Left Side View Photos
After you wake up from the rhytidectomy, you may experience some pain and/or nausea. These feelings are normal and can be easily controlled with prescription medications.

Many people expect to experience immediate results. However, the face will swell over the first several days following a facelift procedure. Due its invasive nature, you may also see bruising. Avoid taking any medications not approved by your physician after your surgery.

Try to consume bland food and liquids for the first few days. This decreases the potential for experiencing nausea. Slowly increase the types of foods you eat over this time frame.

The healing process requires adequate circulation. Try to walk around several times each day after your procedure. Don’t stay in one position for an extended amount of time. Lack of mobility promotes the formation of DVTs—deep vein thromboses—which are complication-causing blood clots in the deep veins of the body.

Avoid any products that will promote flushing. Some supplement ingredients contain these, so tell Dr. Davidson about them in advance. Try to remain in a cool environment. Don’t bend over or lift heavy objects until cleared to do so.

You will need to sleep with your head elevated for two weeks after the facelift. Many contour and wedge pillows are available at local retailers or pharmacies to improve comfort.

If you begin to experience any of the following conditions, contact your surgeon immediately, as they may indicate possible infection or complication:

  • excessive pain
  • severe redness
  • elevated temperature

Take all medications prescribed after the rhytidectomy, especially antibiotics, as directed.

Be especially gentle with yourself in the first 48 hours after your facelift procedure. The area that’s been operated on will be sensitive and prone to bleeding or bruising. Sleeping with the head elevated on two pillows will help to decrease swelling. You’ll only have to wait a few days before the bandages can come off and the drainage tube can come out. The doctor will remove your sutures when he feels the time is right.

Many patients don’t want to interrupt their fitness routines, but after a facelift, you have to take a break to ensure that the healing goes smoothly. It’s also a good idea to avoid sun exposure for the first several months after a facelift surgery. Think of your procedure as an investment: You need to protect it!

Contact the office of Dr. Christopher Davidson today to schedule a consultation to learn more about a facelift, including cost and before and after images, in Boston, MA.

Facelift FAQs

Will I see my new face the next day?

No. The healing process for a rhytidectomy requires time. The swelling and bruising will be significant over the first week following the surgery. Generally, after 14 days, you can return to work with make–up, but your new face won’t be ready for a close-up for one month, depending on your body’s healing abilities. Each combination of patient and procedure is unique, and that includes healing times. Talk with Dr. Davidson about the amount of time needed to heal properly. It’s your face, not anyone else’s.

Can I get my face wet?

You may wash your hair starting two days after your rhytidectomy. Just be careful to not overly rub the incisions.

What can I take for body aches or headaches after my facelift?

Please be careful when taking over–the–counter medications with any type of invasive procedure. If you must take something beyond your prescribed pain medications, don’t take any ibuprofen or medications containing aspirin unless approved by the physician. Also, don’t consume alcohol during your recovery, since it slows your healing and increases the chances of injuries due to carelessness.

How can I be sure Dr. Davidson is a credible plastic surgeon?

Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, Dr. Davidson’s specialties include facelifts for Boston-area patients. After graduating magna cum laude in biology at Harvard, he attended Harvard Medical School. He also received his plastic surgery training at Harvard. For more proof of his work and training, visit the before–and–after photo gallery and our About Dr. Davidson page.

Will the rhytidectomy incisions leave visible scars?

Dr. Davidson will determine the best type of incision to make to minimize the prominence of scaring. In most cases, the incision will leave little to no scar hidden under your hair. He can further discuss the type of incision used during your consultation.

Beyond a Facelift in Boston

TA facelift focuses on sagging tissue on the lower half of the face, so patients seeking a total–face rejuvenation may also want to consider a brow lift to address drooping on the upper portion. A neck lift can tighten tissues below the chin.

Finally, note that a facelift does not smooth out fine lines and wrinkles. Dermal fillers and BOTOX® offer a temporary, but long-lasting solution for patients who want their skin texture to match their new, youthful contours.


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Get more information about how Dr. Christopher J. Davidson handles a breast lift, before and after photos, and cost in Boston, MA. Call Dr. Christopher J. Davidson at (781) 237-7700 or request a consultation.