As part of the natural aging process, the skin and muscles of the lower face and neck lose elasticity, resulting in jowls and a poor neck contour. A face lift can be used to restore a more youthful appearance to the lower two-thirds of the face, from below the eyes down to the upper part of the neck. The procedure is usually performed on an outpatient basis under local or general anesthesia (an-uh-STHEE-shuh), or local anesthesia with a twilight sedation. Face lifts work by removing the excess skin and tightening the underlying neck and facial muscles. In addition, excess fat and skin is removed through inconspicuous incisions placed behind the hairline and within the natural curves of the ears. After the surgery, some swelling and bruising can be expected and normally subsides within several weeks. Most sutures(SUE-chures) are removed after five to 10 days, and residual bruising can be covered by makeup. There may be some discomfort after the surgery, which is usually controlled by medications prescribed by your doctor. For more information on face lifts, contact a cosmetic or plastic surgeon.