Some of the most visible signs of aging first appear on the face. You may feel that the face you see in the mirror doesn’t reflect the way you feel about yourself. If you would like to look as good as you feel …a facelift can make your face appear firmer, fresher and younger.
Like most other aesthetic surgical procedures, the technique of facelift has evolved over the last decade. Plastic surgeons are now thinking more in terms of volume replacement and vectors (direction) of lift. The art of the modern facelift involves redraping, repositioning and in some, replenishing the tissue that has sagged and has been lost through aging. The end product is a more natural and harmonious facial appearance.
Every surgeon approaches the procedure in his or her own way. The exact placement of incisions and the sequence of events depends on your facial structure and the operative plan individualized for you.
Incisions usually begin above the hairline at the temples, extend in a natural line in front of the ear (or just inside the cartilage at the front of the ear), and continue behind the earlobe to the lower scalp. If the neck needs work, a small incision may also be made under the chin (neck lift). In thin patients it is possible to do a facelift by a smaller incision. (MACS)
In general, the surgeon separates the skin from the fat and muscle below. Fat may be trimmed or suctioned from around the neck and chin to improve the contour. The surgeon then tightens the underlying muscle and membrane, provides volume where necessary, redrapes the skin back, and recontours it to the new dimensions. Stitches secure the layers of tissue and close the incisions; metal clips may be used on the scalp.
Following surgery, a small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin behind your ear to drain any blood that might collect there. The surgeon may also wrap your head loosely in bandages to minimize bruising and swelling.
A face lift usually takes several hours-or somewhat longer if you’re having more than one procedure done.
We prefer to hospitalize patients for a day or two.
We prefer general anesthesia. In that case, you’ll sleep through the operation.
The day after surgery, you will need to move around a bit to promote blood circulation. Drains if placed will be removed by 24 to 48 hours. You will be advised to rest with your head elevated to minimize swelling.
Although everyone heals at different rate, your recovery may be as follows:
By the first week the stiches will be removed and you will be permitted to wear makeup and do light activities. After two weeks you may resume all routine activities (except exercises) and most of the swelling would have disappeared.
You may resume exercises after 4 to 6 weeks. You should avoid exposure to direct sunlight post operatively. The final result is seen 1-4 months following the face lift.
When a face lift is performed by a qualified plastic surgeon, complications are infrequent and usually minor. Still, individuals vary greatly in their anatomy, their physical reactions, and their healing abilities. You may have a detailed discussion about this during your personal consultation.
Complications that can occur include haematoma (a collection of blood under the skin that must be removed by the surgeon), injury to the nerves that control facial muscles (usually temporary), infection, and reactions to the anesthesia. Poor healing of the skin is most likely to affect smokers. You can reduce your risks by closely following our advice both before and after surgery.