Information about Facelift Procedure
Facelift surgery, or a rhytidectomy, is designed to restore a more youthful appearance by removing major wrinkles, eliminating telltale signs of aging on the skin and improving the overall appearance of the face and jaw area. The skin begins to wrinkle and sag as a result of age, sun exposure and genetics.
It involves tightening of the facial and neck muscles as well as the removal of any excess skin. Not only does a facelift improve facial appearance, but also has a dramatic effect on the neck, enhancing its contour and profile.
Facelift plastic surgery may be performed by making an incision at the temples behind the hairline, in front of the ear, then around the earlobe and behind the ear, ending at the scalp area. Making the incision in the natural creases helps hide scarring after surgery. The surgeon then separates the skin and muscles of the face from the deeper facial tissues. Excess skin is removed and sagging muscles and connective tissues are tightened. In some cases, fatty deposits are removed from beneath the chin and neck. After the tightening or removal of excess skin, the skin is re-draped and sutured or stapled in place. In some cases, drainage tubes are left in place under certain areas of the skin for several days to reduce post-surgical swelling.
Anesthesia: Local anesthesia with intravenous sedation is most commonly used, with medication to help you relax. General anesthesia is generally not required but can be used if desired. This should be discussed with the plastic surgeon and the anesthesiologist.
Length: The procedure may take up to 5 hours depending on whether any procedures are performed at the same time.
After the surgery
Immediately after surgery a large fluffy dressing is usually applied. Typically within one day after surgery it is removed and may be replaced with an elastic wrap. Some minor discomfort is temporarily felt, which can be managed with medications. In the weeks following the surgery, patients should allow for adequate healing time and expect some postoperative swelling, numbness, and skin discoloration for about two weeks. All incisions and dressings should be kept dry until the surgeon indicates that showering or bathing is okay. For the first few days, the head should be kept elevated and immobile in order to minimize swelling. Sutures are usually removed within 2 weeks of surgery.
Smoking reduces blood flow to areas of the facial skin, so you shouldn't smoke a month before and a month after surgery. Stopping smoking will help the healing process.
Returning to Normal Routine
The face lift healing time and recovery period can last anywhere from one week to several weeks, depending on the type of face lift surgery undergone. Most patients can return to work from a standard face lift in 10 days to two weeks. Nevertheless, the recovery time depends on the complexity of the surgery the patient underwent.
Some things, such as blow-drying your hair and wearing earrings, may be prohibited for a period of time. For the first few days or weeks, only walking and mild stretching are appropriate physical activities. It should be avoided vigorous exercise, heavy housework, and sexual activity for the initial two weeks after surgery, at least. Also alcohol, saunas, and steam rooms should be avoided for several months. It is highly recommended extra rest to promote proper healing, during the recovery period.
What are the possible side-effects and complications?
The practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science. Although this operation doesn’t have practically any type of side-effects some of the risks and potential complications that can occur are infection, fluid accumulation, changes in skin sensation, skin discoloration and/or swelling, etc
What can be expected from a Face Lift?
- Improves a youthful appearance of mature persons and it rejuvenates the face of older persons. Talking about wrinkles and hanging skin, as the advance of aging process is more pronounced, the results will be more impressive
- If this procedure is developed with an Eyelid Surgery, neck lift surgery and/or a Brow Lift Surgery, it produces a completely change in the appearance of face and neck.
What can NOT be expected from the Face Lift?
- Crow's feet and wrinkles around the lip are not removed, as they do not result from the aging process, but from repeted muscle contraction.
- The area above the eyes do not improve. To improve this a Brow Lift Surgery is required.
Last Update: 06/26/2012
Note: This information is directed to support and not to replace your doctor opinion.
Disclaimer: We cannot guarantee the exact same result as the pictures below, since it varies depending on the patient.