WHAT IS A FACELIFT (Face Lift) PROCEDURE?
A facelift procedure is a specialist aesthetic (cosmetic) surgery procedure performed to overcome the adverse effects of ageing, gravity and sun exposure on the face and jowl area.
This procedure can be performed singularly or in combination with other procedures such as brow lift surgery or blepharoplasty (eye bag removal procedures).
The ultimate objective is for the surgeon to create a natural, youthful, fresh facial and jowl appearance by removing slack skin, tightening up loose facial muscle and removing unwanted fatty deposits.
WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM FACELIFT SURGERY?
- Middle aged/older men and women who are unhappy with their general ageing appearance.
- Younger men and women who suffer from premature lines and wrinkles caused by excessive sun exposure, smoking and hereditary factors.
HOW IS A FACELIFT PERFORMED?
A facelift procedure involves the surgical refining of ageing facial features by placing an incision above the hair line at the temple region, which extends down in front or just inside the cartilage at the front of the ear, and then runs behind the earlobe and up into the hair line on the lower scalp area.
These incisions allow the surgeon access to the facial muscle and its fibrous attachments, which are sutured (stitched) tightly in front and behind the ear, to create a firm sling under the chin and around the jowl area. Slack skin is then precisely and meticulously removed, and if necessary, unwanted fat can also removed from under the chin area with a minor liposuction technique. The remaining skin is then re-draped over the newly defined features and carefully sutured back into place with absorbable stitches.
This procedure is usually performed under general anaesthetic although in carefully selected cases it can be performed under local anaesthetic. Patients usually stay in hospitals for two nights following surgery. A typical facelift procedure will take around 2 hours to perform.
WHAT IS THE RECOVERY LIKE?
Following a face lift procedure incision areas are often quite tender for several weeks following surgery. Analgesic tablets (pain killers) are always provided for any discomfort and patients are encouraged to stay as upright as possible during their early recovery stage and to use cold compresses to help diminish residual swelling. Patients usually describe the way they feel as "tight and uncomfortable" rather than experiencing specific pain.
Every surgeon's facelift technique can differ slightly and face lift wounds can be closed with clips or fine sutures, which are normally removed 7 - 14 days following surgery.
Any post-operative discomfort tends to diminish rapidly after clips and sutures are removed. Most surgeons firmly bandage the face and jaw area for the first 48 hours following surgery to minimise the development of swelling and to help reduce facial discomfort. Following the removal of bandaging, patients are advised to gently shower and wash their hair on a daily basis and to keep their surgical wounds as clean as possible.
In the early days following discharge, patients are strongly advised to avoid any level of activity that will put undue strain on the newly operated areas, to keep their hands away from their surgical wounds and to pay meticulous attention to their personal hygiene.
Patients will also be advised to take a specific amount of recovery time away from work, dependent on the type of work they perform, but it is usual to take a least a fortnight off to rest and recover at home.
ARE THERE ANY RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH FACE LIFT SURGERY?
Risks such as bleeding, infection, delayed healing, alteration in sensitivity and scarring will all be discussed openly at consultation, as well as our scrupulous efforts to manage and minimise these risks to their lowest possible potential.
Due to the additional healing and infection risks experienced with patients who smoke, smokers may be precluded from having a facelift until they cease or substantially reduce their daily cigarette intake.
Although Facelift Surgery is regularly performed without any complications, it is very important that all candidates are fully aware of both the benefits and risks of undertaking this type of specialist aesthetic surgery.
All surgery, no mater how expertly or carefully it is performed, carries risks and the importance of a full evaluation and consultation to discuss your understanding and expectations in relation to these risks cannot be over emphasised.
HOW DO I FIND OUT IF I AM A SUITABLE CANDIDATE FOR FACELIFT SURGERY?
At Spire Methley Park Hospital our surgeons will carry out a full evaluation of your individual needs and circumstances and provide you with a comprehensive verbal and written explanation of any recommended treatment or surgery.
Our Expert Consultant Plastic Surgeons understand the importance of the decision you are making when contemplating facelift surgery. Throughout your consultation you will be encouraged to ask as many questions as you wish and to take your time in making a decision to proceed with any treatment.