As people age the effects of gravity, sun exposure and daily stress cause signs of ageing. Aggravated by habits such as smoking or drinking the creases between the mouth and nose are more visible, the jawline loses definition and the skin of the neck loosens. The facelift procedure can be done alone or in combination with other facial procedures such as rhinoplasty or blepharoplasty.
The best candidates are those men and women whose skin has begun to sag but who still have a good level of elasticity. A facelift won´t reduce the appearance by a specific number of years, but it will improve the overall appearance and result in a younger look.
The age of patients is usually between 40 and 60 but facelifts are also done on patients of 70 or 80 with excellent results.
Before deciding to undergo the facelift procedure think carefully about your expectations.
A facelift is a very individual surgical procedure. At the first consultation the surgeon will analyse your face, your bone structure and skin type and will discuss your surgical options.
The surgeon will also check all the medical aspects which could cause problems during or after surgery like high blood pressure, coagulation problems etc. Tell your surgeon if you are a smoker or are taking any medication, especially Aspirin or any other medication that could affect blood clotting. If you decide to undergo the procedure your surgeon will explain the technique that will be used in your case, the type of anaesthetic and the risks and costs that go with the operation. Do not hesitate to ask your surgeon if you have any doubts.
Your surgeon will explain the steps to take to prepare for surgery including diet, smoking and whether you should take or avoid certain medicines. Following the advice of the medical team will greatly help in the success of the operation. If you are a smoker it´s very important that you don´t smoke for 4 weeks before and after the operation. Tobacco limits blood flow and can interfere in the healing process.
If you have short hair it´s a good idea to let it grow as longer hair can hide the scars during the healing process. After theprocedure, whether it´s done in hospital or as an outpatient, remember you will need the help of somebody to take you home ( you won´t be able to drive ) and to help you at home for a few days.
The procedure must be done at a medical centre. Although on some occasions it is done as an outpatient, normally the patient will be admitted to hospital due to the need for sedation or general anaesthetic. Patients with diabetes or high blood pressure may need special care after surgery.
The procedure can be done with local anaesthetic and sedation or with general anaesthetic. Your stay in hospital will depend on the type of anaesthetic and the extent of the facelift.
The procedure. Each case will be different with regards to the location and size of the incisions, the areas of the face that need attention, the use of complementary techniques (eyelid surgery or cheekbone lift ) and the duration of the procedure. There are many different techniques and with each one the incisions will be different but the most usual incision is from the temple, behind the hairline, down the natural crease in front of the ear and around the earlobe. Sometimes it will continue behind the ear and into the scalp and sometimes the surgeon will prefer to do the incision around the sideburns and along the hairline at the temples, thus avoiding cutting into the hairline. When the neck needs special treatment it´s necessary to make an incision just under the chin. The procedure consists of tensing the skin and the muscle layers and removing excess tissue. Once finished, the wounds are closed with stitches leaving temporary tubes below the skin to drain any fluid or blood. The wound is then bandaged.
The days after surgery can be uncomfortable but the pain can be controlled using normal painkillers. The bandage and drainage tubes will be removed in 24-48 hours.
The first stitches will be removed after a week and the stitches in the scalp and/or any staples a bit later. It´s normal that the skin of the face will feel stretched and tight but this is temporary and will soon disappear. The face will also be inflamed and bruised, but this will fade after 10 to 15 days.
It`s advisable not to return to work and to avoid strenuous activity during the first two weeks after the procedure. The skin will need special care and must not be exposed to sunlight or UV for at least 6 months. At first you may be worried about the appearance of your face but the majority of patients return to work and a normal life after about 2 weeks. In this period the inflammation and bruises will disappear. The scars will take a bit longer but will fade with time.
During the first 2 weeks rest as much as possible and let your body recover. From the third week onwards your appearance will be much better as will your emotional state and you can use makeup to cover any remaining marks.
No, for this other treatments such as peeling, laser or filling are used.
The long term results of a facelift are good but you must be patient. After the inflammation and bruising disappears the hair at the temples may be finer and the skin may be a bit red and dry for a few months. With male patients the beard may grow in different places. Some scars will remain but they will normally be hidden in the hair, in natural creases of the face or behind the ears.
A FACELIFT DOESN¨T STOP THE CLOCK; IT ONLY DELAYS IT
Candidates: Patients with signs of facial ageing and neck sagging due to accumulation of skin and fat deposits, patients with visible facial sagging ( jowels and double chin ), reduction of cheekbones due to sagging of skin and accentuation of lateral creases between nose and mouth.
Typo of pain: Feeling of bruising on the face and stinging in the wound areas.
Scars: Following the hairline from the temple down to the ear and sometimes prolonged behind the ear.
Consequences: Residual scars in the fore – mentioned areas, change in the appearance of earlobe.
It is increasingly common to compliment this type of surgery with the injection of fat. With the ageing process, appearance is also affected by the loss of fat in certain areas and these are not improved by the facelift procedure.
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