What is a Facelift ?
A facelift ( clinically known as Rhytidectomy) is a surgical cosmetic method which reduces the wrinkles and other signs of aging with the goal to improve overall appearance. Facelift surgery can help you to reduce the harmful effects of time, stress and exposure to harmful rays. It improves the visible signs of aging like-
- Sagging in the midface
- Displaced fat
- Loss of muscle tone in lower face
- Loose skin and excess fat deposited under the skin
The procedure removes the excess skin and tightens the muscles. So go for facelift surgery if you want to reduce fine lines, scars, wrinkles, restore the glow of skin and it’s clarity.
Facelift surgery is classified broadly into two categories- Mini facelift and Standard facelift-
A small degree of sagging can be treated with mini facelift surgery whereas standard facelift is used to recover from moderate or advanced signs of aging.
What facelift won’t do?
A facelift is a corrective surgery so it will not basically change your fundamental appearance and obviously, it can’t stop the natural phenomenon i.e. age effect. A facelift will improve the way but will not make you perfect. However, facelift surgery is capable of producing excellent results but it can’t make you look like someone else. It can’t change the shape of your face it can only enhance facial tone up to some extent.
It may be noted that this surgery does not have much impact on the upper part of the face, it is supposed to improve the lower area only. If you are worried about the wrinkles on your forehead then a facelift is not a good option for you.
Facelift surgery is really a good solution for your face problems and to boost your self-confidence, but it is not suitable for everyone. So before you decide to have a facelift surgery, just think carefully about your expectations and the risks associated with it. So it is necessary to have a one to one consultation with your surgeon before the surgery.
Good candidates for a facelift procedure includes
- A good and flexible skin or the skin must be elastic i.e. you must not have excess sagging of skin.
- Patient must have a strong and well-defined bone structure to provide the support and satisfactory results.
- Patient must carry a good overall health so that any medical problem can’t affect surgery and it can be properly healed after the procedure.
- The expectations must be realistic. As told earlier, the facelift won’t make you look like someone else.
- You must not smoke for good results.
The best facelift surgery results are experienced by the people with flexible skin and strong bone structure.
A bandage might be placed around your face during the procedure to minimize post facelift swelling or bruising or the blood that may collect under your skin. Specific instructions can be given to you such that How to care for surgical portion, Medications, also some from age tube will be given. There are many factors which may influence recovery time after the facelift procedure. Some of them are listed below-
- Age of patient
- Health status
- Nutritional habits
- Use of alcohol and tobacco products
- Skills and experience of surgeon
- Quality of post-operative care
Special care must be taken after the facelift procedure like
- Elevate head all the times. Even you have to sleep with elevated head
- Avoid lifting heavy loads for some weeks.
- Avoid hair coloring or dyeing for 2 to 3 weeks.
- Walk around 3 to 4 times a day to boost the circulation
- Don’t wash your hairs for around 2 to 3 days.
Bruising and swelling both are the normal parts of the healing process after the facelift surgery. The face will gradually swell and the swelling will start or diminish after 2 to 3 days.
As discussed earlier, you have to wait for few weeks or even months to view the actual result of a facelift. After the complete dissipation of swelling i.e. After the complete recovery, you’ll see the final facelift results. Again the type of skin and the age of the patient is going to be the factors which influence the results of facelift surgery. However, most of the times results of a facelift are satisfactory given that the expectations of the patient are realistic but sometimes it may not be possible to achieve best results with a single procedure and has to follow multiple surgeries.
Lifelong protection from the sun will help you to mantis your renewed appearance by minimizing the damage caused by the harmful rays coming from the sun.
Finally, facelift gives you a more youthful appearance and hence afterward you will be a new you with more confidence in yourself.
Facelift Procedure Steps
Facelift surgery can be an overnight surgery if done with pre and post precautions and proper care. Facelift surgery procedure is as follows,
- On the day of surgery, the patient is given a general anesthesia for achieving complete body comfort.
- While preparing for surgery, a local anesthesia is injected on the face for postoperative comfort.
- Platysmaplasty (a form of cosmetic surgery which involves removing or tightening skin from human neck) is performed on the neck to tighten the muscles at the front.
- Facelift- Then planned incisions are made around ears or in hairs where it can be hidden. They are made very carefully since operated around delicate parts. After the incisions are done, the skin is lifted off from deeper tissues.
- After raising the flap, a reconstruction technique called SMAS (Superficial musculoaponeurotic system) is performed on deeper tissues. In which the flap is incised first and then lifted and elevated to tighten the face and back portion of the neck.
- The skin is then again sutured and the loosen skin is removed.
- After the face has been treated three-dimensionally, the skin is replaced eliminating any excess skin without stretching.
- Once this procedure is complete, bandages are applied for 12 hours.
- The patient is released from the hospital after 24 hours.
- Post-surgery, the stitches are removed after five days and ten days and normal life can be resumed one week later.
Facelift Risks and Safety
Although infrequent, but the complications and risk associated with facelift are as follows.
- Pain, though there is a minor pain following the surgery, which can be dealt with proper medication. Moreover, some numbness of the skin is normal and should fade within few days.
- Swelling, it is body’s natural reaction to any injury. So don’t get surprised with the amount of swelling which will occur immediately after facelift surgery.
- Asymmetry or unevenness of taut skin.
- Hematoma (Clotted blood), if during the procedure under the skin bleeding occurs, the affected area gets painfully swollen then an operation is done for stopping the flow and removal of the blood.
- Bruising is also a natural reaction of the body to the changes made to it. It will also fade away in a week or two.
- Hair loss around the sites of the incision, which is very rare.
- Skin necrosis e. loss of skin tissues. Follow up with the concerned surgeon should be done immediately. At first, the symptoms will be harsh but will get better with time.
- Neurological dysfunction at worst, the face muscles can lose sensation (which is temporary).
- Infection, typically it is not that frequent. It can be dealt with some light antibiotics. Symptoms noticed for infection are redness, swelling, and sensitivity.
Preparing for Facelift surgery
Taking the step to embark on a facelift surgery is not something to be taken lightly. So it’s important to know what you need to do or perhaps more importantly what you need to not do before the day of surgery. The following points can come handy for the same.
A session of meetings should be scheduled with the surgeon to mutually agree on which parts of the face are to be improved with surgery in order to customize and achieve the expected results. At the night before surgery, it is imperative that you don’t eat or drink anything after midnight and the reason for that is only to have your stomach empty so that when the patient is given general anesthesia or sedation it can comfort the body easily.
A night before the surgery, do have a nice shower and properly wash hair because you might not be able to do that for a couple of days after the surgery. Be brutally honest with the surgeon about what drugs do you take on prescription or non-prescription, smoking or any previous surgery. Select the right surgeon for the right procedure. Investigate surgeon’s experience. Never select a surgeon based solely on board certification or his/her degree. Some pre-surgery precautions must be taken such as eating healthy food, stop smoking and drinking etc.