The techniques of face lift surgery, also known as rhytidoplasty, have evolved into a more sophisticated and powerful procedure that can help to tighten the skin and rejuvenate the appearance, restoring its youthful characteristics. You may be considering a facelift due to ageing wrinkles, jowls or a general saggy appearance to the skin on the face and neck. A facelift can help with these.
The days of the 'windswept' facelift are over! Surgeons understand that everyone's physiology and requirements are different, so a facelift is a broad term for a procedure that will always be bespoke to each individual patient.
Our goal would be to create a beautiful and natural looking result by reversing the deflation and descent of the soft tissues in the face caused by the aging process. We do this by recreating the contours of the face, by lifting and filling the tissues, re-draping and carefully manipulating the skin.
BEFORE AND AFTER PICTURES
The Face-Lift procedure takes generally around 3 hours to perform and can be done under local anaesthesia with sedation or under general anaesthesia. Surgery begins with an incision along the ear, down around the ear lobe, and to the back of the neck, following the faces natural crease lines as much as possible in order to camouflage the scar. After separating the skin from the muscle underneath, the doctor removes excess fat, and tightens sagging muscle and tissues. The excess skin is removed and volume is added to the deflated areas of the face.
The aim of the operation is to remedy the sagging and laxity of the skin and muscles of the face (forehead, eyebrows, cheeks, jowls, and the oval facial outline) and the neck.
The aim here is not only to transform the form and aspect of the face. On the contrary, restoring the different anatomical structures of the face and neck (the skin, the muscles and the fat) enables the patient to look as he or she did some years earlier.
The incisions are meticulously closed so that the scar may be imperceptible once healed and are hidden almost entirely in the hair and natural skin creases making the scar almost entirely concealed. But as in any surgical procedure where incisions are made, scars are unavoidable. Scars fade gradually and normally become unnoticeable after a period of time. After surgery, pain and discomfort can generally be controlled with medication. In addition to the local anaesthetic, various drugs are used before, during and after surgery to make you comfortable and steady. A face lift can be carried out as soon as signs of aging appear and the patient feels a real need for their correction, generally around the age of 40 or 45.
This procedure can also be carried out at the same time as another facial cosmetic procedure: Blepharoplasty (for the eyelids), forehead lift (endoscopic forehead lift). It can be complimeted by other treatment: (laser abrasion, dermabrasion, chemical peels, medical treatment of wrinkles). Please note each surgeon has adopted his or her own specific technique which he or she adapts in order to obtain the best results in each case. This will be discussed in consultation.
The dressings are removed the next day, and replaced with a special bandage. You will be able to go home on the first or second day after the operation. For the first few days you are advised to rest and avoid physical strain. Swelling and bruising usually subsides within 2 weeks. You may experience some numbness, tightness or tingling in your face and neck which will subside as you heal. Your final result will be realised in about 3 months, however the zones from which the skin was detached may feel slightly hardened; this is perceptible to the touch, but not visible. The ears will not regain normal sensitivity for one or two months. The only zone where the scars are normally visible, in front of the ears, can be temporarily masked by make-up or concealed by the hair. So, we can say that you are presentable:
- • On the seventh day for close friends and family
- • On the twelfth day for friends
- • After three weeks for people uninformed about the operation.
Post Operative Care
Back at home, the patient should not sleep in a flat position. The head of the bed should be elevated with bricks so that the patient may sleep comfortably. If the patient develops any signs of infection, pustules or boils on the face or body after surgery, the doctor should be notified immediately.
The patient should avoid strenuous activity, overheating and sun-bathing for two to three weeks. The patient should not drive a vehicle before the doctor gives them permission to do so. Tight bandages or excessive swelling should be reported immediately. The patient should not apply heat to the neck or face for three weeks after surgery, there may be areas of decreased sensation and the heat may be damaging. If the patient has pets, they should please be particularly careful not to allow the animals close to them during the early stages of healing. Pets’ hair etc. can contaminate scars and cause infection.
A face lift, although essentially an aesthetic procedure, is nevertheless an operation, and this implies that the risks inherent to any surgery apply here.
If, however, you are operated on by a qualified Plastic Surgeon, he will have the experience and skill required to avoid these complications, or to treat them successfully if necessary. If you have further queries, or require additional information. We are at your disposal should you wish to ask questions during your next consultation, or by telephone, or even on the day of the operation.