As a person ages, the skin loosens and the supporting muscles weaken causing sagging of the skin and jowling. Several factors may contribute to its development including hereditary, weight loss, weight gain, sun exposure and various environmental factors. A facelift is a procedure in which suspension of the weakened underlying muscles (SMAS and platysma) results in a natural re-draping of the skin of the face and neck. The suspension of the muscle and skin over the underlying facial skeleton produces a youthful appearance lasting many years. The texture of the skin, scars and age spots, however, cannot be altered by facelift alone. Even fine lines will not disappear no matter how tight the skin is pulled. Other skin treatments such as Botox, fillers, dermabrasion, chemical peel, and LASER treatment may be used in combination with a facelift to improve skin texture and to smooth wrinkles on the skin. If you’re considering this procedure, the following information will provide you with a good introduction on how a facelift is done.
Commonly a person will need a facelift when the skin of the face especially in the cheek area and neck begins to sag. You must note that a facelift will turn back the hands of time but not stop it. Most often this surgical procedure is done on men and women over the age of 40. You are an ideal candidate for this surgical procedure if you have good facial skin elasticity and are in good health.
On your first visit, your surgeon will discuss with you the changes that are to be made in your appearance. You will be given an overview of the procedure; the surgeon will also show you before and after treatment photos. Be sure you ask all questions you have about the surgery.
This is a surgical procedure wherein the sagging tissues as well as the muscles are tightened and the remaining skin repositioned in such a way to create a more youthful look. An incision is made usually in the in the hair near the temple which continues to the front of the ear around the area of the earlobe behind the ear and into the hair. The SMAS and platysma are suspended using heavy sutures and the excess tissues and fat are removed. The skin is re-draped and the excess skin removed. Then the incisions are closed with very fine stitches; if the neck is to be done, an incision may be done under the chin. A head wrap is placed and removed the day after the surgery. An elastic support is worn 24 hours/day for seven days, then only at night for another four to six weeks.
A facelift usually takes an average of two to three hours depending on the skin condition as well as the desired results.
Normally this is an outpatient procedure and is performed in the office surgical suite under general or local anesthesia with sedation, depending on the preference of the surgeon as well as yours. Usually if a procedure is expected to take long, the use of general anesthesia would most likely be recommended.
Normally you may go home to the comfort of your own home within a few hours of the surgery. If so desired, you may be confined so your recovery is monitored by a medical staff.
You may go back to work in about ten to fourteen days. Patients surprisingly feel and look good quickly. Swelling disappears within a few days.
Injury to the nerves that control the facial muscles may occur. Infection as well as poor healing may set in. Excessive scarring and a change in hairline may also occur.
You may expect a more rested and youthful look, usually results last from five up to ten years. Results from a facelift differ from person to person; the people who looked best after the facelift are those who looked best before the operation.
Temporary bruising, swelling, numbness, and tenderness to skin; a tight feeling of the skin may be felt and also dry skin may set in. For men, permanent need to shave behind the ears where beard-growing skin is repositioned.