As a person grows older, the tissues and skin gradually tend to lose their flexibility, resulting in wrinkles and saggy skin. A facelift, which can sometimes be referred to as rhytidectomy, is thus a procedure to tighten and lift the facial tissues and skin.
In addition, the facelift procedure entails eliminating extra skin and smoothing out the wrinkles or creases. Although this surgery does not incorporate eye or brow lift, it may be performed simultaneously in some patients.
You should, however, note that a facelift will not reduce fine creases in the skin, nor will it reverse sun damage. Other plastic procedures can improve the skin's look or quality.
What is Face-lift?
Face-lift is a cosmetic surgery procedure that tightens and eliminates sagging skin from the face and neck. To modify the tone of facial muscles, they can be surgically tightened. As part of the procedure, excess fat may be removed or relocated. Facelift surgery can smooth the jawline and minimize jowls. Most people find that facelift surgery makes them seem younger. The scars from the operation are permanent, however they are normally disguised by your hair. The skin surrounding the eyes, cheeks, and chin can be tightened or smoothed out using a suture facelift (thread lift). This procedure will not leave any visible scars and will not significantly alter your facial shape. Consider other options first if you are self-conscious about your appearance or considering cosmetic procedures to increase your confidence. Speaking with a therapist or counselor may help you overcome your self-consciousness about your looks. Non-surgical therapies such as a chemical peel, dermabrasion, or skin resurfacing may also be explored.
Reasons for Face-lift
Due to the natural age-associated changes, the appearance and contour of the face tend to change. Fat deposits reduce in certain regions of the face but increase in other areas as your skin gets less flexible and floppy.
The following are age-related alterations in the face that the plastic surgeon can recommend removing using a facelift;
- You have cheeks that look saggy
- You have excessive skin around the lower jawline (jowls)
- The fold of skin that runs from the side of the nose towards the corner of the mouth becomes deeper.
- Your neck skin is saggy, and fat has accumulated (this is recommended if the procedure involves a neck lift)
On the other hand, a face-lift does not address sun damage, superficial wrinkles, folds around the nose or the upper lip, or skin color inconsistencies.
Considerations before undergoing face-lift surgery
Before you decide to get a facelift, bear the following points in mind:
- A facelift will not lift sagging brows, eliminate deep frown lines in the forehead, modify your upper or lower eyelids, or reduce creases around the lips.
- Suture facelifts, also known as thread lifts, are best suited to younger and middle-aged patients whose tissues have sagged as a result of aging or sun damage. It is not suitable for persons with extremely thin or dry skin. Your doctor will need to analyze your personal eligibility for this form of treatment.
- Facelift outcomes often endure between 5 and 12 years.
- After surgery, the regular aging process will resume.
- Smokers are more likely to have difficulties. To reduce the likelihood of these issues and to improve your overall health and well-being, attempt to quit smoking before undergoing surgery.
How to Prepare for a Face-lift Procedure?
Once you decide to undergo facelift surgery, make an appointment with your plastic surgeon to discuss the procedure further. The appointment is likely to include the following;
Physical examination and medical history:
During your appointment, your plastic surgeon is likely to inquire about the following;
- Your previous and present medical issues
- Past surgeries and plastic surgeries
- Previous surgical complications
- Smoking history
- Drug and alcohol usage
If the plastic surgeon has any worries concerning your ability to undertake surgery, he or she will perform a physical examination. The surgeon can also ask for recent records from your healthcare provider or request a visit with a specialist.
The plastic surgeon can photograph your face at varying angles as well as close-up shots of certain features. To establish your best alternatives for facelift surgery, the surgeon will assess the bone structure, face form, fat distribution, and skin quality.
Medications review and examination
The surgeon can ask you to give the names as well as doses of all medications you take regularly. This includes prescription medications, over-the-counter, herbal, vitamin, and other nutritional supplements.
The plastic surgeon may want to know about your overall expectations for a facelift's results. He or she can explain how the procedure will most likely change your entire look and what it won't. This includes fine wrinkles and naturally happening asymmetry in the face.
In addition, the plastic surgeon might ask you to do the following before the facelift procedure;
- Stick to the medicine directions, including the drugs you need to stop using and when to quit.
- Refrain from consuming or drinking anything after midnight on the scheduled day of the procedure.
- Arrange for someone to drive you back after the operation and, if possible, stay with you during the first night
- Stop smoking or drinking
What does Face-lift Procedure involve?
Facelift procedures tend to vary based on what you want to achieve. Conventionally, an incision near the temples is created within the hairline. The incision will begin in the front part of the ear and run down in front of the earlobe, hugging it. After that, the incision returns to the lower scalp at the back of the ears.
The surgeon can remove or restructure the fat and extra skin on the face. The muscle beneath and connective tissue is tightened and redistributed. A mini facelift can be performed if there is just minor skin drooping, which necessitates smaller incisions.
The extra skin and fat will be extracted from the neck if the procedure also involves a neck lift. Neck lift typically entails pulling up and back as well as tightening the skin around the neck. This is commonly accomplished by making an incision just beneath the chin.
Dissolvable stitches and sometimes skin glue is frequently used in incisions. However, you may need to go back to the clinic to have your stitches removed in some situations. The incisions are designed to blend perfectly with the natural hairline and face structure.
Once the surgery is complete, you will get a surgical drainage tube and bandages wrapped around your face.
What Happens After a Face-lift Surgery?
Your plastic surgeon will most likely give you pain medication after the operation. You might or may not experience pain, discomfort, bruising, or swelling, which are all very normal. The physician will tell you when to take off any dressings or the drainage tube, as well as when to schedule a follow-up visit.
You will notice a difference in your appearance as the swelling subsides. It normally takes a few months for the skin to "feel" normal again. Therefore, you should give yourself at least two weeks to get back to your usual everyday activity level. Wait for the utmost four weeks before engaging in more rigorous activities, such as exercise. However, since every person is different, ask your surgeon when you can resume your normal activities.
During facelift recovery, ensure that you regularly moisturize your face, shield it from the sun, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. This is to help your facelift outcome last longer. But despite this, a facelift's results are not guaranteed. You may not achieve the results you want from only one procedure. Follow-up surgery may be necessary in some cases.
Discuss what you need to do to ensure good facelift results with your physician, as well as what you can expect.
Appointments for follow-up
Several follow-up appointments will be planned for you in the two months after surgery. They will consist of the following:
- The drainage tube will most likely be removed the day following surgery by the surgeon. In addition, the surgeon will likely apply antibiotic ointment to the wounds and put fresh bandages to your face.
- You may be able to transfer from bandages to an elasticized facial sling two to three days following your facelift.
- Your doctor will remove the sutures and examine the wound around a week following surgery.
- Later appointments will very certainly be planned to track your development.
Self-care at home during the first three weeks after recovery will aid your recovery and reduce your risk of complications:
- Follow your surgeon's wound care recommendations exactly.
- Picking at crusting scabs on your wound is not a good idea.
- Follow the directions for when you can start using shampoo and soap and which types to use.
- Wear garments that zip up the front. Avoid wearing clothing that is pulled over your head.
- Excessive pressure or movements on and around the incisions should be avoided.
- Makeup should be avoided.
- Avoid strenuous or aerobic exercise or sports.
- For three weeks, avoid direct sun exposure on the incision. After that, apply an SPF 30 or higher sunscreen.
- For at least six weeks, avoid dyeing, bleaching, or perming your hair.
- In the weeks following a facelift, you may want to style your hair to disguise the incision. You may opt to postpone large social occasions for a few months.
Risks and Complications of a Face-lift Surgery
Facelift surgery is likely to cause a number of risks and complications. Others are treatable and manageable with the right kind of care, drugs, or surgery. Long-term or lasting side effects, even though uncommon, might result in substantial physical alterations.
The complications that might occur can include;
The most common risk of facelift surgery is an accumulation of blood, hematoma. This occurs beneath the skin, causing pressure and swelling. Hematoma development, which occurs within 24 hours after surgery, is treatable with surgery as soon as possible to avoid skin and other tissues damage.
- Nerve damage
Nerve damage, even though uncommon, can disrupt nerves that regulate sensation and muscles permanently or temporarily. Momentary paralysis of a specific muscle can sometimes occur and last for several months to one year. This leads to an uneven appearance or expression on the face or temporary sensation loss. Surgical procedures may help with these.
Facelift scars are usually permanent. However, the hairline and natural curves of the face and ear mostly hide these scars. Incisions can occasionally result in red, elevated scars. To enhance the look of scars, corticosteroid injections or other therapies could be recommended.
- Skin loss
A facelift can occasionally interfere with the blood circulation to the facial tissues. Skin loss or sloughing may occur as a result of this. Sloughing is manageable with drugs, wound care, and a scar-reduction operation if necessary.
- Hair loss
At times, you may notice a momentary or permanent loss of hair around the incision area. Lasting hair loss is treatable with surgery that involves the transplantation of skin containing hair follicles.
A face-lift, like any other major surgery, carries the risk of bleeding or infection. There is also the possibility of an anesthetic response. Complications can also be increased by certain medical disorders or lifestyle practices.
The following variables may increase the likelihood of problems or result in adverse outcomes. In the following instances, your surgeon may advise against a facelift:
- Blood-thinning drugs or supplements: Taking blood-thinning drugs or supplements might impair the blood's capacity to clot. They can increase the likelihood of hematomas following surgery. Blood thinners, aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs), ginseng, Ginkgo biloba, fish oil, and other pharmaceuticals are among them.
- Medical problems: You will not be able to get a face-lift if you have a medical issue that hinders blood clotting. Other medical disorders may increase the likelihood of poor wound healing, hematomas, or cardiac issues. Diabetes that is inadequately managed and excessive blood pressure are two examples.
- Smoking: After a facelift, smoking increases the risk of poor wound healing, hematomas, and skin loss.
- Weight fluctuates: If you have a history of weight gain and loss, you may be dissatisfied with the surgery's long-term results. Weight fluctuations have an impact on the contour of the face and the quality of the skin.
There are several beneficial, nonsurgical alternatives to consider if you want to avoid undergoing a typical surgical facelift. It’s also helpful if you have already had one and want to keep your results. Whereas such non-surgical procedures cannot correct drooping skin or restructure the tissues, they can help you look younger. The following are some of the most popular non surgical facelift options available;
- Laser skin resurfacing
With facelift laser resurfacing, you can smooth wrinkles and fine lines and remove age spots, acne scars, or discoloration. It also enhances the skin tone as well as quality.
With temporarily lowering of the dynamic wrinkles appearance, induced by facial motions, face lift Botox is unbeatable. Botox is used to treat horizontal forehead wrinkles, glabellar lines, crow's feet, frown lines, and vertical lip lines by injecting it into the face.
- Dermal fillers
Injectable fillers are one of the most common nonsurgical methods for face rejuvenation since it helps people turn back the clock. Fillers are deliberately injected beneath the skin to replenish lost volume and improve facial symmetry in the cheeks, lips, temples, under-eyes, and nasolabial creases.
Suture facelifts are an alternate type of facelift that is frequently performed under local anesthesia (thread lift). Fine threads are inserted beneath the skin through extremely tiny tubes (cannulae) - no wounds are made in the skin. These threads are constructed of a non-absorbable medical polypropylene fiber that has long been used successfully in surgery. The threads are softly tightened and fastened to the face tissue and skin once they have been positioned through the small puncture locations.
Immediately after suture facelift
Some soreness may be felt after a suture facelift, however this normally subsides within 24 hours. Following the operation, some patients have more acute discomfort. Swelling and bruising may occur for four to ten days.
Complications of a suture facelift
Some of the potential side effects of a suture facelift include:
- Thread movement : this may result in the thread extruding, breaking, or losing its hold on the skin puckered skin pain, if the threads are felt beneath the skin
- Skin abnormalities or loss of facial symmetry infection (this is rare).
- If removal is required because of infection, pain, or an ugly look, more invasive surgery may be required.
A facelift is a surgical procedure that makes your face look younger. It aims to reduce the sagging or creases of skin around the cheekbones, jawline, as well as other changes in the face contour that develops with age.
The surgeon can also perform a neck lift as part of the facelift procedure to eliminate drooping skin and fatty deposits. However, you should first consult your doctor or plastic surgeon to determine if a facelift or neck lift is suitable for you.