Look Younger with a Facelift

A facelift is technically known as Rhytidectomy, which is the surgical removal of wrinkles in the face and neck areas.  This procedure can effectively reduce the visible signs of ageing by smoothening the loose skin on the neck and face, as well as tightening the underlying tissue.  In effect, you will look younger since your skin would be firmer and fresher-looking.

The procedure / Surgery
The facelift procedure involves removal of extra skin from the neck, cheek and chin areas while you are under general anesthesia.  The incision starts high in your temple area and it courses down following the curves near the ear, around the lobes and then behind the ear before it finally curves back into the hair again.  An incision below the chin may also be necessary but this would be well-hidden.  Your skin and the deep tissues will be re-draped and re-modeled using the incisions on both sides.  And stitches will be used to secure the incisions and layers of tissue, while metal clips will be used on your scalp.  The scars would not be visible since these would be hidden in your hairline or behind your ears, and these will most likely fade within a period of about three to six months.  The entire procedure normally takes about two to three hours. You may be required to stay in hospital for a couple of days.

Types of facelift
You will be under general anesthesia during the entire surgery.  In rare cases, this may be performed under local anesthesia but with sedation.  Most of the patients would need at least an overnight hospital stay after surgery.

There are three types of facelift surgery: the standard facelift, mid-facelift and mini-facelift.  To improve the entire face, you would need a standard facelift.  But if you just want to address some specific areas that require less healing time, then the mid- or mini-facelift is for you.

New techniques in facelift surgery have been developed and these methods resulted to a much more natural look, with less visible scars.  The incisions are practically the same but your muscles and also the supporting soft tissue in your neck and face are tightened. 

A small incision will be done under your chin.  And then the extra fatty tissue will be removed using a blunt-tipped instrument that will be moved back and forth through the fat below the skin.  This process is more popularly known as liposuction.

In effect, the skin in your neck and face would have a more natural look and a rejuvenated appearance.  The results with this technique last longer since the surgery is done in the deep supporting structure.


Best Candidates For Facelift
Any man or woman, who has a sagging face but still with somewhat elastic skin and a strong bone structure, is an excellent candidate for a facelift surgery.  People in their forties to sixties are usually the ones who get facelifts but this can be successfully done on those in their seventies or eighties too.

Getting a facelift will surely create a younger look and also improve your self-confidence.  But having a facelift would not create a totally different look and it can never restore the vitality of your youth.  So before getting a facelift surgery, think about your expectations first and then discuss them all with your doctor.

Expectations from a Facelift
You need to be realistic about your expectations from a facelift surgery.  The effects for most patients last so long that they continue to look good and feel younger even several years after surgery.  Although the results may be lasting, you should still keep in mind that surgery would not stop the ageing process.

Recovery After a Facelift
After the surgery, you will experience some swelling and bruising around the incision site and you might be asked to elevate your head just for a couple of days to reduce the swelling.  Your drainage tube(s) will be taken out after about a day or two and then your bandages will be removed after about three to five days.  The stitches and metal clips will be removed after about two weeks.  You need to schedule follow-up visits in the succeeding months so the doctor would be able to monitor your progress.

How long does it take to recover?
The recovery period is usually between two to three weeks, but you should be up on your feet about one to two days after surgery.  You should not perform any strenuous activity for at least five days after the procedure.  But you can go back to your normal activities and return to work after about three weeks and resume more active exercise only after six weeks.

Benefits of a Facelift
The benefits of having a facelift include having a younger appearance and enhancing your self-confidence.  The objective of a facelift is to achieve a fresh-looking face whilst maintaining your normal facial expression. This is the reason perhaps why the lower part of the face is most suited for this type of surgery.  This region often exhibits the first sign of aging.

The surgery can significantly reduce wrinkles because of the removal of the excess skin.  Also, a facelift can remove the effects of wind and sun damage.  The results of facelift could last up to ten years. 

Other benefits of facelift surgery include having a more rejuvenated look, reduction of wrinkles and lines, removal of extra fat, tightening of underlying muscles, smoothening of jaw line without jowls and improvement in self-esteem.

Risks and Complications of Facelift
The facelift is one of the safest cosmetic surgeries today.  But like any other surgery, it may have some complications and risks.

Some of the common post-operative complications include the following:
·  Adverse reaction to anesthesia.  There are some patients that experience nausea and sickness after they receive anesthesia.  This is just temporary and it usually disappears after a few hours.
·  Hematoma and bleeding.  If there is bleeding under the skin, you may develop hematoma and some swelling in that area.  It might require another operation to remove the blood and stop the bleeding.
·  Infection.  This complication is quite rate but could still occur in specific areas.  You may take antibiotics to prevent infections.

Specific risks to this surgery include the following:
·  Some scarring.  The incisions might create some scarring but the surgeons would try their best to make them less visible.
·  Injury to the nerves of facial muscles.  This is a rare risk and only about 0.7% of all facelift patients experience this.  These will self-heal in about six months.
·  Long recovery time for skin.  This is usually happens to smokers.  Skin necrosis is very uncommon.
·  Crusting on the incisions, but this is only temporary.
·  Skin or hair loss, but this is very infrequent.  Your hair will grow back within a few months. 
·  Skin discoloration, but this is really uncommon.  If it does occur, it will heal in just a few months time. 
·  Broken capillaries and this condition might exist already on your cheeks and neck but is easily treated with laser.
·  Temporary numbness around the incisions.  Specific areas include the skin around the neck, chin and cheeks.  Generally, this will go away in about 8 to 12 weeks, depending on the patient.