The face usually portrays the first visible signs of aging. Both gravity and diminished volumeresult in the facial features of aging. Most patients requesting evaluation forface lift feel that their facial features do not reflect their youthful spirit andenergy level. They are looking for ways to refresh and rejuvenate theirappearance. There are many different variations of the face lift procedure thatsmoothen the skin of the face and neck, tighten the underlying tissues andmuscle, and remove excess skin. Ultimately, the face lift will allow you toturn back the hands of time to better reflect your youthful spirit.
During thepre-operative consultation, your surgeon will perform a history and physicalexamination. During your physical examination, your facial bone structure,underlying skin structure, skin thickness, texture, and elasticity as well asthe extent of facial wrinkles and folds will be assessed. This information willbe used to formulate a surgical plan and the goals of the procedure will be discussed.Generally, a face lift is a very versatile procedure, and your surgeon willexplain the technique that he or she feels most comfortable with and thatoffers the lowest risk. Your plastic surgeon will select the surgical techniquethat he or she feels will obtain the-best outcome for you based on yourdiscussions regarding the outcome you wish to achieve.
The face liftprocedure continues to evolve. Over the years, the procedure has changed fromsimple skin lifting to more complex deeper plane lifting techniques. Today,many different techniques exist, with outcomes that are consistently reliableand durable. The face lift procedure usually involves incisions in front of andbehind the ear. The incisions may extend into the scalp. Once the incisions aremade, various degrees of undermining of the skin are performed, and the deeperlayers of the face are ‘lifted’. Muscle tightening as well as liposuction ofthe neck and jowls may be performed, and excess skin is either removed orrepositioned. The results are reversal of the effects of gravity and tighteningof soft tissues of the face to restore a more youthful contour to the face.
Fortunately,significant complications from face lifts are infrequent. Every year, thousandsof people undergo successful face lift surgery and are pleased with theresults. However, anyone considering surgery should be aware of both thebenefits and risks. These are best discussed on a personal basis with yoursurgeon or one of their qualified staff members
Some of the potential complications that may occur include hematoma (anaccumulation of blood under the skin), infection, and reactions to anaesthesia.While plastic surgeons are trained in techniques for safely manipulating facialskin and tissues, injury to underlying structures is possible, though usuallytemporary. Face lift incisions are usually quite inconspicuous; however, thisis not entirely predictable due to individual variations in healing. You canhelp minimize certain risks by following the advice and instructions given toyou by your plastic surgeon both before and after the surgery
The goal of yourplastic surgery team is to make your surgical experience as easy and ascomfortable as possible.
If you are asmoker, you will be asked to stop smoking well in advance of the surgery.Certain medications that increase the risk of bleeding such as Aspirin,non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, and some vitamins/homeopathicregimens should be discontinued prior to the surgery. If your hair is short,you may want it to grow out enough to cover your incisions while they heal. Anychemical processing of your hair should be performed prior to surgery since youcannot have any of these procedures for a month of more after surgery. If yourface lift will be performed on an outpatient basis, be sure to arrange forsomeone to drive you home and stay with you for at least the first nightfollowing surgery.
Your face lift maybe performed in unaccredited hospital, free-standing ambulatory facility, oroffice-based surgical suite.
Medications areadministered for your comfort during the procedure. You and your plasticsurgeon will have decided in advance what type of anaesthesia is to be used –either intravenous sedation (twilight) or general anaesthesia. For your safetyduring and after the operation, various monitors are used to check your heart,blood pressure, pulse and the amount of oxygen circulating in your blood.
When surgery iscompleted, you will be taken into a recovery area. A bandage may be wrappedaround your face. Sometimes small tubes will be inserted beneath the skin todrain away fluid that might otherwise accumulate. There is surprisingly verylittle discomfort experience after the face lift surgery. However, anydiscomfort you may experience will decontrolled with pain medication as needed.
You may be permitted to go home after a few hours, although some patients maystay overnight in a hospital or surgical facility.
It is important to realize that the amount of time it takes to recoverfrom the face lift surgery varies greatly between different individuals.Elevation of the head is extremely helpful in reducing the initialpost-operative swelling. Your surgeon may also advise you to use ice packsintermittently.
You should avoidAspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications for the first few daysafter your surgery. Smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke should be avoidedto prevent delay sin the healing process.
Once the dressingsand drains are removed, puffiness and discoloration may be more pronounced insome portions of the face than others. Do not be alarmed by any unevenness ortemporary asymmetry – this is normal. Most swelling is usually noted in thefirst twenty four to forty eight hours, and most bruising resolves within twoweeks. Concealing makeup is usually permitted after the first week. You mayexperience numbness to the face post-operatively, which usually resolves withinseveral months.
Some patients findthat mild swelling persists for many weeks. Most stitches are removed within aweek of the surgery. Straining, bending, and lifting should be avoided duringthe early post-operative period as these activities may predispose you tobleeding.
Your surgeon willgive you specific instructions that may include caring for the dressings andincisions, directions for your analgesics and other medications, specificconcerns to look for, and when to follow up in the office to monitor yourhealing process. It may take several months for the swelling to fully resolve,and up to six months for the incision scars to fully fade. Avoidance of factorsthat could reduce the benefits of the surgery, such as excessive unprotectedsun exposure and cigarette use, is vital
The results of yourface lift may be subtle or dramatic, depending on your appearance prior to thesurgery as well as the specific goals that you and your plastic surgeon haveestablished. Since the healing process is gradual, you should expect to waitseveral weeks for an accurate picture of your “new look”. Additional minorchanges or settling may occur over several months following your Face liftsurgery
Cost is always aconsideration in elective surgery. Prices for face lifts vary widely, and areoften dependent on the surgeon experience and the geographical location. The fees are oftenbroken down into several components:
You will return toyour plastic surgeon’s office for follow up care at prescribed intervals,at which time your progress will be evaluated. Please remember that yourrelationship with your plastic surgeon does not end when you leave theoperating room. If you have questions or concerns during your recovery fromFace lift surgery, or need additional information at a later time, you shouldcontact your surgeon