Face Lift Surgery or Rhytidectomy – the medical term for this procedure – is an operation that can have the ability to make an individual appear younger and ‘fresher’ faced. Whether you are a man or a woman, a facelift is available to anyone.
Wrinkles, signs of ageing and excess skin are all reasons why individuals seek to have a face lift. The surgery itself is to remove or reduce the amount of skin, which has become stretched over time, and has lost its elasticity.
The usual places where you can find skin like this is under the eyes, around the mouth, under the chin and around the jaw line. The outcome of having facelift surgery is that it reduces fine lines, smoothes out the skin and restores youth back into the skin and the features of the face. This surgery is so popular now, a trend originally started by the rich and famous but is now accessible to most people.
When considering facelift surgery, you must be aware that there are three types. The first is the ‘traditional’ facelift, the second is the ‘minimal access cranial suspension’ (MACS) and the third is keyhole surgery. At your consultation, your surgeon will discuss the positive and negative aspects of each kind of surgery and you will then choose which surgery is best suited for you.
Individuals who undergo this surgery sometimes have other plastic surgery at the same time. The kind of surgery that works well with a facelift can include; neck lifts, liposuction, eyelid surgery and more. Some people who have more than one kind of plastic surgery at a time have reported that this helps make them look 10 years younger.
The traditional facelift surgery has been around for years and consists of an incision being made along your natural hairline. The reason for the incision being made along your hairline is that it will not be visible and is hidden by the natural creases of the face, there will be a little scarring but it will fade over time ensuring no visible marks from the surgery.
After the incision, the surgeon will peel the skin away from the underlying muscle; this must be done with extreme care, as there are a lot of nerves in the face. After the separation, the surgeon will reposition the excess fat and then tighten the skin over the muscles. The skin is then stretched over the face and is then stitched up at the line of the incision. Depending on the individual, surgeons feel that it is necessary to insert a small drain behind the ears in order to prevent any build up of fluid, as this can be extremely uncomfortable.
MACS or minimal-access cranial suspension is similar to the traditional method however, the incision is smaller and the surgeon removes excess fatty tissue from the face in addition to tightening the facial muscles.
The final type of facelift surgery is keyhole surgery and consists of an extremely small incision, the size of a keyhole. The surgeon uses an endoscope to see how much fat needs to be removed and to also see which muscles need to be tightened. This kind of facelift surgery is often used for brow lifts as it provides the same outcome as the traditional facelift it just has less of a recovery time. This kind of facelift also has minimal scaring which can assist the individual recovering within a short time after the procedure.
Generally, modern day surgery is considered safe.
As this procedure takes place under a general anaesthetic, there are many risks that come hand in hand with a general anaesthetic and these include; suppressed breathing, blood clot in lung, blood clot in legs, low blood pressure, heart issues, heart failure and even death. Approximately one-third of patients who receive an anaesthetic during surgery will experience “anaesthesia sickness” or post-operative nausea and vomiting (POVN).
The risks and complications associated with the facelift surgery itself include:
Bleeding, the area around the scar can sometimes bleed, this is quite normal however in order to prevent any build up of fluid, the surgeon may choose to insert a small drain to ensure that no build up occurs as this can cause pain.
Haematomas are quite common and are a form of bruising. This will go down after a short amount of time.
Although it is quite unlikely, infection is possible and the surgeon will make sure that your face and scars will be wrapped in sterile bandage as a preventative measure. Infection can be painful and can result in the individual having to take antibiotics and may even mean a short stay in hospital.
Asymmetry is also possible where certain parts of the face heal but others do not. This can also be caused by a buildup of scar tissue under the skin. Skin necrosis is another complication and is where there is a loss of blood flow to an area of skin; this can be caused by the surgery and can result in those parts of the skin.
Q. Can facelift surgery help me to look younger?
A. Yes, facelift surgery can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles and produce a smooth, wrinkle free look that can make the individual appear fresh faced and rejuvenated.
Q. How long do the effects of the surgery last?
A. Unless there are dramatic changes to the face caused by weight gain and weight loss, the usual affects of the facelift surgery can last for approximately 10 years. After 10 years, you may want to go back to the plastic surgeon if you so choose.
Q. How long will I have to be out of action for after having the surgery?
A. The recommended amount of time to have off from work can be around two to three weeks after the surgery. It does depend on which surgery you choose. If you have the keyhole, then you may be back to work in less than a week. It also depends on how fast you heal.