Rhytidectomy or facelift is one of the cosmetic surgery procedures which aims to achieve a younger looking skin and face The facelift procedure has tremendously evolved with time. As of today, it’s not just limited to tightening the skin but also involves repositioning of the muscles, fat and skin. It is sometimes accompanied by neck lift that decreases the fat deposits and flabby skin on the neck. There are over 100,000 facelift plastic surgeries done each year.

Are you the best candidate for a Facelift?

If the chubbiness on your face is directing you to consider facelift surgery, you should first confirm whether you are the best candidate for the procedure. 

People eligible for facelift procedure are those

  •  Who show signs of aging but do have some elasticity in their skin. This most commonly includes people of 40-70 years of age
  • Who have a good health
  • Who have realistic expectations of the results

If you think you have all the aforementioned characteristics in you, you are the right person for facelift procedure and you should definitely opt for it

The face lift procedure

Facelift involves elevation of the skin and tightening of the underlying muscles and tissues. The underlying fat is then redistributed or removed before the skin is repositioned back. Excess skin is excised and the wound is stitched back. Your surgeon will decide for you, whether your operation can be done under local anesthesia numbing only parts of your body or needs a general anesthesia which will completely put you to sleep.

There are three types of incisions done in facelift. These include

1.    Traditional face-lift incision

It starts at the temple within the hairline, continues downward from the front of the ears and ends behind the ears in the lower part of the scalp.

2.    Limited incision

This begins in the hairline just above the ear, continues through the front of the ear, but end before extending into the lower scalp.

3.    Neck lift incision –

It starts from the front of the earlobe and wraps around the ear into the lower scalp.This type of incision used for you depends on what your surgeon decides for you and what your own preferences are. The duration of the facelift procedure is generally two to four hours but may take longer if it is done in combination with other cosmetic surgery procedures.

 Preparation for facelift surgery

Meet you consultant and discuss your expectations and reasons for choosing facelift therapy. Inform your clinician about all the medications or supplements you’re taking, whether you smoke. After examining, your surgeon will  decide as to the extent of treatment you’ll need and whether you need any other procedures in combination e.g. eyebrow lift etc.

Facelift has similar requirements like other cosmetic surgeries including liposuction and tummy tuck. Your surgeon might direct you to stop smoking and taking certain prescription drugs two weeks before the surgery until a few weeks after.

You need to wear loose clothing that is button downed so that it can easily be removed and worn back without touching the face. Arrange someone to accompany you during the hospital stay and to drive you back home. Consider hiring a nurse for a few days to look after you.

Organize your home and stock up on the things you’ll need after returning from the surgery that include

  • Gauze, clean towels and washcloths
  • Ice packs to soothe your swollen skin
  • Ointments or creams as suggested by your doctor
  • Loose and comfortable button down shirts
  • Thermometer

Face lift risks and complications

Most of the risks associated with facelift surgery are manageable with proper care, medicines or surgery. Other rare complications can however, be long lasting and permanent, causing a major change is appearance

  • Hematoma – Collection of blood beneath the skin that causes swelling and pressure.
  • Scarring. Scars due to Incision are permanent but concealed in the hairline and natural contours of the face
  • Nerve injury. Rare complication which involves temporary or permanent affect on the nerves. Transient paralysis of muscles results in an asymmetric facial appearance or a loss of sensation temporarily can last a few months to a year.
  • Hair loss at the incision site.
  • Skin loss or sloughing due to interrupted blood supply.

Recovery time

The incisions will be covered with bandages with a slight pressure to minimize swelling. You need to rest with your head elevated for a few days after the surgery. You need complete care for the first three weeks so that all the wounds can be recovered at the earliest possible.

Follow all the instructions laid down by your doctor, take all the medications given and apply the ointment on the scars to minimize them. You can join your job again after four to five weeks as soon as you start to feel normal but always take your doctor’s consent for that. You would have to limit your social gatherings for a few months before things get back to normal.

Face Lift Results

Facelift procedure gives you a more younger-looking and rejuvenated appearance. The results of facelift surgery are not permanent, however, they can last for about 10 years. After that your skin might start to droop again.

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