WHAT IS A FACELIFT?
A rhytidectomy, or a facelift, is popular among our aging population, who are healthier and younger at heart. As part of the aging process, the facial skin loosens and sags, and wrinkles appear and then deepen.
Though no surgical procedure can stop the aging process, a facelift can rejuvenate the facial and neck appearance to create a smoother and more pleasing contour of the face and neck.
HOW IS A FACELIFT PERFORMED?
This operation can be performed under local or general anaesthesia. Incisions are made in the temple area, in front and around the ear and back into the scalp. The skin is then elevated and the underlying muscle and connective tissues are tightened. Fat can be removed simultaneously or liposuctioned before the skin is elevated.
The excessive skin is trimmed and the incisions are closed. In males, the incisions are modified to account for the beard and hairlines. A dressing is applied over the entire operated area to protect the incisions and apply gentle pressure. Some adjunct procedures are often performed with facelifts. Forehead lifts and eyelid surgery are commonly done at the same time in many patients.
WHAT IS THE RECOVERY LIKE?
Most patients experience very little pain after the operation. There will be some amount of swelling and bruising of the face and neck. Swelling can be reduced by the use of ice compresses during the first day or two. The dressing is usually changed after one day and removed completely after two or three days. Sutures are removed 5 or 6 days after surgery. Most of the visible bruising and swelling disappear at two weeks. Patients can normally return to work and normal activities after two to three weeks.
HOW LONG DOES A FACELIFT LAST?
There is no real answer to this question, while most patients are very happy with their results for many years after surgery; there are many factors that contribute to the success and duration of the improvement. Skin type, heredity, ethnic background, skin elasticity and bone structure all play an important role in the long-term results of a facelift.