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Signs of aging can be visible in a person's face due to gravity, exposure to sunlight and stresses of daily life (loss of skin elasticity and tissue strength, formation of deep crease between the nose and mouth, the jawline growing slack and ‘jowly').
A facelift technically known as rhytidectomy can make these signs vanish by removing excess fat, tightening underlying muscles, and repositioning the skin of the face and neck. It can be done alone, or in conjunction with other procedures such as an eyelid surgery, nose reshaping, or forehead lift.
Best Candidates for Face Lift
The best candidates for a facelift are:
Men and women over the age of 40 with good bone structure but sagging skin or deep creases around the nose and mouth
All surgery carries risk, and you should be fully aware of the medical risks associated with this procedure before you consent to surgery. Your surgeon will discuss these risks with you during your consultation, and you are encouraged to ask questions if there is anything you do not understand. You will be required to sign a consent form before surgery stating that you have been informed of the risks involved; that you understand those risks; and that you accept those risks. This is standard hospital protocol and surgery will not be performed if you do not sign it is your obligation to inform your surgeon of key medical information that may influence the outcome of your surgery or may increase the level of risk. These include medications you are taking, history of disease, medical complications, etc.
Risks and risk rates vary from patient to patient depending on a range of factors. No two people are alike. The risks listed below are possible risks associated with this type of surgery and are mentioned regardless of how remote the possibility:
Injury to the nerves that control facial muscles or feeling (usually temporary but may be permanent). Infection, bleeding. Poor healing; excessive scarring. Asymmetry or change in hairline.
Am I a candidate for a Face Lift?
If you feel as if your skin is starting to sag around the jowls, the forehead and generally "all over," if you look tired and physically exhausted and you, in fact, are NOT. Perhaps you are feeling as if your skin is starting to become aged looking and are searching for a way to restore your appearance to its younger looking state. Then, a Face Lift is one of the options that you can take. If it is just the sagging on the forehead or eyebrows, then an endoscopic brow lift might be best for you. Full face lifts are generally saved for those of us who are more "mature." However, younger patients are seeking mid and lower face lifts today.
When is a Face Lift usually performed?
There is no usual age that a patient requests a face lift. It can be from 30's to 80's. Although, a brow lift can work wonders for younger patients whose only complaint is horizontal lines on the forehead and sagging brows or slightly hooded eyes. Brow lifts are often requested in the late 20's-early 30's category and up. It is quite possible that a brow lift is all that is needed.
However, A face lift can produce better results in those who are more mature or need extensive lifting and tightening or rejuvenation. Seeking an entire lifting of the facial skin and/or structure to produce a more youthful and alert appearance. You can discuss your available options with your surgeon to determine what is best for your individual case.
What does a typical Face Lift consultation entail?
First off, your doctor will discuss your goals with you and he will explain what can be achieved realistically. Some patients may require a deep plane face lift involving the tightening of the inner muscular structure of the face. You should bring photos of yourself at an earlier age to determine your original facial look so the effect can be a natural one. Most patients don't want to wake up and not look like yourself once you heal. You just want to try and achieve a more 'pulled together' look; an attractive you at a younger age. Although, some of you may want to change the structure of your face altogether. Discuss with your surgeon the goals and general result you would like to achieve.
How is Face Lift performed?
The Face Lift operation is most frequently performed using General or Light Sleep Anesthesia. After your arrival additional medications are given intravenously which induce a profound state of relaxation. Patients usually sleep during the operation. Much of the time patients have very little memory of the operation itself. After this state is achieved then medicines are given to produce numbness of the surgical area. This type of anesthesia is most frequently preferred by patients. It causes almost no recovery necessary from the anesthetics themselves unlike general anesthesia which may produce nausea after the surgery. It also carries less risk of complications. If general anesthesia is preferred, this may also be used.
This procedure takes about 2 to 6 hours to perform. It may take longer if you choose to have a neck lift as well. For procedures 3 hours or longer, many surgeons advise General anesthesia. Depending upon your facial structure the incisions will be placed as inconspicuously as possible above the hairline.
Some doctors still cut at the hairline so ask your doctor which incisions he prefers.
The incisions usually begin above the hairline, at the temples, continuing in a natural line in front of the ear.
Some doctors can make the incisions with the cartilage just in the front-inside part of the ear, ending behind the earlobe and lower region of the scalp. The skin is separated from the fat and muscle below it. If the neck lift is being performed with the face lift, a small incision is placed inconspicuously underneath the chin and excess fat may removed by either trimming it by hand or by facial liposuction. More than likely, your surgeon will use the facial liposuction technique. The underlying muscle and fascia are tightened and the skin itself is pulled back, trimmed and sutured into place.
Sometimes surgical staples are used within the scalp. The surgeon may place a small drain tube behind your ears for excess fluid and blood drainage.
Pre-Surgical Tests Prior to admissions and surgery, your Surgeon will require you to undergo laboratory investigations and/or diagnostic examinations to ensure that you are fit for surgery. These tests are standard hospital procedure.
Please note that this information should be used only as a guide to your treatment.
All specifics will be discussed with your Surgeon during your initial consultation.
Cosmetic Surgery Procedure:
Best Candidate: Loose skin, deep lines, wrinkles, jowls
Length of Surgery: 2-5 hours
Side Effects: Temporary bruising and swelling
Back to Work: Within 2 weeks
Normal Activities: Increase gently after 6-8 weeks
Fading of Scars and Results after:
Several months to a year or more