When you look into the mirror and what is reflected doesn’t match the person you are inside, it can be tormenting. Seeing an aged face covered in wrinkles and sagging skin can make you feel anything but attractive. When creams, serums, and other anti-aging skin care products aren’t cutting it, you might consider the popular anti-aging surgical procedure known as a facelift.
What Is a Facelift?
A facelift is an anti-aging surgical procedure that is pretty self-explanatory—it literally involves repositioning the face from one point to another, while removing excess skin. With regards to what’s involved in the process of this anti-aging surgical procedure, a facelift can come in varying degrees of intensity. In general practice, the surgeon will start the facelift procedure by making a long incision around your ear and up into your hairline behind your ear. Once a clean cut has been made, he/she will begin to separate the skin and fatty tissues from the muscle and connective tissue underneath. At this point, the surgeon may remove excess fat or manipulate the muscle as per your consultation prior to the anti-aging surgical procedure.
In the final step in this anti-aging surgical procedure, the skin is pulled back and the excess is trimmed off. The patient is stitched back up where the initial incision was made, camouflaging the scar. This is done on both sides, with technical variations from person to person. Depending on your procedure, a facelift can take between two to six hours to complete.
Is a Facelift Right For Me?
You’re a good candidate for this anti-aging surgical procedure if you are generally in good physical health and don’t smoke—if you are smoker, you’ll be advised to quit a few weeks prior to the procedure so that your skin can heal properly. A facelift will work best if your skin shows visible signs of aging, but still has at least a little bit of elasticity in it.
It is also important to identify whether you are having this anti-aging surgical procedure done for the right reasons—you need to be realistic about your expectations and understand that, although a facelift is effective, the results will only go so far. Doctors sometimes conduct a psychological analysis to see if you are a good fit for this extensive anti-aging surgical procedure.
What Can I Expect Before and After My Facelift?
Prior to actually having your facelift done, you will first have a consultation with your surgeon. This part of the anti-aging surgical procedure is crucial because this is when you would identify your problem areas and discuss your reasons for wanting the facelift. This is also when the doctor will assess your face to determine what kind of facelift will work best for you. By this point, you will have given your entire medical history, including allergies and details on any medications you’re taking. The doctor will brief you on the risks associated with the anti-aging surgical procedure, and what will happen on the day of.
After your facelift surgery, your face will be bandaged and you may have a tube inserted underneath the skin to drain the accumulating blood and fluids. You’ll likely see swelling and some bruising that can last for up to three weeks following your anti-aging surgical procedure. Rest is important with this anti-aging surgical procedure. It’s also important that you take your medication as ordered. Do not operate heavy machinery until the anesthesia has worn off completely, always follow the doctor’s instructions for at-home care, and attend all of your follow-up appointments. The facelift stitches are usually removed within one week.
What Are the Risks?
As with any anti-aging surgical procedure, there are going to be risks. The biggest risks with a facelift are bleeding and infection. This is why it is important to be in good health and have a strong immune system. Other potential risks with this anti-aging surgical procedure include loss of sensation, loss of muscle mobility, hair loss near the incision point, scarring, or necrosis, which is the death or decay of tissue. It’s easier to avoid these risks if you are healthy and fit.
What Is the Recovery Time for a Facelift?
You may be kept for at least one night following a facelift, depending on the extent of your anti-aging surgical procedure. Whether you stay overnight or not, most doctors will recommend going home with a friend or family member. Bruising and swelling should go down within two weeks, but overall results of the facelift after a full recovery will show within six months to a year. Like other anti-aging surgical procedures, recovery time will vary from person to person.
How Long Do the Results of a Facelift Last?
Although the results of this anti-aging surgical procedure can last for a few years, the results are not permanent. Your skin will continue to age, so wrinkles and sagging skin can begin to resurface over time. On average, the results of a facelift tend to last at least five years.
“Face-Lifts,” WebMD web site; https://www.webmd.com/beauty/facelift/webmd-medical-reference-collaboration-cleveland-clinic-cosmetic-procedures-facelifts?page=1, last accessed September 30, 2013.
“Facelift (Rhytidectomy),” The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery web site; https://www.surgery.org/consumers/procedures/head/facelift, last accessed September 30, 2013.
“Facelift Surgery,” MedicineNet.com web site; https://www.medicinenet.com/face_lift/article.htm, last accessed September 30, 2013.
“How Long Does a Facelift Last?” HealthNewsDigest.com web site, November 30, 2012; https://www.healthnewsdigest.com/news/Plastic_Surgery_450/How-Long-Does-A-Facelift-Last_printer.shtml.