The effects of the passage of time at the facial level are manifested by the loss of elasticity and tonicity of the skin, the deepening of the trenches around the mouth, the appearance of wrinkles and laxity (sagging) of the tissues, the decrease in the volume of the cheekbones due to the resorption of the fat and skeleton, the lowering of the position of the eyebrows and the corners of the mouth. Face lift is the surgical procedure that addresses all these signs of aging.
What is the purpose of facelift surgery?
Face lift aims to rejuvenate the face by removing excess skin from the face and neck, alleviating wrinkles and repositioning deep facial structures. The operation addresses the middle and lower third of the face: if there is ptosis of the eyebrows or eyelid skin, then you can associate operations addressed to these structures: eyebrow lift and / or blepharoplasty.
Before facelift surgery
During the preoperative consultation, the surgeon will follow the following aspects:
✓ will assess the quality of the skin, as well as the degree of its laxity (how the skin falls off), the position of the eyebrows and corners of the mouth
✓ will notice any facial asymmetries
✓ will take digital photos
✓ will assess the patient’s health and will obtain information about his medical history. Last but not least, the doctor will recommend performing preoperative investigations (blood tests, EKG) and will adjust or stop the administration of some drugs that increase the risk of bleeding (aspirin, oral anticoagulants, natural medication, etc.),
✓ will recommend quitting smoking at least 2 weeks before the operation.
When is facelift surgery indicated?
Face lift is a strictly individualized surgery, and as a result it cannot be practiced to satisfy someone else’s desires or to copy an ideal image. The platic surgeon, taking into account the patient’s wishes and expectations, will determine which is the most indicated facial rejuvenation procedure
It is indicated when:
- there is a medium-severe cutaneous laxity
- the state of health is good
- the patient’s expectations are realistic
- the bone protrusions of the face are not very obvious
What are the contraindications of the operation?
- patients with unrealistic expectations
- patients with vascular diseases (vasculitis), coagulation disorders, diabetes or other diseases that slow healing
- patients prone to the formation of hypertrophic or keloid scars
- in the presence of serious diseases, which contraindicate general anesthesia
How is the surgery performed?
Facelift is generally practiced under general anesthesia, but local anesthesia with associated sedation is also possible. The operation lasts on average 3-4 hours.
There are a multitude of surgical facelift procedures, differentiated according to the size and location of the incisions, as well as depending on the way of removing the excess skin and lifting the deep tissues left.
In fact, the anatomy of the face is very complex, although from the outside it does not look. The facelift operation has a lot of technical details. To explain in a simple way; An incision is made at the edge where the ear and cheek meet, and the excess skin is removed from the cheek area. This incision continues by suturing into the scalp behind the pearly area and into the scalp behind the ear.
Since the incisions made in the facelift operation will be made in the anterior and posterior regions of the ear, small scars remain in these areas. If the incision in front of the ear is passed through the ear, this scar usually remains inside. In this way, it is not visible from the outside. Incisions made in the skin in areas with hair leave no traces.
Post facelift surgery
At the end of the surgery, the wounds will be sutured and will be covered with steri-strips. They will require minimal care until the suture threads are removed, 7 days after the operation. Sometimes it is necessary to place a drainage tube for 24-48 hours, through which excess fluids will be evacuated from the operated area.
The face lift causes a small or moderate discomfort, which, however, can be controlled by regular pain medication. Postoperatively, a supine position is required (the patient lying on her back), with her head slightly raised.
After surgery it is recommended to wear for 1-2 weeks (initially non-stop and then about 12 hours / day) of an elastic and compressive facial band. Sun exposure and intense physical exertion will be avoided 3 months after surgery.
General complications are those common to any invasive procedure, being represented by certain cardio-respiratory complications that can occur due to general anesthesia.
Risks of facelift surgery
Small accumulations of blood called hematomas after facelift surgery can cause some aesthetic problems. For this reason, the drain, which is a tube that absorbs fluid accumulations under the skin, should remain at least a day after the operation.
Although rare, infection can occur after facelift surgery. If the patient smokes, skin loss can become a serious problem. Also, there may be numbness and hair loss on the scalp. But you do not have to worry because the sensation on the hair and skin will definitely return.
The healing process after the facelift surgery
As in other aesthetic surgeries, the recovery period in facelift operations differs from patient to patient. The type of operation affects the healing process of the operated area. After the facelift operation, the patient is discharged on the day of surgery and, depending on the situation, the day after staying in the hospital.
A day after the operation, the risk of bleeding disappears. Thus, the located drain can be removed.
All sutures placed in the operation are not removed at the same time. First, the sutures on the face and eyelid are removed. This is done a week after the operation. On the 10th day after the surgery, the metal sutures from the hair are also removed.
In the first 3 days after the operation, it is normal for edema to appear in the area of the face and neck, in the areas where the seams are applied and in the areas close to these areas. Some swelling can be observed. These swellings begin to subside on the 4th day after the operation, but it can take 3 weeks to disappear completely.
After facelift surgery, loss of sensation, numbness, swelling and changes in skin color in the relevant area for several weeks can be observed, and these observed effects will decrease and disappear within a few weeks. Redness and bruises usually disappear in the 3rd week.
Frequently asked question
Who is suitable for facelift surgery?
Facelift surgery is generally preferred by people aged 50 and over. However, it is okay for people who have wrinkled and sagging skin before the age of 50 to do this surgery at a younger age. This surgery can be a good and permanent solution especially for those who are disturbed by the lassing observed in the neck area.
Is it a permanent face lift?
One of the most common questions about facelift surgery is the permanence of surgery. Permanent results are achieved with facelift surgery. The results of most facelift procedures take a very long time, between seven and 15 years. The duration of the operation may vary depending on the structure of the patient’s skin, the structure of the skeleton, the technique used and the doctor applying the technique.
How many days will I recover from the facelift surgery?
Bruises that appear after facelift surgery will heal in about a week after the operation. Complete healing of swelling occurs after a postoperative period of one month.
What is the success rate of the facelift operation?
The success rate of the facelift operation is among the most curious about this topic. The success rate for achieving the desired result with the first surgery is very high by 95 percent. If the desired result is not fully achieved after the first operation, the desired result is achieved with a complete success rate with the second operation.