What is Face Lift?
Facelift, or rhytidectomy, is a procedure to give a “refreshed” appearance to the face. It treats the loose skin on your face and neck, tightens underlying tissues and removes excess fat. It does not address sagging or puffy eyebrows or wrinkles around the eyes or mouth. A facelift can be combined with other surgeries such as neck lift, blepharoplasty, brow lift, or radiofrequency skin tightening, etc.
A full facelift targets lower two-thirds of the face, from the ears, across to the cheeks, and down to the jawline. A mini-facelift rejuvenates the central section of the face, from the lower eyelid to the upper lip.
Who is a good candidate?
You are a good candidate for a facelift if
• If you show signs of facial aging but still have some skin elasticity
• You have sagging skin in your midface, jawline or neck
• You have creases on your face that are deep and extend from your nose to the corners of your mouth and/or from corners of the mouth to your chin
• Your weight loss has been stabilized
• You have hair that can grow to conceal the scars left from incisions necessary for the procedure
• You have a positive outlook, with a clear and realistic vision of what you want the procedure do for you
• You are otherwise healthy and do not have a serious illness or medical condition that may impair the healing
• You are a non-smoker or can abstain from smoking for at least three weeks before and after the surgery
For a facelift, an incision follows the contour of your ear, then extends around the earlobe and back into the hairline. Extra skin is removed along the incisions. There may be a need for an incision under your chin to remove fat and sagging skin from that area.
A mini-facelift is recommended if the sagging of skin is minimal. The incision lines, in this case, are shorter and extend from the temples to around the ear.
Depending on the extent of change you desire deeper underlying facial tissues may be re-positioned or tightened. The incisions are then sutured. To gain your desired result your surgeon may recommend soft tissue fillers. Also, facelift procedures are sometimes combined with neck lift surgery since the incisions for a neck lift are very close to those of a facelift.
The procedure takes approximately one to two hours under general anesthesia, intravenous sedation or local anesthesia depending on your unique case and your surgeon’s discretion.
After your surgery, a light head dressing is applied around your face to reduce swelling and bruising. This dressing can be removed the following day. Drainage tubes may be placed on the incisions. It’s better if you keep your head in a raised position while resting in the first two weeks after your surgery.
You will experience some mild level of pain in the first two days that is manageable by oral painkillers. Within two weeks of surgery, all sutures are removed and the majority of bruising and swelling will have subsided. You may wash your head the next day and return to work within 2-3 days. You can drive after the first week. However, strenuous physical activity should be avoided for six weeks.
You can cold compress the area but avoid using ice compress as it may interrupt the natural flow of blood and cause skin death.
Like any other surgical procedure, though infrequent, complications may occur and they include Fluid retention or excessive loss of blood and fluids, infection, reaction to anesthesia medications, pigmentation changes (hypo/hyper), skin numbness – this is to be expected and is usually only temporary.
Some potential complications specific to facelift surgery include:
• Persistent dry eyes
• Permanent muscle weakness or areas of permanent numbness are possible.
• Facial nerve injury that may lead to weakness of the lower lip muscle in very rare occasions
• Temporary or permanent hair loss at the incisions
• Facial asymmetry