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