Facelift – Everything You Need to Know

Fine lines, wrinkles, loss of elasticity, nasolabial folds (also called laugh lines) and crow’s feet are some signs of ageing which are inevitable. Facial skin laxity and sagging are experienced by all of us as we age. These marks of ageing are absolutely harmless but they can become irritating and may bother you.

So, how to overcome effects of ageing on the face? The answer is, Facelift!

Facelift (rhytidectomy) is a surgical procedure that helps you achieve a more youthful facial appearance by reducing visible signs of aging in your face to a great extent.

The Procedure
The procedure involves removing the wrinkles, sagginess and any excess skin as well as tightening of the muscles in the mid-face, lower-face and jaw-line.

While performing this anti-ageing facial surgery, a cosmetic surgeon makes an incision inside the hairline at the temples extending it in front of and behind the ear, possibly extending into your lower scalp. The surgeon then will raise your skin toward the scalp, rearrange the underlying muscle and connective tissue in a higher position and remove some fat as well as excess skin to give you a vibrant, firmer and a more youthful facial skin. Lastly, the skin is re-draped over your face and incisions are closed with sutures or staples.

A facelift is more often performed with a combination of mild sedatives (in which you are numb but partially awake), general anesthesia or local anesthesia (to numb your skin).

Besides restoring a wrinkle-free, more youthful facial skin, a facelift can produce remarkable results by restoring loss of volume in the cheeks and removing prominent lines by the side of the nose and angles of mouth.

Since a facelift may rejuvenate the three certain parts of the face, your surgeon may suggest you additional or alternative procedures like neck lift, forehead lift, facial implants, eyelid shaping, ear surgery or skin peels to enhance the outcome of the surgery.

What to Expect After the Surgery?
Immediately after the surgery, a large, fluffy bandage may be applied around your face. The dressings are usually removed within a day and may be replaced with an elastic wrap. Very little pain, and moderate swelling and bruising of the eyelids and other parts of the face may be experienced after the surgery. You are strongly advised to avoid strenuous activity until the swelling has subsided.

If a drainage tube has been inserted during the surgery to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect beneath the skin, it will be removed 1 to 2 days after the surgery. All sutures or staples will be removed within 5 to 10 days, though it may take up to 6 months for incision lines to mature.

Your facial skin may become rough and dry for a few months and numbness of the skin may last for several weeks after the surgery.

Two to three weeks after the surgery, you can resume light exercises and routine activities, and for strenuous work and exercises you will have to wait for six weeks.

As with other cosmetic procedures, facelift does come with some potential risks. The most common risks and problems caused by having a facelift include:

• Reactions to the anesthesia and post-surgery medications
• Bleeding under the skin (hematoma)
• Infection
• Hair loss (alopecia)
• Tissue loss (fat necrosis)
• Permanent scarring caused by blistering of the skin
• Possible injury to ear and facial nerves
• Permanent numbness, skin discoloration or changes in skin sensitivity
• Accumulation of fluid
• Delayed wound healing
• A rare risk of pulmonary embolism
• Asymmetry of the face and skin contour irregularities
• Alopecia or hair loss can occur at the sight of incision
• One of the biggest risks is that you may get unsatisfactory results.

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