Facts About Facelifts

In today’s fast-paced, competitive society, looks are more important than ever. As we age, our facial muscles become slacker and the skin on the face becomes less elastic and looser, creating folds and lines. A facelift can reduce saggy skin and wrinkles to produce a more alert and youthful appearance. Facelifts are sometimes performed on the whole face (a full facelift) and other times just on the brow area, lower face, or neck only.

A facelift is performed under a general anaesthetic and you will usually need to stay in hospital for one or two nights. You’ll also need to plan time off work to rest and recover. There is always some scarring after a facelift, but this will generally fade over the course of a year, and can often be well-disguised underneath your hair. Your plastic surgeon will discuss this with you prior to your facelift operation.

All operations carry risks as well as benefits. The chance of complications following facelift surgery depends on the type of procedure and other factors such as your general health. Your plastic surgeon will explain how the risks apply to you.

The operation

A facelift generally requires a one or two night stay in hospital. The operation lasts around three to four hours and is usually done under a general anaesthetic.

There are a number of different facelift techniques. Your surgeon will explain the options available to you.

Traditional facelift

For a typical facelift, once the anaesthetic has taken effect, your surgeon will make a surgical cut right around your hairline, past the front of your ears. Cuts may also be made under your chin, if you want to lift a sagging jaw line. Your skin will then be carefully separated from the underlying muscles of your face. Excess fat will be removed and the muscles will be tightened. The skin will then be lifted up, pulled back and any excess will be trimmed off. It will then be stitched back to the line where the cut was initially made.

Minimal-incision facial surgery can make your face look as young as you feel. A forehead lift or browlift can smooth out your wrinkles and correct drooping brows and heavy lids to provide a younger, friendlier appearance. A mid-facelift or cheek lift can remove facial wrinkles and lift sagging cheeks, while a necklift can tighten loose, sagging skin under your chin. These procedures can be performed alone, in combination with laser resurfacing, or as part of a full facelift.

The procedures:

A browlift can tighten loose skin, remove excess forehead wrinkles and correct drooping eyelids. It is performed as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia with deep sedation, or general anesthesia, and can take from 1 to 2 hours. Since a browlift can significantly reduce the frown lines between the eyes, it is frequently performed in conjunction with upper and/or lower eyelid surgery to achieve optimal results. A mid-facelift can significantly reduce wrinkles, sagging skin or a depressed appearance in the cheeks. It can be performed as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia with deep sedation, or general anesthesia, and may take from 1 to 2 hours.

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