A facelift, technically known as a rhytidectomy (surgical removal of wrinkles), can reduce some of the more visible signs of ageing. A facelift smoothes the loose skin on your face and neck and tightens underlying tissue. As a result, your face will appear firmer and fresher making you look younger.
What does Facelift Surgery Involve?
A face lift involves the skillful removal of excess facial skin from the neck, chin and cheek areas under general anaesthetic. Starting high in the temple area the hair at the incision courses down following the curves in front of the ear round the earlobe and up behind the ear before curving gently back into the hair again. It may be necessary to add an incision under the chin which is also well hidden. Using these incisions on both sides, the skin and deep tissues are remodelled and re-draped. Stitches secure layers of tissue and incisions and metal clips may be used on the scalp. The scars will be hidden around your ears or in your hairline and will usually fade over 3 to 6 months.
How long does the surgery take?
The procedure normally takes two to three hours and usually requires a 1-2 day hospital stay.
What can I expect from a Facelift?
Your expectations need to be realistic. For most patients the effects of facelifts last well so that even years later they'll continue to look and feel younger. The results of any facelift should be lasting but remember the procedure cannot stop the ageing process.
Recovery after a Facelift Procedure
What will happen in the recovery period?
Following the operation, you may experience some bruising and swelling around the area and you may be asked to keep your head elevated for a couple of days to keep any swelling down. Any drainage tube will normally be removed after a day or two and bandages are removed after 1-5 days. Your stitches will be removed after 5 days and any metal clips in scalp are removed after 2 weeks. You will have follow-up visits in the months after surgery to check on your progress.
What is the recovery time from facelift surgery?
Recovery is normally between two to three weeks, however 1-2 days after surgery you should be on your feet. It is important not to carry out vigorous activities for the first five days after the surgery. You can return to work and resume most normal activities after three weeks and begin exercise after six weeks.
Further reading on facelift procedures and rhytidectomy
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