Our face is the part of our body we are most familiar with and also represents us to society. We see it every time we look in the mirror, and any changes, especially those associated with aging are quickly noticed.
Hollowing under the eyes, flattening of the cheeks, deepening of the nasolabial folds and appearance of jowls highlights our transition from youth to middle age.
The cosmetics industry has been thriving due to our attempts to address this. In recent years the non-surgical sector has grown as people try to slow down this process in a minimally invasive manner.
However, there comes a point where the changes are too significant, and surgery is necessary. This is where the facelift is the gold standard in facial rejuvenation.
A facelift is a procedure designed to restore a youthful appearance to the cheek, reduce the appearance of the laughter lines and improve the jawline, by removing the jowls. it is commonly performed in conjunction with a neck lift, fat transfer to the face, and eye rejuvenation.
The procedure involves a general anesthetic, however, in rare cases it can be performed under very deep sedation
The incision is carefully placed inside the ear and behind it, extending into the hairline if the neck needs to be adjusted. It will also trace inside the sideburn. The incision is designed in such a way that it will be barely visible once it is healed, and not affect hair growth
A facelift is not simply a procedure that excises excess skin and pulls it back. This is how facelifts were done in the past and it produced very strange looking result that did not last for any length of time
The contemporary and modern facelift involves addressing a layer deep to the skin called the SMAS. This has to be elevated and fixed into a new position. By doing this, the face retains its normal appearance but achieves the rejuvenation in a very natural fashion. The SMAS allows a facelift to reset you back 10 years
A modern facelift will have close friends guessing whether you have had anything done at all, all the while commenting on how fresh and well you look
For the facelift procedure, you will have a compression bandage around your face and a couple of drains. This is designed to minimize the swelling.
You will also have soft neck support applied, to prevent you from flexing your neck and moving your head from side to side. This is important to increase the pressure in your head and also to reduce the tension on the scars, and improve their appearance. This will need to be worn continuously for 2 weeks, except for bathing
The operation is not painful, and so your need for analgesia will be minimal. However, painkillers and antibiotics will be prescribed on discharge
You will stay in the hospital for a couple of days. The drains will be removed before you are discharged. The dressing will also be removed and an early wound check performed. You will be shown how to clean the wound with hydrogen peroxide and a Q-tip. This will need to be done twice daily
The dressing will then be replaced with a much thinner and practical compression garment. This will have to be worn for 2 weeks continuously and a further 2 weeks at night
During the first week of facelift, you will be asked to put an ice pack onto the face and neck every hour for 10 minutes- this is to minimize the bruising.
There will be a clinic check at 1 week and 2 weeks
Sutures will be removed in the second week
You are typically ready for dinner engagements by 10 days, and ready to go to work by 2 weeks
Avoid exercise for 6 weeks
It is normal to have numbness of the lower face and neck for many months after the operation. The sensation will slowly return
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