Face lifts are normally favored by the over-forties age group. A skillful surgeon can remove years from a person’s appearance by performing this procedure.
Who will Benefit from a Face Lift
People who are suffering from premature aging will see good results from a face lift. The surgery is targeted at reducing the effects of sagging flesh and wrinkled skin.
What Can a Face Lift Accomplish
A face lift can help by reducing the looseness in facial skin and improving the appearance of creases and heavy jowls. The removal of these problems can cause a person to look several years younger.
What Can a Face Lift Not Do
A face lift cannot completely remove frown lines, crow’s feet and other deep lines. Other procedures are available that can help target these areas.
Preparing for a Face Lift
Ask questions about what the surgery involves. It is best not to smoke for several weeks before and after surgery as it can affect the ability of the body to heal. Wounds may not close properly and skin may die along the incisions. Some surgeons suggest washing the hair with an antiseptic shampoo to sterilise the scalp area.
How Long Does the Surgery Take
A face lift can take as long as three to four hours, depending on the level of work that needs to be done. The surgeon marks out the surgical lines while the patient is awake and uses these as a guide.
Steps of a Face Lift
The plastic surgeon follows these basic steps:
- Incisions are made in the skin
- The skin is lifted and peeled back from the face
- Underlying tissue and muscle is lifted and tightened
- Fat may be sculpted or removed from jowls, jawline and face
- Skin is redraped over the face and trimmed to fit
- Drains are inserted and the head and neck are wrapped in soft dressings and bandages
Is a Face Lift Painful
There is very little pain after a successful face lift and it can easily be controlled by appropriate pain medication.
Possible Complications of a Face Lift
Nerve damage can occur and this varies from areas of numbness to more severe damage that causes palsy and muscular weakness. Hair loss occasionally occurs around the incisions but this is easy to hide with the correct hairstyle. Infection is always a possibility but can be treated easily if caught in time.
A face lift is major surgery and may be accompanied by other procedures such as a brow lift or rhinoplasty. The results generally last a life time as excess skin has been removed and the effects will continue to be visible.
Recommended Reading: Your Complete Guide to Cosmetic Plastic Surgery, edited by Stacy Gregg, Penguin Books 1997/2005