Face lift

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A facelift, or rhytidectomy, is a procedure in cosmetic surgery that aims to give a more youthful appearance to the face.

It reshapes the lower half of the face by removing excess facial skin.

Rhytidectomy can tighten loose, hanging skin around the jaw line, also known as "jowls." It can also remove deep creases around the mouth and nose, and excess, hanging skin and fat under the chin and in the neck.

The procedure can also tighten the underlying tissues, and it may be combined with surgery to enhance the forehead, cheeks, brows, and eyelids.

In the United States, 107,261 women and 13,702 men had surgery for a facelift in 2016. Among men, it was the fifth most common type of aesthetic surgery.

What is a facelift?

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A facelift removes excess facial skin.

Facelift surgery is usually done as an outpatient procedure. It may involve a local anesthetics and sedatives or general anesthesia.

The procedure can take from 2 to 5 hours, and the person can normally go home on the same day after surgery.

In a traditional facelift, the surgeon makes an incision in front of the ear, extending up into the hair or hairline as well as behind the ear into the hair-bearing scalp.

The surgeon lifts the skin off the deeper facial muscles and fat, gently pulls the skin in an upward and posterior direction, and removes the excess skin. They may tighten the deeper tissues of the face.

A small incision, or cut, may be made under the chin to tighten the skin and deeper tissue of the neck. This is known as a neck lift.

The incisions are then closed with sutures and possibly staples. A drain may be placed under the skin behind the ear for one or two days, to remove any excess blood and fluids. Bandages are applied.

 

Recommendations

However, the following points should be discussed and considered before going ahead:

  • Facelift surgery is not recommended for anyone with serious medical problems, and the candidate should be in good mental and physical health.
  • Patients with high blood pressure and diabetes have a higher risk of complications.
  • Cigarette smoking and tobacco use increase the risk of complications after surgery. It can interfere with wound healing. A person who is considering a facelift should completely stop smoking or using nicotine products.
  • It is important to have reasonable expectations and to remember that a facelift will not stop the overall aging process.
  • Good skin elasticity and bone structure will give the best results.
  • Patients should not use taking aspirin or other blood thinners for at least a week before surgery.

It is important to have realistic expectations when undergoing cosmetic surgery. The results are often permanent.

Recovery

Most patients experience some discomfort, but medication can relieve tenderness.

Bruising and swelling will be at their worst after 2 days, and they can persist for a few days.

Recovery normally takes around 2 weeks, and vigorous activity can resume after 4 weeks.

Sutures are removed about 5 to 10 days after surgery.

Incisions and bandages must be kept dry, and the patient should follow the specific instructions about bathing and washing.

It is important to follow the doctor's instructions, as this will speed the healing process and allow for the best possible result.

Numbness and muscle stiffness is normal for some time. Scars can take nearly a year to fade and tone down.

It is worth remembering that while genetics play a role, a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and sufficient exercise can also help to maintain the appearance of the skin.

Avoiding smoking and limiting alcohol intake, stress, sun exposure, and contact with pollutants can all help extend the youthful appearance of skin.

The same habits can help maintain the effects of facelift surgery.