- What is a facelift?
A facelift is an aesthetic (cosmetic) surgical procedure to improve and sometimes eliminate evidence of aging on the face and neck.
- When is a facelift desirable?
You may wish to have a facelift to correct signs of aging such as facial lines and wrinkles, sagging facial skin or a "turkey gobbler" neck. The timing of a facelift is a personal decision and your options will become apparent at the time of your consultation.
- How is a facelift performed?
The surgical technique will depend on your physical features and your surgeon's method. In most cases, an incision is made commencing in the hairline at the temple, extending in a skin crease down in front of the ear, around the ear lobe and then behind the ear finishing in the hairline of the scalp. This provides enough access for your surgeon to separate skin from the underlying fat and muscle. The skin is then stretched upwards and backwards, and the excess skin removed. In some cases additional procedures such as removal of the fat under the chin and tightening of the underlying muscles is performed. A facelift is usually performed under general anaesthetic. Depending on the extent of the procedure, facelift surgery may last from 2 to 4 hours.
The procedure may be performed as a Day Case or alternatively with a few days in hospital in order to convalesce. This will depend on your general health, the extent of the procedure, and your surgeon's advice, and may be up to 3 or 4 days.
- Will the facelift procedure leave any scars?
Although all surgical incisions leave scars, the aim of facelift surgery is to leave scars that are as inconspicuous as possible. Most scars fade considerably with time although there is an individual variation in healing time and scar formation.
- What results can I expect from a facelift?
A successful facelift operation will make you look refreshed and more youthful. A facelift performed to correct sagging skin before lines and wrinkles have developed will often prevent the formation of these lines and wrinkles for many years and thus preserve a more youthful complexion.
- When can I resume normal activities following a facelift?
Returning to your normal activities is an individual matter, although most patients take 2-3 weeks off work. Normal makeup can be applied after 7-10 days and you should remember to protect your skin from the sun.
- Are there any side effects of a facelift?
You may have some bruising and swelling for two or three weeks after surgery. Some patients are aware of tightness and numbness on their face and neck. These feelings may persist for a number of months. You should ask your surgeon about any other side effects he or she may anticipate.