Face Lift is also known as Rhytidectomy is a type of cosmetic surgery or facial toning procedure used to give a more youthful facial appearance.
There are multiple surgical techniques and exercise routines. Surgery usually involves the removal of excess facial skin, with or without the tightening of underlying tissues, and the redraping of the skin on the patient’s face and neck.
The skin begins to lose elasticity as we age, and facial tissues lose volume. Eventually, this results in “jowls” on the lower face, deep wrinkles, and loose skin on the neck. While this is a natural part of growing older, patients who are bothered by these signs of aging may find a facelift to be a good solution. Clients considered face list if they have:
- Loose skin and excess fatty deposits under the chin and jaw can give even a person of normal weight the appearance of a double chin
- Self-conscious about the way your face & neck look due to sagging skin
- Creased and sagging skin in your neck
- Deep creases below the lower eyelids
- Deep creases along the nose extending to the corner of the mouth
- If you feel that your face does not reflect your youthful spirit and energy level
- Fat that has fallen or has disappeared
Preparation for your operation
The procedure can be done under general anesthesia. If you will have this surgery under general anesthesia, you will be instructed to have no food at least 8 hours prior to this any surgery, this includes any sweet like chewing gum. If there is no fasting instructions given, you must not consume any food or drink from midnight before your scheduled surgery. Clients who do not comply with this requirement risk having their surgery delayed or risk being denied surgery.
DO NOT take any Aspirin and NSAIDS drugs for at least 2 weeks prior to surgery. (Aspirin may be re commenced after 48hrs post op.) If you take Aspirin or any other form of blood thinning medication for a medical condition, please discuss this with Dr. Thanakom.
Smoking must be stopped at least 3-4 weeks. If you cannot quit, cut back as much as possible. Smoking constrict the blood vessels, which can delay wound healing. While drinking alcohol must be stopped atleast a day or two prior to surgery.
The procedure usually takes 3-4 hours and you are required to stay in hospital overnight.
Do not wear contact lenses, makeup, nail polish, jewelry, including any body piercings, hair accessories containing metal (such as barrettes or clips with metal springs, etc.) on the day of your surgery.
Step 1 – Anesthesia
Medications are administered. The choices include intravenous sedation or general anesthesia.
Step 2 – Incision
Dr Thanakom begins the incision in the area of the temple hair, just above and in front of the ear. Next it continues under the earlobe and follows the back of the ear and blends into the hairline.
Step 3 – Excess Tissue, Fat and Skin Removal
The skin is gently lifted as Dr Thanakom repositions and tightens the underlying muscle and connective tissue. Some fat may be removed, as well as excess skin. For men, the incision is aligned to accommodate the natural beard lines. In all cases, the incisions are placed where they will fall in a natural crease of the skin for camouflage.
Step 4 – Closing the Incisions
Dr Thanakom closes the incisions with fine sutures and/or metal clips. Where needed, drainage tubes may be inserted. A padded, supportive dressing is usually applied.
Dr Thanakom may be placed you in a compression garment or wrap immediately after surgery. Wear this exactly as directed. Remove it only as directed for cleansing incisions or showering.
Apply cool (not cold) compresses to your eyes. Do not apply ice or anything frozen directly on the skin. Soak soft, white washcloths or gauze squares in ice water and wring out well. Apply directly to the eyes, but not to the cheeks or neck. Do not apply any pressure. Apply cool compresses for no longer than twenty-minute intervals. Do not apply heat.
Even though most patients experience minimal pain after surgery, Dr Thanakom will prescribe you set of medications.
There is usually some bruising of the cheeks and with gravity this tends to descend into the neck. Discomfort is usually mild and can be controlled with Paracetamol. It is normal for there to be some numbness of the skin of the cheeks and ears. This will usually disappear in a few weeks or months. It is better to keep the head elevated for a couple of days to reduce swelling.
Recovery usually takes two to three weeks, though many patients go back to work in two weeks. Scars are usually not noticeable after enough time has passed for them to mature. In any case, they are easily disguised in natural skin creases, by the hair, or, in persistent cases, by makeup until total healing has occurred.
How long does a facelift last?
A facelift does not stop the clock, but it does put the clock back. You will always look younger after your facelift than if you had never had one before. It is difficult to say how long the facelift will last, since everyone ages differently. Generally it will take up to 10 years and can last more if you maintain a healthy, stable weight is important as significant weight fluctuations can cause skin to stretch out again. You should also adopt a consistent, quality skin care regimen to keep your skin healthy and protected from unnecessary aging.
What are the risks or complications associated with facelift surgery?
It is rare to have complications after a facelift. However, this is a surgical procedure and things can occur. Some of the potential complications associated with a facelift procedure are bleeding, scarring, infection, nerve injury, and poor healing.
When can I exercise after the procedure?
Most patients can exercise 2 weeks after lift with the exception of skiing/horseback riding. Any exercise where the pull is felt on the neck should be avoided even at the 2 week mark.
How long does it take for a scar to mature?
Scars go through different phases of healing. Scars are considered mature at 6 months to a year after a procedure.
What is the difference between a Mini Face Lift and a Face Lift?
The incisions for a mini face lift are smaller compared to a traditional face lift. They begin in the hairline and extend along the natural line in front of the ear and stop just behind the earlobe. The mini face lift procedure is done more quickly (usually only about 3 hours), and the recovery time is also shorter. On the other hand, a full face lift will improve areas like the neck-chin angle, and restore tighter jawline definition. While a mini face lift rejuvenates the mid-face area (which is what the term “Mid Face lift” refers to), a full face lift may be suggested to patients with sagging or droopiness in the jowl area, or to tighten up the neck muscles.
Do patients ever need another facelift?
Your face will always look younger and more refreshed after surgery, but it will continue to age. After a complete facelift, some patients may want a revision surgery, usually ten or more years later.