A face lift can lift sagging cheecks, smooth out your jaw line and get rid of any jowling. It will tighten the skin on the face and neck and remove any excess fat. A face lift will not eliminate any pre-existing skin conditions or remove your wrinkles.
Am I suitable for a face lift?
If you have sagging skin in the face and neck, have fairly good skin tone (elasticity) and a strong bone structure, you are a good candidate for a face lift. The better your skin tone, the more likely it is that your skin will respond well to surgery.
The scars will extend from above your ear, down the front of the ear, around your ear-lobe and up the back of your ear into your hairline. There will also be another scar underneath your chin. Most scars should not be easily visible after surgery. Those that are visible should be easily hidden by make up.
The surgery itself
Face lift surgery can be done under general anesthetic or sedation. It should take no longer than 4 hours to complete, although you will normally be required to stay overnight in hospital.
Incisions will be made in the contour of the ears. The skin will be separated from the facial muscles and skin fat (and excess fat removed) and the skin will then be pulled up and back to tighten the muscles and skin in the face and neck. The surgeon may also tighten the underlying tissue. The skin is the stiched into place and excess skin trimmed off. You may end up with metal staples in your scalp. A small drain tube may be placed under the skin to collect any excess blood and to help prevent swelling.
You will be given a couple of days worth of pain medicatio, however the pain should not be too great after surgery. Swelling and bruising may be present for up to two weeks after surgery. Numbness of the face may occur for up to several months. You can return to work after a week of rest and light exercise can be done after about 3 weeks. Your face should not be exposed to bright sunlight for about 3 months after surgery. Always wear sunblock of at least SPF15 to protect your skin.
What are the risks?
[u]Hematoma:[/u]This is a collection of blood underneath the skin. This occurs because of bleeding after the surgery. Most will clear up of their own accord, but if it is a large hematoma, more surgery may be required.
[u]Skin death (necrosis): [/u]This occurs when then is poor circulation to the skin. This happens because the skin/fat layer must be separated from the underlying bone and muscle structure. This can lead to poor circulation meaning the skin is unable to heal properly which leads to the skin dying.
[u]Facial Weakness: [/u]The muscles in the face can become damaged meaing the muscles may become weaker than they were before. This is normally temporary, but occasionally can be permanent.
[u]Permanent numbness:[/u] There is a less than 1% chance of this happening.