Our facial skin is always one of the first to give away our age. A healthy and radiant facial skin mirrors our inner health, age, lifestyle, and the pace of our lives. Our body’s natural aging processes reduce the elasticity and firmness of the skin, and nowhere is this as striking as on our face. Due to the genetic features of the skin and our lifestyle, the facial skin often looks sagging, with wrinkles becoming deeper, the face losing its contour, and jowls beginning to droop. While turning back the time remains impossible, cosmetic surgery may help you hide the signs of aging. If you want to maintain a youthful look and self-confidence longer, a facelift procedure may be exactly what you are looking for.
Facelift is the right procedure for you if:
- The middle section of your face is sagging;
- You have deep wrinkles in the eye area and/or extending from your nostrils to the corners of your mouth;
- You have droopy jowls due to muscle loss;
- You have droopy facial fat.
What you should know:
- The procedure involves incisions in natural creases of the skin or areas that are hidden;
- The incision lines fade completely in 1 to 1.5 years;
- Certain areas of the face may feel numb and puffy for two weeks after the surgery, with temporary loss of skin pigmentation;
- Bruising and swelling of the face will be visible for a few weeks, dissipating in one month. The final outcome of the surgery becomes visible after 6 to 12 months;
- It is recommended to return to work after 4 weeks;
- Exercise can be resumed in 6 weeks;
- The results of the surgery will last 5 to 10 years.
1. Consultation with plastic surgeon
During your consultation with the surgeon, they will assess your physical shape, including your bone structure, skin thickness, texture, and elasticity, and the depth and extent of your wrinkles. The surgeon will present different facelift techniques, take note of your expectations, and help you select the best option. It is also important that the surgeon learns about your reasons for seeking this procedure and of any surgeries you may have undergone in the past.
The surgeon may also recommend the following additional procedures:
- Forehead lift;
- Drooping eyelid surgery or eye bag removal;
- Nose reshaping;
- Wrinkle filler injections;
- Other minimally invasive procedures for enhancing the skin (e.g. carboxytherapy).
2. Preparing for surgery
For a successful surgery and best outcomes, it is important that you also take steps to prepare for the surgical procedure. This is why you should consider quitting smoking, avoid dying your hair immediately prior to the surgery, do not use blood thinners, and strengthen your immunity.
3. Surgical procedure
The surgery takes 2 to 4 hours. The procedure is usually performed under general anaesthesia.
The incisions depend on the type of procedure chosen by the surgeon. In all cases, the surgeon tries to hide the incisions in natural creases of the skin or within the hairline.
4. Outcome and recovery
The amount of time it takes for recovery varies from one patient to another, but it is significantly extended if they smoke. You might need painkillers once the general anaesthesia wears off.
- Swelling of the face will remain at its peak for the first 2 to 3 days. It will resolve sooner if you sleep on your back with the head rested on bulky pillows and apply ice compresses to the face;
- During the first week, you should be lying down for as long as possible, prevent the incision sites from getting wet, and avoid high-collar garments;
- Sutures will be removed after 5 to 10 days, with the first outcomes becoming visible several days later;
- Pronounced swelling and bruising will dissipate in 4 to 6 weeks and you should be avoiding physical strain over this period;
- Swelling will completely resolve in a few months, and the incisions may take up to 6 months to fully heal. The outcome of the surgery will be further improved by a healthy lifestyle and by applying strong sunscreen when going outdoors;
- The final result of the facelift surgery will be seen in around 6 to 9 months.