Aging causes the skin of the face to become thinner and wrinkled. There is descent of the deeper tissues producing hollowing in the cheeks and jowls along with looseness and a stringy look to the neck. Surgery eliminates excess skin and repositions the deep tissues, which produces a less tired appearance and a more youthful shape to your face.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are the risks?
Bruising is normal but a collection of blood (hematoma) would require drainage. The risk of infection is small. Problems with healing are related to the blood supply of the skin and are more likely with advanced age and with smokers. Slow healing or skin necrosis leads to more visible scarring. Some permanent numbness is expected, but damage to nerves producing abnormal facial movement (an asymmetric smile) is rare.
How long does a facelift last?
Generally it is felt a facelift should maintain significant improvement for 10 years. Work on the deeper tissues is the key to making a facelift last.
What about recovery?
There is extensive bruising and swelling such that patients generally would not wish to be seen in public for about 3 weeks. The ears are swollen and sore and the neck is tight. Sleeping is awkward because of painful ears – you won’t put your cheek on the pillow for 2 weeks. The scars are red initially and take 6 – 9 months to fade.
How is it done?
This operation can be done with local anaesthetic and sedation but it is a long operation and general anaesthetic may be preferable. Incisions are made which extend from the temple, wrap around the ear and go back into the hair behind the ear. Skin on the cheek and neck is elevated. Fat and muscle (the deep tissues) of the face and neck are then repositioned to improve the facial contour. Excess skin is removed to smooth out but not pull the face.