Facial appearance tends to change as a person grows older. For instance, your skin might lose its elasticity and become loose. Besides, fat deposits might increase or decrease in some areas, significantly altering the shape of your face. While it is not possible to stop the aging process, you can give your aging face a more youthful and rested appearance by going for facelift surgery.
But what is a facelift and what can you realistically expect from the procedure?
Here is everything you need to know about facelift surgery.
Understanding the Facelift
A facelift, also known as rhytidectomy, is a cosmetic surgical procedure that seeks to reverse or reduce the facial signs of aging. The procedure essentially reduces sagging skin and smooths out facial skin folds to give a patient a more youthful facial appearance. A neck lift, usually performed together with facelift surgery, can reduce sagging skin and fat deposits on the neck.
Ideal Candidate for Facelift Surgery
Like with any other surgical procedure, not everyone qualifies for facelift surgery. In addition to having the desire to achieve a more youthful facial appearance, you should:
- Be in good mental and physical health. Your surgeon will perform some tests and examine your medical history to determine if you are healthy enough for the procedure
- Be a nonsmoker or be ready to quit smoking. This is because smoking can negatively affect the healing process and accelerate the aging process.
- Have realistic expectations and accept that the procedure will have unique results, meaning that it will not help you to look like someone else.
How Facelift Surgery Is Performed
The procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia or intravenous sedation. This is meant to ensure that you will not experience any pain or discomfort during the procedure. Your surgeon will recommend the best anesthesia for you.
Your surgeon will then make the right incisions, depending on the type of facelift surgery you opt for. The fat under the skin will then be redistributed or removed. Finally, the skin will be tightened before the incisions can be closed with sutures or skin adhesives. You can expect the procedure to take two to three hours, but it might take much longer if there are other cosmetic procedures to be performed at the same time.
Risks Associated With Facelift Surgery
A facelift is a major surgical procedure, and it can pose a wide variety of risks. Some of the risks associated with facelift surgery include:
- Excessive bleeding
- Blood clots
- Surgical site infections
- Poor healing
- Persistent pain
- Unfavorable scarring
- Facial nerve injuries
Before you can sign the consent to undergo the procedure, you need to discuss these risks with your surgeon to make an informed decision.
Results of Facelift Surgery
While you may be presentable to the public a couple of weeks after a facelift, it may take up to three months for your face to feel normal again. As the bruising and swelling subside, the results of the procedure will become more noticeable, meaning that your face will start looking younger and more rested.
However, you need to understand that when it comes to cosmetic surgery, there are no guarantees. In some cases, the optimal results may be impossible to achieve with a single procedure, meaning that you may be required to undergo another surgery to improve the results.
Frequently Asked Questions About Facelift Surgery
How Painful Is Facelift Surgery?
Facelift surgery will most likely be done under general anesthesia. Therefore, you will not experience any pain or discomfort during the procedure. In the initial days of recovery, however, you may experience some pain at the surgical site. Your surgeon will give you the medications needed to reduce the risk of surgical site infection and manage pain.
How Long After Facelift Can I Exercise?
Although you can go back to work a couple of weeks after the procedure, you will be required to avoid strenuous activity for four to six weeks. Therefore, strenuous physical exercise will have to be postponed for about a month or so. Therefore, if you like spending time at the gym, this is something you will need to think about before deciding to go for a facelift.
How Long Will Facelift Results Last?
Although there are other less invasive cosmetic treatments you can seek to achieve a more youthful appearance, their results are temporary at best. A facelift is different in the sense that its results are long-lasting. Of course, every case is unique, but you can expect the results to last about seven to ten years.
Will the procedure leave me with a scar?
Like with any other surgical procedure, there is a good chance that you will be left with a scar. However, your surgeon will do it in a way that it will be easy for you to hide the scar with your hairline and other physical facial features.