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Facelift Surgery

What is it?

As the face ages the skin loses its elasticity and the face its volume. The speed with which this occurs depends upon, genetics and environmental exposure. The consequences are eyebrow descent, lengthening of the lower eyelid, separation of the facial fat pads, deepening of the folds between nose and corner of mouth, appearance of marionette lines, loss of jaw definition with a jowl, and changes in the neck. Correcting this either in whole or in part requires repositioning of the facial skin and the layer beneath. Excision of the excess skin is done through a series of cuts in front of the ear and extending around the base of the ear into the hair behind. Facelift surgery is usually accompanied by upper and lower blepharoplasty. The surgery, under general anaesthetic, lasts between 3-5 hours and once dressings are in place the patient is returned to their room. Drains are usually used which come out the next day and the patient goes home wearing a chin support to return in a week for removal of sutures and change of dressings. Weekly visits for the first 2-3 weeks are essential to monitor the facial skin and scars and support the patient. Bruising and swelling can last up to one month following this surgery. There are a variety of facelifts based on scar patterns and the surgery relative to the anatomy of the midface. A full consultation with the specialist is therefore essential. The risks of the surgery include, bleeding, infection, skin loss, nerve injury, poor scar, lumpiness and asymmetry.

Would I benefit from it?

This is where a full consultation with the specialist is essential. They will make a decision with you as to the appropriateness of surgery based upon your overall health, what your specific concerns are, and a full discussion of the risks. The most appropriate facelift technique will be discussed. Your skin elasticity will also guide the surgeon as to how long the correction will last and therefore help you decide on the specific risk benefit for you.

The Short Version

Skin and soft tissue tightening. A variety of techniques. Scars in front and behind ear. Eyelids usually done at the same time. Risks include bleeding, infection, skin loss and nerve injury. Usually an overnight stay in hospital with recovery taking 2-3 weeks

Procedure Stats

  • General anaesthetic
  • In patient
  • 2-3 weeks

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