Facelift – facial and neck toning. During a lifetime, everyone, sooner or later, faces the aging process, which is especially noticeable on the face. It is characterized by loose skin, sagging fatty deposits on the cheeks, deep creases along the nose extending to the corner of the mouth (nasolabial folds) and wrinkles in the region of the lips and lower jaw. The aging process shown on the face is closely related to the aging process of the neck skin and muscles. This is a unique process which involves all structures. The distinctive sign of facial aging is the loss of the beautiful, straight line of the lower jaw. Time leaves an indelible mark on the face, creating wrinkles and folds and blurring youthful facial contours.
When should a facelift be performed?
Once your face gets aforementioned characteristics, when filler or Botox injections and eyelid toning surgery no longer give a satisfactory result, if you are over 45 - you should think about face lift surgery. Of course, there is no strict age limit for this procedure. In some people the aging process starts earlier and it can be very intensive, whereas in others the aging starts later. It is clear that aging depends on many factors: the natural skin properties, lifestyle and living habits (diet, alcohol consumption, smoking), and of course, the factor of genetics.
Facelift surgery may be performed on a limited part of the face or the entire face.
Mid-face lift represents “lifting” (toning) the middle part of the face. This surgical procedure is suitable for young patients and those who would like to have a quick recovery. It helps correct the changes that occurred in the middle part of the face such as sagging cheeks under the lower eyelid and upper lip.
Face lift (Rhytidectomia) represents lifting and toning lower two-thirds of the face and neck, reducing deep creases along the nose extending to the corner of the mouth and removing fatty deposits along the edge of the jowl line. This is achieved by removing the excess skin and by muscle tightening. After the surgical procedure, the recovery is somewhat longer, but it results in a refreshed, youthful and attractive face.
How is the procedure performed?
As a rule, a traditional facelift incision begins high in the hairline at the temples, continues around the ear and along the lower scalp. After the incision, the skin is lifted in the area of the cheeks, lower jaw and neck. Facial muscles are tightened in the direction opposite to the direction of the gravitational force. After this procedure the skin is toned and the excess is removed. The wound is sutured in the end. The bandages are placed and are kept for 24 hours after which they can be removed. Patients can bathe, wash their face and hair. After the procedure the patient may have difficulties feeling the tension in the area of the face and neck. Swelling and bruising usually subside after seven to ten days of recovery. Surgical sutures are removed ten days after the procedure.
The use of barbed threads is a surgical procedure applied to reposition loose soft tissue of the lower two-thirds of the face into its original position using elliptically placed threads. This procedure results in youthful appearance of the face, a sharp jowl line and clear neckline. This type of facelift is less invasive than a conventional facelift, it is performed faster and in a safer manner, the incision is smaller, and the recovery after this procedure is much faster.
Neck lift is also of great importance. This aesthetic procedure includes a surgical procedure or a combination of thereof. In younger patients, neck liposuction is usually sufficient. Occasionally, chin augmentation might be required. In middle-aged people, with the excess of adipose tissue and loose neck muscles, neck liposuction and platysma muscle plication gives beautiful results. Later in life, if there is significant excess skin, in addition to the above mentioned procedures, neck lift should also be performed. Irrelevant of the procedure chosen by the patient, the incision is small and very discreet, later even barely visible. Preoperative preparation for such an aesthetic procedure includes a detailed evaluation of the patient’s appearance performed by a surgeon, having in mind patient’s observations and desires, as well as careful planning of the procedure itself.
A facelift is usually performed under general anesthesia, whereas neck liposuction and platysma plication are performed under local anesthesia. Neck lift and chin augmentation require anlgosedation or general intravenous anesthesia. The final decision on the suitable type of anesthesia will be made after examination performed by a cardiologist and anesthesiologist, as well as depending on the attitude of the patient. Face and neck lift can be combined with eyelift surgery, brow lift or implant placement, which further improves the overall appearance of the face. Smooth and rejuvenated face can be achieved by laser treatment or a powerful face exfoliation.
Certain side-effect may occur after a facelift surgery, such as: bleeding, infections, asymmetry, facial numbness, tension and dehiscence (wound rupturing). Preoperative preparation for facelift surgery is always comprehensive thus preventing or minimizing complications in most of the cases. The above mentioned complications often do not have major effect on the results of the surgical procedure. They might cause longer recovery period and treatment. However, it should be noted that dehiscence occurs more often in individuals who are smokers due to damaged blood vessels. Therefore, as a part of the preoperative preparation of the patient, the ultrasonic examination of neck blood vessels and facial arteries should be performed. In this manner, both the patient and his plastic surgeon will be aware of the risk of dehiscence and will be able to make a decision about the procedure. Of course, dehiscence could be prevented. However, if it occurs it is very easy to treat by re-suturing the wound under local anesthesia. After such an intervention the wound can heal properly, but a visible scar might be expected.