Facelift is a surgery by which excessive loose skin on face and neck is removed and also mimic muscles from these areas are tightened.
It is a suitable surgical procedure in patients with visible droopy soft facial tissues with deep wrinkles and saggy skin on the neck. These areas appear old and tired, face has then sad look.
Principle of the surgery
The procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia, although it can be performed also in combination of so-called analgosedation (general anesthesia of a patient intravenously with drugs – managed by anesthesiologist) and local anesthesia. It takes usually 3-4 hours according to the type of anesthesia and extent of the surgery. There are many technical methods how to perform the surgery and the consulting surgeon will inform you about them. Each surgeon will explain you his/her schemes in detail that he/she uses and why. In principal: skin is removed (loosened) from the muscle-ligament apparatus of cheek and neck with skin incision, which is lead right next to the auricle, around earlobe, behind the ear along the hairline. Muscle-ligament layer so-called SMAS (superficial muscular aponeurotic system) is then again tightened (through different methods depending on surgeon’s practice) and the excessive skin is then removed. The wounds are sutured. As a result the face has younger appearance and the chin is lifted almost or absolutely without no skin excess.
Period after the surgery
The patient stays in a hospital usually 2-3 days after the surgery. The sutures are removed within a weak to 10 days. Patient wears special mask for optimal recovery for 10-14 days. You should count with relatively large swellings and hematomas after the surgery, they fade away gradually, usually in 2-3 weeks. The final appearance can be evaluated in approximately 3 months.
Risks and complications
As every surgical procedure even facelift has certain surgical risks: e.g. bleeding into subcutis with the need of surgical revision, infection, marginal necrosis of skin caused by larger tension or smoking of patient or internal disease (diabetes, thyroid gland dysfunction and others). A temporary paralysis of one of the mimic facial muscles might occur caused by hurt and compression of a facial nerve. The damage is permanent only very rarely. The quality of scars is usually very good, although it can never be assured for 100%. All risks caused by a procedure performed under general anesthesia are the same as in any other surgery. All above mentioned complications are luckily very rare.