A facelift, as the name implies, is a series of surgical procedures focused on the face with a goal of tightening, or “lifting” the skin that is now forming wrinkles, or sagging. The aging process, while a natural part of human life, is about a gradual decrease in “performance” of various aspects of our body. Skin and muscles that were once elastic, but compact, stretching and then returning to their original shapes, such as high cheekbones, or the skin around the neck, lose this elasticity, and droop, sink, or form folds and wrinkles as age sets in.
A facelift is a unique procedure that is distinct to every patient based on the diagnosis and needs of the patient. It is only through careful consultation with an experienced medical specialist that a person can determine where the desired areas are to address, and which techniques are best suited. Some, for example, may benefit from having some excess skin shaved off, while others may require extensive incisions to reattach muscles to new positions.
The Types Of Facelift
Because different people will have their own needs and medical circumstances, there are different approaches for the facelift that will be recommended to patients. The most common are:
This is also known as the “skin-only” facelift. Some people have retained the elasticity and placement of fatty tissues in their face that retains their general shape and youthfulness. The only issue is that the skin itself may be drooping, sagging, or forming wrinkles. If the skin is the primary issue, a cutaneous facelift tightens the skin and is less invasive.
Superficial Musculo-Aponeurotic Facelift
More commonly referred to as the “traditional” facelift, this technique focuses on the muscles of the face, not just the skin that lies over them. As time passes, muscles can also lose their elasticity and ability to “bounce back” to its original position like skin. The traditional facelift makes incisions around the sides of the face, such as the hairline and temple, and pulls skin and muscles back into their former positions.
As the name implies, the “mini” is a smaller-scale operation that focuses on specific areas if there is no widespread work throughout the entire face required. This is aimed primarily at the middle and lower face. In some cases, patients undertake this first as a “trial” before moving onto a larger scale, traditional facelift.
A facelift is considered an outpatient procedure in most cases. This means that no hospitalization is normally required, but there is the administration of general anesthesia during the process. This means patients should take the usual precaution and not consume food or drink after midnight the night before the procedure takes place to come in with an empty stomach.
The surgery, depending on how extensive the procedure is, takes anywhere from 3-4 hours. Once complete, patients are likely to experience tightness around the face that should fade within two weeks. Bruising and swollenness will be visible for the first few weeks, but these will fade as the healing process progresses. With some techniques, such as repositioning both skin and muscle, it may take a few months for the full benefit of the surgery to be apparent.
As always, when considering a facelift, consult with experienced, reputable medical specialists. This way, you get the procedure most appropriate to your needs, with the best results.