Ageing is an inevitable part of life. As we get older, a number of different lines and wrinkles form on our faces that clearly indicate that we are getting old. In order to combat this, cosmetic surgery has now advanced to a stage where the signs of ageing and its evidence on the outside can be completely expelled. Fine lines and wrinkles are now a thing of the past.
There are a number of different cosmetic procedures that can be offered to people wishing to look younger. Facelift is a popular procedure that has good outcomes and a high degree of patient satisfaction. In this article, we shall take a look at the facelift procedure in brief, discussing the various methods used and also the potential risks and benefits.
When is a facelift offered?
Individuals who have noticed signs of ageing on their face such as the development of skin sagging, loss of elasticity, appearance of wrinkles and crow’s feet are all potential candidates for facelift surgery. Often, patients are over the age of 40 even though the recent trend indicates that younger patients are seeking this procedure. The likely cause for this is the fact that a number of different celebrities now undergo facelifts and this is widely publicized in tabloid newspapers and magazines.
While a facelift can help improve one’s appearance and make them look younger, it must be borne in mind that certain aspects of ageing cannot be reversed. The facelift primarily concentrates on making someone look younger but the age of their organs and vital systems still remain the same.
How is a facelift performed?
Facelift procedure is performed under general anesthetic. Prior to performing the procedure, photographs may be taken and the surgeon will discuss how exactly they will be performing the procedure using these photographs. Once the skin is cleaned with antiseptic solution and covered in sterile drapes, incision is made along lines that are drawn with a skin marker.
There are three different ways facelift surgery is performed. A common way is by creating an incision underneath the headline, incising any excess skin off and gently pulling the skin backwards and the suturing it. The advantage of this procedure is that the results are generally very good and there is no evidence of scarring as any scar tissue is hidden under the hair. The decision as to where the incision is made is often decided on which part of the face needs lifting.
This video demonstrates the traditional facelift procedure –
Another way that a facelift procedure is performed is through an endoscopic route. This involves the insertion of tiny cameras through small incisions in the skin covering the face. These cameras help visualise the muscles and fat tissue under the skin, guiding the surgeon to tighten these muscles and remove any excess fat. This form of surgery is also called keyhole surgery. According to a number of different cosmetic practices, keyhole surgery is often used for procedures such as upper facelifts and brow lifts. The advantage it bears is that there is less amount of scar tissue formed and patients tend to recover a lot quicker than other facelift surgeries.
The final type of facelift surgery that can sometimes be offered is called minimal access cranial suspension (M ACS). This procedure is very similar to a traditional facelift surgery described previously, although the incisions that are made are smaller.
There is another procedure called Quicklift that is performed under local anaesthesia. Below is a video that demonstrates in detail this procedure –
After the procedure
Following the facelift procedure, bandages may be applied to the skin and a small cube may be inserted under the skin that allows for drainage of any fluid that may leak from the area. This tube is called a drain. The pain is often removed after a day or two. There is some accompanying swelling seen but this settles down fairly quickly. The bandages stay in place for only a short while and once removed, the hair and skin can be washed gently to remove any dried up fluids or blood. Patients need to be gentle when washing their hair and face for the first few weeks so that the wound can heal well.
The scars that are formed appeared red and inflamed during the initial stages. However, with time, they completely disappeared and are often unidentifiable. Furthermore, since the incisions are strategically placed, the scar tissue is rarely seen as it is hidden behind the hair.
How long to the effects last for?
The duration that a facelift last for depends mostly on the underlying texture and tone of the skin. In addition to this, its elasticity also plays a role in deciding how long the positive effects of a facelift may last for. It is not uncommon for the skin to lose a small amount of its elasticity a few months after the procedure has been performed. This is a natural phenomenon and is no cause for concern.
What are the complications?
Complications with facelift surgery are rare, especially if they are performed by a trained and experienced cosmetic surgeon. One such complication that is seen is accumulation of blood under the skin at the area where the surgery is performed. This is called a haematoma. The insertion of drains, as described previously, often prevents a haematoma from forming. However, if it does develop, it may require drainage especially if it is large. Infections may also occur and require antibiotic treatment.
The video below demonstrates the possible complications that can occur following facelift surgery.
Benefits of facelift surgery
Facelift surgeries have been well recognized as a confidence boosting surgery for many individuals. In addition, it clearly has benefits of improving external appearances of the face and getting rid of wrinkles and fine lines.
Facelift surgery is a commonly performed cosmetic surgical procedure. The results are extremely promising when performed by a trained and competent cosmetic surgeon and complication rates can be very low.
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