As more patients move towards minimally invasive products, face lift procedures still reign supreme over other techniques, with clients drawn to its remarkable results. A few benefits you can expect are its natural look, use with different methods, and long-term effects. Even with these, it will be ideal to understand the processes involved in this procedure, with the following guide detailing crucial steps for facelift surgery.
The first step in a facelift is anesthesia. This involves administering drugs before the surgery and will come in handy in easing discomfort experienced during the procedure. Based on the extent of the surgery, experts at Facial Plastic Surgery Institute may recommend options such as general anesthesia or intravenous sedation.
The next step will be an incision. The degree of the incision will vary based on the extent of the facelift you intend to do. Standard facelift options include traditional facelifts, limited incisions, and neck lifts.
The first, a traditional facelift, will involve an incision beginning at the hairline around the temples. It will extend to areas around the ear, ending in the lower scalp. During this surgery, fat is redistributed from the face, neck, and jowls while underlying tissue is repositioned. The deeper layers of the muscles and face also undergo a facelift, allowing your doctor to tighten the skin over the contours. This allows excess skin to be trimmed away, allowing for a firmer and more defined face. Occasionally, your doctor may recommend a second incision under the chin. This improves signs of aging in the neck.
Alternatives to the traditional facelift are also made possible by using shorter incisions around the temples, which continue around the ear. These are referred to as mini-lifts and will often come in handy for patients with less skin sagging since they prove more beneficial than a traditional facelift.
This procedure helps correct sagging in the neck and lose jowls. Additionally, it also helps with fat accumulation under the chin. This incision begins at the front of the ear lobe, extends around the ear, and ends behind the ear.
Other procedures can also be used together with a facelift to enhance the results. These include fat transfer to and from marked areas of the face or facial implants to help improve the contour. Wrinkle reduction can also come in handy here, a procedure that injects fillers or fat into designated areas of your face. Lastly, there are resurfacing techniques that enhance the texture and tone of your skin.
Closing the Incisions
There are various methods of closing the incisions, with the first being sutures. These may dissolve over time, with others needing follow-up appointments to remove them. Other methods may involve the use of skin glues on the incisions. The incision lines will often not be a concern for patients who opt for facelifts, with the lines often hidden beneath the hairline or in the natural contours of the ear and face.
Healing varies based on the type of facelift, with an average downtime of 1-2 weeks expected. Swelling in the face will be evident for the first three days, gradually receding. It eventually becomes unnoticeable by the end of 2 weeks, with the 2-month mark showing up to 90% reduced swelling. The rest goes away over the year, with various aftercare procedures often recommended.
The most common side effects during recovery will often be swelling, as previously discussed, and bruising around the cheeks, neck, and forehead. Numbness may also occur at the top of the head and cheeks. This generally goes away after 3-8 months.
Your surgeon will recommend a few aftercare practices, with examples being:
- Avoid lifting heavy items. This could raise your blood pressure, causing hemorrhaging in the swollen areas. This includes picking up small children.
- Improve your dietary needs. A high-protein, high-calorie diet will be your go-to after your facelift. Increase your water intake, as this will help reduce nausea and vomiting while preventing dehydration during your recovery.
- Avoid straining when using the restroom. Due to decreased activity, consider adding raw fruit to your diet. Laxatives will also come in handy here, reducing straining during the first few days after surgery.
- Elevate the head of your bed for improved head and neck support. Place about three pillows under the head of the mattress and two on top of the bed. This will be crucial in preventing any tears in your stitches, allowing for faster recovery. Additionally, make it a point to sleep on your back for the first two weeks after your facelift.
- Take a break from vigorous exercise. If you are a regular workout enthusiast, rest for at least 14 days and resume exercising with light to moderate activities.
- Avoid excess exposure to the sun during the first month of your recovery.
Adhering to the above will be essential in helping you get your ideal results within the expected recovery period, with the changes in appearance lasting for years. With this in mind, facelift procedures will differ for every individual, with your doctor often being an essential guide in determining the ideal surgery for optimal results. Ensure that you understand the processes involved to help you work with the right expert for quality care.