WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM THE CONSULTATION?
Having a facelift is a very personal decision. The aim is to enhance natural features without distorting natural contours and reproducing a youthful appearance. A facelift is not intended to make someone look like someone else or make someone look 20 years younger. The consultation involves detailed photography and discussing your concerns about your face. The ideal candidate for a facelift is someone who has loose skin and relatively well-defined bone structure. It helps to bring in photos of when you were younger and what features you liked about yourself at a younger age so that they can be used as a guide. It is important to have realistic expectations about facelift surgery and what surgery is able to achieve. After the consultation perhaps a facelift may not be the most suitable procedure for you.
AT WHAT AGE IS A FACELIFT PERFORMED & IS THERE AN AGE LIMIT?
Age is more an attitude of mind – one is as young as one feels. Patients considering facelifts are usually in their late 40s. As people age, facial skin loses its tone and elasticity, skin is not as resilient as it once was and wrinkles begin to deepen. The skin begins to sag and definition in the jaw and neckline is lost. If one is of good physical health and mentally sound, age should not be a limit to having the procedure. There is no substitute for the facelift operation if facial sagging is predominant and muscle tone is poor. A facelift will provide a significant improvement by re-draping skin and tightening loose muscles, creating a more youthful appearance. Scars are the inevitable part of surgery when skin is to be removed and are hidden in the hairline. With time the scars will fade to become virtually undetectable.
HOW LONG WILL A FACELIFT LAST?
A facelift may last approximately seven years, however it depends on how the individual ages from that point on. This does not mean that at seven years one wakes up and looks 100 years old. The ageing process is gradual over time. While facelift surgery can be effective in improving facial contours, it doesn’t “stop the clock” but it does reset time. The ageing process goes on as normal from that point on.
HOW LONG DOES A FACELIFT TAKE TO DO?
The operation time is three to six hours, however it depends on the complexity of the facelift. There are many different types of face-lifting such as mini, modified, SMAS and deep plane. Each should be discussed with our doctor during the consultation and how it relates to you. The end result is a fresher, natural, more youthful appearance.
IS A GENERAL ANESTHETIC REQUIRED?
The operation is carried out under general anaesthesia. An overnight stay in the hospital may be required and should be discussed during the consultation.
HOW WILL I LOOK DIRECTLY AFTER THE OPERATION?
After the operation, the face is bandaged and compression dressings are worn. Facial movements are restricted for the first few days. Swelling and bruising does settle, but takes time. Bruising is common under the eyes and neckline. Each day an improvement will be noticed. Stitches are removed between five to seven days, and normally after about two weeks one can return to socialise as normal. Facelifts take time to settle and the full effect may not be achieved until three to six months.
HOW WILL I FEEL AFTER THE OPERATION?
Everyone has different thresholds to discomfort and symptoms vary from patient to patient. Symptoms are managed with take-home medications. A temporary feeling of tension may be felt inside the mouth if muscles are tightened. A soft diet is recommended for the first two weeks. Mouth opening and closing is usually restricted, but settles in seven days along with most of the initial symptoms. Occasionally numbness to the ear may be permanent. Numbness across the cheeks may also be noticed, which may last six to 12 months, but is not permanent.