A facelift is a procedure that lifts and tightens the skin and underlying support layer of tissue (SMAS) of your face and repositions them in a more youthful position to rejuvenate your face particularly the lower face, jowl and jawline areas. A full facelift combines a face and necklift for a more comprehensive rejuvenation and result.
If you are concerned by excess skin or jowling along your jawline, sagging in your lower face or cheek area and deep lines between your cheek and upper lip or chin and loose skin on your neck, you may be suitable for a facelift.
If you smoke, are on blood-thinning medication, have high blood pressure or have significant health problems, this will need to be assessed and you may be advised to wait or not to have a facelift.
There are variations depending on your individual anatomy and goals. The standard surgery can be done under local anaesthesia and sedation or general anaesthesia depending on the extent of change needed. Short scar versions can be done under local anaesthetic alone. Skin incisions are placed as discretely as possible in the natural line along your temple hairline, in front of your ear at the junction between your ear and cheek, around your earlobe and usually but not always behind your ear. An incision may be made underneath your chin as well. The skin is lifted up. The SMAS tissues of your cheek and lower face are lifted and secured in a more youthful position. The equivalent neck muscle (the platysma muscle) is also tightened and/or repositioned (except in short scar facelifts). Sometimes excess fat in the neck is removed directly or with liposuction. Excess skin is removed. Drains are sometimes used. Stitches will need to be removed 5 to 7 days later. A ‘haemostatic net’ of external sutures may be placed to help skin position and reduce the chances of haematomas or seromas. If used, these sutures will be removed 2 to 3 days later.
On average 2 to 3 weeks off work are needed. No heavy lifting or strenuous activity is allowed for 6 weeks. Reduce bending and stooping as much as possible and sleep on extra pillows at night to help reduce swelling. Some forms of exercise can be restarted at 4 weeks. Most exercise is restarted at 6 weeks. Driving is not allowed until you are safe to perform an emergency stop.
Unfortunately, complications can occur after all surgery and you need to be aware of this. Ms Nugent will do her utmost to reduce your risk as much as she can. This includes the health and procedure advice she gives you before surgery, the care and precautions she takes during surgery and the advice she gives you after surgery. Some of the complications that can happen include slow healing, infection, bleeding, poor scarring, asymmetry, pain, numbness or sensitivity in the skin, seroma (fluid build-up), damage to the facial nerve which can cause weakness of eyebrow movement or weakness of upper lip movement or weakness of lower lip movement, recurrence of facial and neck loose skin and sagging, distortion of earlobe shape, loss of skin that has been lifted (higher risk in smokers or if you have high blood pressure or have a haematoma after surgery), pressure on your breathing if a large haematoma develops in the neck .
Most patients who undergo facelift surgery are very happy with their results and find that it really rejuvenates and refreshes their lower face and neck appearance. Success depends on being prepared for your surgery, choosing the right procedure, the surgery itself and recovering well. All steps in the journey are crucial!
Download the detailed information booklet on this page to read more and book a consultation to discuss your individual circumstances with Ms Nugent!