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 Face Lift

If you are between 40 and 60 years, and your face has begun to look noticeably more wrinkled and tired looking, you may be a candidate for a face lift.
Genetics sometimes causes some people to look prematurely aged in their 20s and 30s, in which case a face lift can also help. Anyone considering this procedure should know what their options are so they get the best outcome for them. So what are your options?

What is a Face Lift?

The surgical name for a facelift is Rhytidectomy. It is the general term applying to the various techniques used to tighten, uplift and remove excess skin, while supporting the underlying muscle tissue, and to reduce certain lines and wrinkles thus creating a more youthful appearance. A brow lift or upper facelift corrects the forehead or eye area. It does not remove actual eye bags - this is an additional procedure and often done along with the facelift, called Blepharoplasty.
A lower facelift tightens sagging skin in the lower half of the face and neck, improving jaw line jowls, and flabby cheeks. Face-lifting is most appropriate and effective in the forty years and over age group. The effects last approximately five to ten years. Nowadays, results can be improved further by the additional tightening of SMAS layer and liposuction under the neck. The ageing process of the skin appears slowed down, or at the very least remains unaltered for a time following surgery.

How is the Face Lift performed?

The operation is carried out under local or general anaesthesia. Many different techniques and variations of basic procedures are used in Rhytidectomy, for the purposes of these notes for guidance, we will explain the operation in simple terms. In the standard facelift procedure for the lower face, an incision is made in front of and behind each ear, and the SMAS layer in the face and neck is tightened and then the skin is stretched backwards and upwards, the excess is removed and the skin sutured into position at the incision points.
The face lift procedure can be performed in combination with another procedure such as eye brow lifting or blepharoplasty (eye bag removal). Your particular needs are assessed before-hand, and you will be advised on what results you can realistically expect, and whether this procedure is appropriate for you, or not. It should be noted that in any facelift operation the skin is not drastically stretched, it is only put under a similar tension comparable to that previous to ageing and sagging. This is a rejuvenating process. The operation time is between two to three hours for a standard facelift procedure. The time varies depending on the complexity of the case. An overnight stay in the hospital is required (occasionally a two night stay is required).

Recovering after Face Lift surgery

After the operation, the face is bandaged in compression dressings and facial movements must be restricted for the first few days. Stitches are removed five to seven days after surgery, and normally after about two weeks you will be able to return to work and to socialise as normal. Patience is required however, as the time it takes for the facelift to settle down properly and for the full effect to be achieved is three to six months. Post-operatively it is helpful to massage the face with moisturising cream. It is very important to carefully follow the surgeon's directions on aftercare to ensure the best results. As with any surgery there are risks, but fortunately complications are rare and can be treated by routine procedures, and are not hazardous to the patient's health. Below are some of the risks and complications you should be aware of.


Possible Complications

When a facelift is performed by a qualified aesthetic plastic surgeon, complications are infrequent and usually minor. Still, individuals vary greatly in their anatomy, their physical reactions, and their healing abilities, and the outcome is never completely predictable.
The most common complications following a facelift include the following:
• Haematoma: Abnormal collection of blood under the facial skin (comprises 70% of all facelift complications): You should expect a small amount of bleeding from your incision line during the first 24 to 36 hours after your surgery. Any type of surgery may result in excessive bleeding in the operated area. This may be due to a temporary increase in blood pressure, for example due to coughing. It can also occur from the effects of medication like aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs. Bleeding is usually manifested by acute swelling of the area, discolouration of the skin, pain and a feeling of tension. External compression of the wound usually stops it. If the accumulation of blood is small, it may be allowed to absorb by itself or aspiration may be indicated. However, if it is large, formal drainage in an operating room may be necessary.
• Post operative swelling: Some swelling after the operation is normal. Time and elevation of the head are the two most important factors in reducing swelling. Ice may also be carefully used to decrease swelling.
• Bruising: If you bruise easily, discolouration may remain for several weeks after surgery. You should advise us of any past history of bleeding disorder. In rare cases, discolouration may be permanent.
• Nerve injury: In general, nerve injuries following facelift are rare. All patients have a temporary loss or alteration of sensation in the area of the facelift, as well as the earlobes and ear margins. Sensation spontaneously returns within a relatively short period of time and is usually complete in 3-4 months. Only in rare instances will sensation fail to return. The reported incidence of nerve injury is less than 1%.
• Unsightly scarring: The normal healing of wounds is a physiological process which continues to take place in the depths of the tissues for many months before final resolution. At first, the surgical scar is almost invisible. Then it becomes red and somewhat elevated for about 3 months. Factors that can influence the quality of healing include smoking, obesity, infection and nutrition. Sun exposure of a new scar should be avoided for the first year following your operation. An immature scar exposed to sun may become more visible and pigmented.
• Skin slough: Death (necrosis) of tissue (skin)resulting in delayed healing. When blood circulation is inadequate to bring sufficient oxygen to the tissues, some of the tissue furthest away from the blood supply may be lost. The skin will become discoloured and form a dark dry crust which will eventually separate off. The underlying normal tissues heal by themselves. This may leave a wide scar.
• Fluid collection (seroma): This is a collection of serum in small pockets beneath the skin, in most cases in the cheeks. Generally, the seroma will spontaneously reabsorb. Occasionally, needle aspiration is necessary.
• Infection: Infection following a facelift is rare. The incidence is less than 1% and severe infections are extremely uncommon. However, any surgical wound can become infected. An infection usually will become apparent a few days after the surgery. The signs are: pain, redness, heat and swelling. Antibiotics and dressing changes will often control it.

Suture Lift

You may not be aware of the 21st Century option – the Suture Face Lift. This is absolutely NOT to be confused with the ineffective ‘thread lifting’ that was popular a few years ago. The amazing thing about the Suture Lift is it takes only minutes to perform for each area. The best part is, because your facial skin is gently lifted, your face as a fresher, younger look to it. The result is subtle, there’s virtually no scarring, you go home the same day, and there’s far less down-time than with a traditional face lift.

What Happens During the Suture Lift Procedure?

After making you comfortable with a light sedative, the area is made numb where the sutures are placed. Tiny punctures are made where each suture will be placed, and a special patented antimicrobial suture is passed under the skin tightening the SMAS layer in face and platysma muscle in the neck. The lifted facial tissues are secured to stable structures to make the lift permanent.

Will I Feel Different Afterwards?

The Suture Lift last for almost the same time as surgical face lift approximately five to 10 years depending upon th age at the time of lift. As this elegant procedure is virtually scar-less, no-one will ever know you’ve had it done. Your appearance is much more youthful and refreshed. The reason this procedure has become popular is that overall result is much more subtle and natural. No more ‘wind tunnel’ faces!


The individual areas that are suitable for suture lifting are:
• Mid-face
• Lower Face
• Neck Lift
• Eye Brow Lift
• Chin Augmentation
• Cheek Augmentation
• On the body:
• Thigh Lift
• Breast Lift
• Abdomen
• Buttock Lift
• Inverted breast nipple correction
Can the Suture Brow Lift be done at the same time as another procedure?
Quite often, patients will ask to have this procedure done in combination with another procedure such as eye brow lifting or blepharoplasty (eye bag removal) or VASER Liposelection. The combined aesthetic procedures can be performed in certain cases. Your particular needs are assessed by the Aesthetic plastic surgeon before-hand, and will advise you on what results you can realistically expect, and whether this procedure is appropriate for you or not.



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