As we age, the skin and its tissues naturally lose their elasticity, leading to wrinkles and sagging skin. A facelift is a surgical procedure that lifts and tightens the facial tissues to result in a younger appearance for your face. The procedure can reduce the skin’s sagging in the folds and other changes in the face’s shape that occur due to aging.
It can involve removing some excess skin or tightening the facial tissues, or smoothening the folds and wrinkles. A facelift does not include a brow or eye lift, although the procedures might be done simultaneously for the best results. It mostly focuses on the bottom two-thirds of the face and the neck.
Reasons to get a facelift.
There are many reasons to get a facelift, including but not limited to:
- Disguise signs of aging.
- Remove excessive skin at the lower jawline.
- Correct the sagging appearance of your cheeks.
- Remove sagging skin from the neck and excessive fat.
- Smoothen deepening folds of the skin from the side of the nose to the corners of the mouth.
- Smooth out creases on the skin.
- Lift and tighten the facial skin.
As you get older, the shape and appearance of the face are altered by normal age-related changes. The skin gets looser and less elastic, and fat deposits increase in some parts of the face and decrease in others. A facelift helps create a younger appearance.
How does the procedure work?
A facelift will vary from one individual to another, depending on the desired results. During a facelift, the doctor makes an incision in the hairline. It passes in front of the ear, hugging the earlobe and then back to the lower scalp behind the ears. A flab of skin on each side is pulled back, and the doctor alters the tissues below the skin to create a more youthful look. Excessive fat and skin may be removed and redistributed on the face, and the underlying connective tissues are tightened to contour the skin into a youthful shape. Then the flap is sutured. If the skin sagging is minimal, then that means a mini-facelift can be done, which involves shorter incisions.
If the procedure involves a neck lift, the doctor makes an incision below the chin. Then they remove the excess skin and fat and pull the neck up and back to tighten it. The good thing is that the doctor makes the incisions in that they blend with your natural hairline and facial structure. After the facelift procedure, you will have a bandage wrapped around your face to minimize bruising or a surgical drainage tube.
Risks of the procedure
A facelift can sometimes cause complications such as:
- Scarring or pain.
- Nerve injury.
- Skin loss.
- Hair loss at the incision areas.
- Prolonged swelling.
- Problems with wound healing.
Ensure you discuss with your doctor the risks involved in facelift beforehand to determine if the procedure is right for you. Complications after facelifts are often manageable through appropriate care, medication, or surgical correction.
When planning to undergo a facelift, it is essential to do a comprehensive consultation with your doctor. He/she will want to know your expectations after the facelift and help you understand how a facelift will change your appearance and what it may not modify, such as naturally occurring asymmetry on your face. Then he/she will advise if the facelift is right for you or not.