If you’re thinking of getting a facelift, you can never have too much reliable information. Here are some of the things you should know before deciding to have this procedure.
The modern facelift is customised to the individual patient and it’s really a series of procedures in combination that are used to create a natural looking result. Good plastic surgeons use minimally detectable incisions, such as incisions under the chin to access the neck. We often make carefully placed incisions in front of and behind the ear, using the intricate natural folds around the ear to hide the scar. The incisions may also run into the temple and the hair behind the ear as well.
Lower eyelid incisions are sometimes necessary and are located just under the lash line. Upper eyelid incisions may also be part of the surgical plan if the upper lids look aged. If brow lifting is being considered, some short incisions within the hair of the scalp are often made. The position of any scars is very carefully considered so that they are hard to see, and the face looks natural.
The specific aims of the operation are all planned before surgery, whether they are designed to restore youthfulness without changing facial appearance or to alter parts of the face a person doesn’t like. Funnily enough, the skin is not pulled tight at any point. Pulling it too tight results in poor scarring and usually a relapse of the laxity as the skin stretches. We need to open the skin to get to the deeper layers, but we don’t usually depend on the skin for any firmness afterwards. We do trim off any excess skin that’s related to the deeper structures being repositioned, but you might be surprised how often we remove very minimal skin during a facelift.
These particular aims are accomplished through several different types of procedures and putting them together makes up the individual surgical plan.
Finally, there’s no doubt that having a facelift can be scary for some people. It’s only natural that the surgery itself can cause anxiety. If you are someone who tends to worry, being well informed and talking in depth with your surgeon before the procedure will help enormously. (The other main concern that people have is that people will know they have had facial cosmetic surgery, and I cover this in another post).
I think there are many people who would like to have surgery but never go ahead with it, because they are afraid of something going wrong or getting a poor result.
The reality is that there are risks with any surgery. In the case of a facelift, if you choose a skilled surgeon with contemporary training in facelift surgery and years of experience, the chance of a serious problem occurring is small.
Minor complications, problems with healing or minor issues with the result do occur relatively frequently but they can usually be resolved quite satisfactorily. That is to say, touch-ups or minor improvements of a facelift result are pretty common in the months post op, but these are usually office procedures under only local anaesthetic and with minimal down time if they are needed.
A major permanent complication such as an injury to the facial nerve is a very rare event in a modern facelift and practising surgeons spend a lot of time understanding the anatomy of the face to achieve a safe result for the patient.
You’ll find plenty more information on facelift surgery in my procedure information centre and in some of my earlier blog posts. And if you are thinking about getting a facelift, please feel free to come and see me for a consultation.
Thanks for reading!
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