Facelift is a surgical procedure to improve sagging skin of the face and neck; and fat deposition under the chin, if any, is eliminated. Thus, the subcutaneous tissue is strengthened.
Ideal candidates for facelift surgery are people who have saggy face and neck skin, but with intact skin elasticity and no other health problems. This surgery is usually performed for male and female patients over the age of forty. During the facelift surgery, other plastic surgeries related to the nose, eyelid, forehead, and eyebrow lift can be performed in order to make the face look beautiful and younger. Injection of filling materials (fat, hyaluronic acid etc.) or peeling (mechanic, chemical, laser) can be suggested for removal of fine wrinkles of the face.
How is the surgery performed?
The procedure can be carried out under general anesthesia or local anesthesia and intravenous sedation (by vascular access). The surgery lasts for 2-2.5 hours under normal conditions. It is possible to be discharged within the same day. If additional procedures (nose, eyelid etc.) are necessary, the surgery can be extended. Facelift is a surgery leaving unapparent scars which run along the hairline and within the natural contours in front and behind the ears. If fat is removed from under the chin, a scar of 3.5 mm will remain. On the other hand; if eyelid and forehead lift surgeries are added in the procedure, additional scars are observed in the eyelids and the hairline of the forehead. However, these scars are usually invisible and can easily be concealed.
What to expect after the surgery?
Early postoperative period is usually comfortable. Though there might be facial swelling, bruising, numbness and rigidity. They will disappear spontaneously within 3-5 days. A head bandage is applied by leaving the eyes, nose and mouth open. Rarely, a tube called drain can be placed in order to prevent blood accumulation in the tissues. It may be necessary to implant a drain since bleeding and clots can be seen as blood build up in the facial skin occurs more frequently in men. The drains are withdrawn within 2 days and the bandages are removed after 2 days. A general control is made, and dressing is changed. Hair is washed, and the bandage is applied again if necessary. Sutures are removed after 5-7 days.
Returning to daily life
The surgery has good outcomes. A second correction is rarely necessary. Patients may return to work after a week and put on makeup. Patients should avoid heavy exercises and excessive sunlight, and they should protect themselves from external impacts for 2 months. As the distance between the area behind the ear and the scalp has narrowed in male patients, they should be careful when they get shaved. In necessary cases, depilation of that area may be needed. Male patients are recommended not to shave themselves for 3 weeks. The new form given to the facial and neck skin, which is affected from gravity, may last five to ten years or for a lifetime depending the patient’s body.