As we age, skin begins to lose elasticity, and facial tissues lose volume. Eventually, this results in “jowls” on the lower face, deep wrinkles, and loose skin on the neck. While this is a natural part of growing older, patients who are bothered by these signs of aging may find a facelift to be a good solution. A facelift (also known as rhytidectomy), is a surgical procedure that improves signs of aging in face by tightening and removing sagging skin on the face and neck. Facial muscles may be surgically tightened to improve their tone. It is often said that having a facelift works to “turn back the clock,” helping a patient look like a younger version of him or herself.
Signs of aging that a facelift can restore include:
- Relaxed, sagging skin on your face.
- Deep fold or crease lines between your nose and the corners of your mouth. nasolabial folds
- Prominent jowls
- Marionette lines (deep lines from angle of mouth to chin)
- Facial fat that has fallen or is lacking (volume depletion)
- Loose skin and extra fat in your neck that looks like a “double chin.”
Types of facelift
There are many kinds of facelift surgeries depending on which areas of the face and neck are targeted. Types of facelift surgeries include:
- Traditional facelift: A standard or “traditional” facelift will more fully address moderate to advanced aging around the mid-face and neck. While the surgery is more extensive and thus more recovery time is required, the results are more dramatic.
- MACS facelift: correct neck and lower third of face( cervicomental angle , marionette grooves and jowls)
- Extended MACS facelift: along with lower face it corrects midface which include nasolabial folds
In many cases, people who get a facelift undergo other procedures at the same time as their facelift surgery, including:
- Blepharoplasty (eyelid lift)
- Brow lift
- Jawline rejuvenation
- Chemical peel
- Laser skin resurfacing
Facelifts are typically performed using general anaesthesia, although local anaesthesia with sedation may be used in certain less extensive procedures. After making the initial incisions, the skin is separated from the underlying connective tissue then repositioning of the deeper facial tissues is done to get rid of the jowls and create a firmer foundation for the skin. Then, excess skin is removed, and the remaining skin is gently laid back over the newly rejuvenated facial tissues, giving the face a smoother, more youthful contour without over-tightening the skin.
Patients typically return to normal daily activities after about 2 weeks (strenuous exercise will need to wait about 4 weeks) following a standard facelift. Bruising and swelling are normal after a facelift, and will be at their peak about 3 days after surgery. After that, bruising and swelling will gradually get better, and should be difficult to notice after about 10 to 14 days. Facelifts are considered cosmetic restorative surgeries and cannot fundamentally change your appearance or stop the aging process. They also can’t treat superficial wrinkles, sun damage or irregularities in your skin.
Facelift is designed to achieve results that not only look natural now, but will also age naturally with you. While nothing can stop the normal aging process, after a facelift you should always look years younger than you would have without the surgery. However, there are certain things you can do to keep your results looking their best. Maintaining a healthy, stable weight is important as significant weight fluctuations can cause skin to stretch out again. You should also adopt a consistent, quality skin care regimen to keep your skin healthy and protected from unnecessary aging.
Complications and side effects
As with any surgery, there are side effects, and you do risk certain complications. Risks for facelift surgery, while rare, include:
- Anaesthesia issues
- Wound healing issues
- Hematoma (blood collection in the surgical area)
- Changes in skin sensation or numbness
- Facial nerve injury
- Temporary or permanent hair loss at the incision sites
- Prolonged swelling
- Skin colour irregularities
When performed by a qualified cosmetic surgeon, facelift surgery is a safe procedure and an excellent way to rejuvenate your appearance.
Most people who get a facelift do so in their 40s, 50s or 60s when signs of aging begin to appear. There’s no “best age” to get a facelift because everyone ages differently from various factors such as genetics, lifestyle and environment.
There are many types of facelift surgeries, and each surgery is as unique as you are. Some target specific areas of your face while others target most or all of the areas of your face. In general, the more loose and excess skin you have, the more significant the surgery will likely be. In these cases, surgeons often recommend a full, or traditional, facelift. If you have minimal skin looseness and just early signs of aging, you may opt for less invasive surgery, such as a mini-facelift.