Facelift

Face Lifting...

A facelift removes the tired heavy appearance by lifting and smoothing out the sagging jowls, re-defining the contour of the jaw line.

There are several factors which influence aging of the face. A major factor is gravity which is a constant factor, its effect being to pull the facial tissues downwards causing sagging of the facial structures which accentuates the crease line running from the nostrils to the sides of the mouth. The effect is also seen on the jaw line and underneath the chin. As we age, we tend to loose some of the facial fat, and this in combination with decreased skin elasticity leads to sagging of the face. This can be made worse by excess exposure to ultraviolet light. It is well known that people who live in tropical climates have a prematurely aged skin. The facelift procedure is most sought after within the over forties age group.

The facelift has always been regarded as a major surgical procedure but recent advances in technique both surgical and anaesthetic have made it a much safer and comfortable experience. It is important to remember however, that although a facelift can wind the clock back by reversing the effects of gravity, it will not erase permanent creases, particularly around the lips, eyes and in the neck.

At your consultation you should provide your Mr Armstrong with all general medical/psychological history, together with details of any previous facial surgery. Slight differences in facial symmetry are normal and will have been pointed out as they often go unnoticed by the patient. By gently lifting the facial skin, the surgeon is able to assess what could be expected post operatively.

Over the years the classical (skin only) operation has undergone a number of modifications aimed at improving the overall results. Some of these modifications include the deep (S.M.A.S.) lift.  Each of these modifications can be tailor-made to suit individual needs. It is possible to undergo correction of eye bags (see notes regarding blepharoplasty) as well as other procedures at the same time as the facelift. Free fat transfer from other parts of the body is sometimes used to restore the lost volumes of the central part of the face.

Face Lifting - The Operation

The facelift is carried out under general anaesthetic and an overnight stay in hospital is usually required. More limited procedures can sometimes be carried out under a local anaesthetic and sedation. Starting high in the temple area (hidden by the hair at this point) the incision courses down following the curves in front of the ear round the earlobe and up behind the ear before curving gently back into the hair again. Using these incisions on both sides, the skin and deep tissues are remodelled and re-draped. The incisions are enclosed with stitches in front of the ear and surgical clips in the hair. Small drainage tubes are inserted underneath the skin during the operation and they are removed the day after the surgery. It is also usual for the surgeon to apply a head bandage in order to gently pressurise the incisions during the first post-operative night.

Face Lifting - After the Operation

Bandages are removed the morning after the surgery. The hair will be washed and then the patient can return home. Over the subsequent few days, you can gently wash your hair with a mild shampoo, obviously exercising care in the suture area.

It is important not to stoop or carry out vigorous activities for the first five days after the surgery otherwise post-operative bleeding can result. Patients are provided with written postoperative care instructions.

Any discomfort can be controlled by taking a mild analgesic such as Paracetamol (Aspirin must not be taken).

Sutures are usually removed 7 days post-operatively. Scars are usually very faint after a facelift. However, a period of thickening and reddening of the scars can be expected to last for a few months before returning to more natural skin colour and texture. The scars in the hairline may stretch a little, as this is where the tension is carried. Bruising, swelling and numbness are temporary following a facelift and are mostly resolved after two weeks. Complications after facelift are rare as great care is taken at the time of the operation to protect the Facial nerves and meticulous attention to detail is observed. If a haematoma (a collection of blood under the skin) should occur, a revisit to the operating theatre may be necessary. However, if dealt with promptly this does not affect the long-term results.

Occasionally, delayed wound healing may occur, mainly in diabetic patients or patients who smoke. Please discuss your smoking habit with your Mr Armstrong.

Damage to the nerves, which control the facial muscles, is an extremely rare event, which may be associated with a facelift. Even if this should occur, in the majority of cases, there is a full recovery.In addition you should expect some relaxation of the facxial tissues post-operatively and this can be difficult to predict from one patient to the next. A facelift is NOT a necklift and the tightening of the facial tissues is seen more over the jawline than the central/main part of the anterior neck, here laxity of the skin and wrinkles may persist. Mr Armstrong will point out these aspects at the time of your pre-operative consultation.

Face Lifting - Summary

A facelift redefines the jaw line by lifting and smoothing out the sagging jowl. This is an extremely popular procedure, which refreshes the face.

Some swelling and slight bruising should be expected for approximately seven days. Infection with this procedure is rare, but if it did occur a course of antibiotics is precribed.

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Testimonials

I chose Mr Armstrong to carry out my facelift surgery after a lot of extensive and careful research. I was impressed with his academic credentials and his professional experience, noting that he had worked in some of the most prestigious medical institutions.

At my first consultation with Mr Armstrong I felt totally reassured that I would be in a safe pair of hands by the clarity with which he described all aspects of the facelift procedure I was requesting.  He explained everything to me in a clear and precise manner and in an unrushed and very thorough way. Together we agreed the best procedure for me, a 63 year old woman, would be a facelift plus an upper eyelid reduction and fat transfers to my cheeks, nasolabial lines and marionette lines.

I am now three weeks post-operation and the results have far exceeded my expectations.  I am absolutely thrilled with the results. I still look like me but a younger fresher version.  My droopy eyelids and hanging jowls have gone and my face and eyes look energised and revitalised.  My friends have been amazed at the transformation with one describing me as looking "sensational"!

Mr Armstrong's care before, during and after the procedure has been exemplary, and, along with his nursing staff,  I was thoroughly well looked after in a most kind, caring and professional manner.

I highly recommend Mr Armstrong to anybody considering surgery.  He is a highly skilled surgeon with a  safe and competent pair of hands.  My only regret is that I didn't do it five years earlier.

TD


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