Facelift surgery or rhytidectomy is a surgery used to lift and tighten facial tissues for a more natural and youthful appearance. Daily exposure of the face to environmental factors such as excessive sunlight and chemical compounds usually hurt skin tissue. Stress and facial expressions also affect the face resulting in wrinkles and jowls. This will not only change how you look but also has an impact on how you feel about yourself. While we can’t avoid aging, we can do a lot in determining how we age. Through rhytidectomy, patients have been able to turn back the clock aging gracefully. A correctly conducted facelift surgery can not only make you look younger but will also make you look even better.
Most surgeons use newly advanced and less invasive facelift techniques and equipment to ensure that the desired results are achieved without leaving conspicuous scars. These methods have also been useful in reducing the recovery time needed after the surgery. Traditional facelift operations had patients seeking months of off-days, but this is not the case anymore. Many patients have been able to undergo the different types of facelift operations and resume their daily routines as early as one week after the surgery. Perhaps this is why the demand for facelift surgeries in both men and women has been on a constant rise. Any patient with decent skin elasticity, strong bone structure, and realistic expectations can safely and successfully undergo any of the following types of facelift operations:
The mini facelift procedure is the most practiced facelift surgery today. This is an advanced and improved version of the traditional facelift. The operation is done through short incisions that are easier to heal and hide after the surgery. This procedure is also linked with other benefits such as reduced side effects, increased efficiency, a conservative anesthesia choice and its less-invasive nature are even some of the reasons why most patients prefer this particular facelift surgery.
The mini facelift surgery is used to address sagging skin and wrinkles found on the lower third of the face. This operation, therefore, restores a more defined chin, jawline and neck area.
Mini facelift procedure
During this operation, the patient is placed under IV sedation, and a small incision is made in front of the ears going down towards your earlobe and ending just behind the ear. This is the standard incision, but in some cases, a little alteration may be done depending on how much tissue is to be removed and your expectations. The surgeon will pull and trim your tissues through this incision until just enough skin, and other tissues are left. The doctor will then suture the tissues into place and keenly close up the incisions. This procedure does not take more than 2 hours, and the patient is generally under suitable conditions to be discharged and recover from home.
The convalescence period after mini facelift surgery is also quite good. The first day after the operation may be characterized by tightness, swelling, and some minor discomfort. This will, however, get better after 24 hours. A compression garment can also be issued to reduce the swelling and fasten the recovery period. Unlike in traditional facelifts where drains were necessary after the surgery this particular approach is so neat and precise that fluid accumulation is simply impossible rendering the drains unnecessary. If the surgeon used temporary sutures to patch the incisions, he/she would remove them after the first week. Many patients are allowed to continue with their jobs after two weeks.
Some of the possible side effects that you may get after this surgery include redness, sensitivity, bruising, swelling and loss of sensation.
In this facelift, surgery attention is given to the neck area. You probably know of a person who always gets an extra shake from their neck when they shake their heads. Or maybe you know of someone with a double chin visible on their neck. Some people even refer to this condition as “Turkey neck,” and this is a cosmetic disaster to most people. Saggy necks whether caused by genetic or aging factors are a significant bother that most people would do anything to get rid of. Through a neck lift surgery, the surgeon can get into your neck or chin and remove the excess adipose, trim unwanted skin tissue and tighten all loose muscles restoring a more elegant and pleasing neck appearance. This surgery will completely redefine your neck and jawline refining your entire face.
Neck Lift procedure
The neck lift surgery is a highly customizable procedure because the extent of the operation is hugely dependent on how much tissue is to be removed. The whole procedure takes around 2-3 hours and is done under local sedative anesthesia. In some cases, the client and the surgeon will prefer having the patient unconscious during the operation, and hence general anesthesia may be administered. While some patient’s problems are easily solved through neck liposuction (removal of excess fat) in others, the surgeon may have to be more aggressive and trim both fat and skin and then tighten the underlying platysma muscles to achieve the desired results. The entire operation is done using small incisions done beneath the chin or behind the ears. The short nature of the incisions is an advantage when it comes to recovery period and also helps to reduce scarring.
Recovery after this surgery takes 1-2 weeks depending on the scope of the operation. The first 24 hours are also critical because the patient’s movement is limited. Since the surgery is done as an outpatient, you will need to have a friend or relative over to assist you with some basic activities. You should also know that most of the time in the first week will probably be spent on the bed and this is recommended to reduce movement of your head and neck because it could interfere with your recovery. When on the bed usage of pillows is also discouraged. Your head should lay flat with a tiny folded towel support beneath your neck. Clothing options will be limited to loose-fitting blouses or shirts with front buttons. Avoid all clothes that have to be pulled over the head. Pain medications are also prescribed to reduce discomforts during recovery. You can go back to work after two weeks, but you shouldn’t engage in strenuous activities until your surgeon allows you.
Some of the potential complications associated with this surgery include swelling, bruising, infections, and bleeding. Proper post-surgery care and follow-up sessions should help to prevent the occurrence of these adverse effects.
Forehead lifts can be categorized as either the coronal forehead or endoscopic forehead lift.
- Coronal Forehead Lift
This facelift option is ideal for patients with a brow descent and excess skin. The post-surgery effect of this operation tends to pull the hairline, and that’s why the procedure is not recommended for people with an already high hairline. Another limiting factor about this procedure is its invasive nature. The surgery is done through a full incision made behind the hairline through which the surgeon can trim and remove unwanted tissues. Consequently, the procedure will potentially leave a more prominent scar and the healing period will be reasonably more compared to the endoscopic forehead lift.
The surgery uses general anesthesia and is beneficial for older patients with sagging and laxity forehead skin problem. Coronal forehead lift results are also long lasting hence suitable for people that are looking for a one-off operation whose impact lasts a lifetime.
- Endoscopic Forehead Lift
This is the more preferred forehead lift approach. The method is more conservative compared to the coronal forehead lift that uses smaller incisions which require less recovery time. The surgery, conducted under IV sedation and local anesthesia, is done using three minor incisions done along the hairline. An endoscope is inserted through one of the incisions. A lifting tool is then inserted through the other incision. The surgeon will use the third incision to remove and reshape the excess tissues. This method has been used to correct furrows, forehead lines, and descending eyebrows.
Potential complications of forehead lifts
Some of the severe forehead lift complications include infections, hematoma, and damage to facial nerves. Your surgeon should be able to identify these complications early during follow up sessions to tackle them before they escalate. In some cases, a revision procedure may have to be carried out to solve the problem.
Other minor side effects of this surgery include swelling, bruising and scarring.
When discussing facelift procedures, there is a widely talked about the technique known as short scar facelift. This method is used with most of the above and other facelift surgeries to reduce the size of the incision and scars caused. The technique has grown popular because it has significantly reduced the recovery time and has also made it easier to hide the scars.
The technique is, however, limited to operations where the corrections made are minor. When there is too much skin tissue or adipose to remove then, short-scar facelift technique is not the most reliable method.
Facelift surgeries insurance details
Most facelift surgeries are considered cosmetic procedures and hence insurance carriers do not cover the costs. In exceptional cases where a facelift has been suggested to treat a medical condition, some carriers may reconsider. Your surgeon should help you in contacting your insurance carrier before the surgery to determine if reimbursement is possible and how undertaking the operation could affect your current insurance coverage.