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Facelift Surgical Procedure (Rytidectomy)
Facelift is the surgery performed to eliminate wrinkles of the face and neck. Facelift procedures help give your face a fresher and more youthful appearance. There are several different types of facelift.
- The mid facelift is usually performed to rejuvenate the middle portion of the face.
- Age-related changes in the upper and lower region of the face can usually be corrected with a forehead lift and lower facelift, respectively.
- Eyelid surgery can eliminate sagging and puffy eyelids.
In a typical facelift procedure, a plastic surgeon tightens the underlying tissues and fat pads that give the face shape and shift those upward.
Depending on the extent of your treatment, a facelift procedure may last between two and four hours. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia. In the U.S., this type of surgery is typically performed on an outpatient basis. Our doctors practice very conservative medicine and ask our patients to stay at the hospital for a couple of days after the surgery to ensure a quick and infection-free recovery. Our contracted plastic surgeons operate in state-of-the-art operating suites and use anesthesiologists rather than anesthesiology assistants.
The standard procedure for a facelift commonly involves making small incisions just inside the hairline, following the contour in front of the ear, and continuing under the earlobe to the backside of the ear and to the lower scalp. The surgeon may insert an endoscope into the incision, which is a thin, tube-liked instrument used to see inside the body. Working toward the mouth, he or she carefully lifts the tissue, creating a small tunnel in the mid-face. Using a retractor, the physician exposes the inside of the mouth and makes two small incisions along the gum line. In order to open the region between the upper and lower incisions, the surgeon carefully elevates the tissues in the lower portion of the mid-face.
The physician places what are known as suspension sutures in the fat deposits that have migrated downward with time. By threading the sutures through the incision in the hairline, the physician elevates the fat deposits and suspends them in a higher position. This allows the physician to restore soft, round contours to the mid-face.
Once the physician has finished making the necessary adjustments to the underlying structures, they may choose to place a surgical drain beneath the skin. This is used to prevent fluid buildup as the face heals, but is not commonly used. The incisions in the hairline and the mouth will then be closed using sutures.
Immediately after surgery, the face is fitted with bandages or a compression garment. The compression garment is used to reduce swelling by preventing fluid buildup and to speed up recovery. Although loose bandages may be removed in several days, compression garments are often worn for a few weeks.
As with any surgical procedure, you will likely experience some pain, bruising, and swelling, most of which will go away within a few weeks. The pain can be treated effectively with oral medication. If a surgical drain is used, it will be removed within a day following surgery.
Our plastic surgeons will explain in detail the risks associated with the surgery. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure and any risks and potential complications associated with it. Some of the more common complications that may arise after the procedure are bleeding (hematoma), infection and fluid accumulation. These complications can be corrected. That’s one of the reasons why our safety-conscious surgeons ask our patients to stay in the hospital for several days.
Even though you are going to be staying at a tropical destination, after the surgery you will not be able to swim in the ocean or be in direct sunlight. You will feel well enough to return to work in one to two weeks. While you are recovering, you should avoid strenuous activity (such as heavy lifting) or exercise for up to three weeks to allow your body sufficient time to heal. As all individuals heal at different rates, the final results of the procedure may continue to evolve for several months.
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