The Facelift Procedure
Aging affects everyone, and a key area affected is the face. As the years go by, the skin begins to loosen on the face and neck, crow’s feet appear at the corners of the eyes, fine forehead lines become creases and then, gradually, deeper folds. The jawline softens into jowls, and beneath the chin, another chin or vertical folds appear at the front of the neck (the dreaded “double-chin”). Heredity, personal habits, the pull of gravity, and exposure to the sun contribute to the aging of the face.
Candidates for Facelift Surgery
The best candidates for facial cosmetic surgery are men and women whose face and neck have started to sag but have good skin elasticity. Strong and well-defined bone structure is also a plus.
As with all facial cosmetic surgery, good health and realistic expectations are prerequisites. Understanding the limitations of cosmetic surgery is crucial and psychological stability is vital. The goal of facial cosmetic surgery is to improve the overall facial appearance, rather than create the “ideal face.” Skin type, ethnic background, degree of skin elasticity, individual healing, basic bone structure, and a realistic attitude are factors that should be discussed prior to surgery. A facelift cannot stop the aging process, nor can it “turn back the clock.” But it can help your face look its best and give you a more healthy, youthful appearance, which can increase self-confidence. Before deciding on cosmetic surgery, you will discuss with Dr. Pogue whether the overall effect will be more successful if additional changes are made in the chin and neck areas through other facial surgery.
During the preliminary consultation, Dr. Pogue will examine the structure of your face, skin texture, color, and elasticity. Individual risks will be examined and discussed, such as high blood pressure, a tendency to scar, smoking, and any deficiency in blood clotting. Dr. Pogue will take a thorough medical history, as well as assess your mental and emotional attitudes toward the surgery. After the decision to proceed with cosmetic surgery is made, Dr. Pogue will describe the technique indicated, the type of anesthesia, any additional surgery, possible complications, and costs of the procedure.
- Dr. Pogue begins the incision in the area of the temple hair, just above and in front of the ear, and then continues around the lobe, circling the ear before returning to the point of origin in the scalp.
- The skin is raised outward before being repositioned and the underlying muscle and connective tissue is tightened.
- Some fat may be removed, as well as excess skin.
- For men, the incision is aligned to accommodate the natural beard lines. In all cases, the incision is placed where it will fall in a natural crease of the skin for camouflage.
- After trimming the excess skin, the incision is closed with fine sutures and/or staples, which permit surgery without shaving hair from the incision site.
- Depending on the extent of the surgery, the process can take from three to four hours.
- Following the surgery, a dressing is applied to protect the entire area where the incisions have been made.
What to expect after the surgery – Possible complications
Though most patients experience very little pain after surgery, medication will still be prescribed. Some degree of swelling and bruising is unavoidable, and you may be instructed to use cold compresses to keep swelling to a minimum. If a dressing has been applied, it will be removed within one to two days. You will also be instructed to keep your head elevated when lying down, to avoid as much activity as possible, and to report any undue discomfort. Though there are few risks in cosmetic surgery and thousands of procedures are performed every year, some risk exists in any surgery.
In some cases, a drainage tube may have been inserted during surgery. This will be removed on the first or second day after surgery. All sutures and staples are usually removed within five to 10 days following surgery. Vigorous activity should be avoided.
Recovery usually takes two to three weeks. Scars are usually not noticeable after enough time has passed for them to mature, and they are easily disguised in natural skin creases, by the hair, or, in persistent cases, by makeup until total healing has occurred. Bear in mind that the aging process continues after surgery and that some relaxation of tissues will occur over the first few months.
Facial cosmetic surgery makes it possible to correct many facial flaws and signs of premature aging that can undermine self-confidence. By changing how you look, cosmetic surgery can help change how you feel about yourself.
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