We know through experience that the decision to have a face lift is generally preceded by a long decision making process. With this information we would like to help you with this process, by advising you about the procedure itself and the possibilities and risks involved in this operation. This advice, does not however, replace the need for an extensive personal consultation with your surgeon who will thoroughly address your specific questions.
When is a face lift useful?
What is the aim of a face lift?
What do I have to consider before a face lift (pre-operative phase)?
What do I have to consider after a facelift (post-operative phase)?
What are the possible risks with a face lift?
Which result can I expect after a face lift and what are the chances of success?
Your face says it all. During our lifetime, the skin looses its elasticity through the effects of gravity, extended sun exposure, environmental influences and genetics. The result is a relaxation of the skin and soft tissues of the face and neck - they fall forwards and down. Furthermore, wrinkles develop which are further amplified by the tightening of the facial muscles.
The aim of a face lift is to return loose and sagging skin to its original position and to remove excess skin to regain a natural and fresh appearance.
Procedure. An incision is made along the hairline or within the scalp region at the temples, behind, as well as in front of the ear and runs in the natural skin folds. The facial skin and the skin of the neck is carefully lifted off and the underlying soft tissue and muscle structures (SMAS) are placed in their natural positions and tightened. The excess skin is removed and any existing fat deposits are also removed either directly or by liposuction. A small drain is inserted and the incision closed using fine stitches and then dressed. Sometimes below the chin, a short incision is necessary to tighten the muscular structures of the neck.
Areas of the face or neck, which are affected by sagging, can be corrected with defined lift operations such as a temple lift, cheek lift, neck lift or S-Lift.
Type of anaesthesia. This procedure is usually carried out under general anaesthetic but can also be carried out under local anaesthetic and sedation.
Go without make-up. On the day of the operation the hair should be washed but make-up should not be applied and face and eye cream should not be used. After the procedure a face mask has to be worn. This can, prior to the operation, be measured and fitted by us and then ordered for you. Smokers should, after a consultation with their doctor, stop smoking two weeks before the procedure as it is possible that circulation problems in the operated area could occur. The colouring or tinting of the hair is not possible for 4 weeks after the surgery. You should plan for this 1 week before the procedure. Information on general measures and the necessary preliminary examinations will be put together for you personally in a pamphlet which you will receive at your consultation.
For a few days after the procedure a dressing is to be worn, followed by the customised face mask. After the operation it is absolutely necessary to sleep with the upper body elevated, not to bend down and to avoid physical exertion and strain. Temporary bruising, swelling or a feeling of tension in the face regularly occurs after surgery but these changes should not worry you and should disappear within a few days.
The drain is usually removed after 2 days and the stitches, depending on the technique, are removed between 5 and 14 days after surgery. Careful washing of the hair is possible from the 3rd day after the operation and the application of make-up is only possible once the stitches have been removed. Residual swelling can, to a lesser extent, be present for several weeks. After a consultation with your surgeon lymph drainage can speed up the reduction of the swelling. A loss of sensation in the skin in the neck area may be present for a few weeks, although this will usually return to normal.
Recovery. Strenuous physical activity and sports should be avoided for 4 to 6 weeks. Heat from external sources (such as a sauna) should be avoided for 2 months and sun protection is necessary until all bruising has faded away and until all scars have healed.
No procedure is without risk. The general risks of surgery include the possibility of bleeding, thrombosis and infection. Specific risks with a face lift are circulation problems of the skin (skin necrosis) and nerve injuries.
Successful anti-ageing. With a face lift a regeneration effect of several years can be reached. The face looks naturally lifted and shows new tone and vitality. The final result can be assessed after 2-3 months.