A facelift (rhytidectomy) is a surgical procedure designed to rejuvenate and restore facial youth and harmony. Throughout one’s life, the sun’s radiation, stress, gravity, and other factors cause the skin to sag and fit more loosely. Areas of the face and neck, in particular around the jaw line, are especially prone to the aging process. Although these changes are gradual, wrinkles and other signs of aging can make individuals ‘feel older’ than they really are.
A surgical facelift involves the tightening, elevation, and realignment of facial and neck skin, and in some instances the removal of excess fat deposits. A facelift is often performed in combination with other facial cosmetic procedures and can be performed at any time when signs of aging begin to appear. However, patients are generally in their forties or older when they elect to undergo this procedure.
Reasons for Considering a Facelift:
- Sagging skin and soft tissues in the face and neck.
- Excess skin and fat in the neck.
- Sagging jaw line.
- Crease lines along the nose, mouth, and chin.
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. Tissue and fat deposits are separated, the skin is stretched and tightened, and any excess skin is removed. If the neck line requires attention, an additional incision is made under the chin and the same procedure is again followed. Fine stitches are used to close the incisions and to minimize visible scarring.
A facelift may take several hours depending on the extent and the technique utilized, or whether other procedures are performed at the same time. There are several different facelift techniques that can be employed. Patients can discuss with Mr Karoo which method is best for them when they come in for their consultation.
Immediately after surgery, the face is fitted with bandages in order to provide support, aid recovery time and to reduce swelling. Generally, post-operative instructions call for plenty of rest and limited movement in order to speed up the healing and recovery process. During this time you will be asked to wear a face/neck lift garment for 2 weeks. Stitches are typically removed by a week. Patients sometimes report some minor pain associated with surgery. Mild discomfort can be treated effectively with oral medication. While complications are infrequent, patients can minimize potential problems by carefully following the directions given after the procedure.