Time and gravity can manifest their impact on various anatomical levels of the face: reduction in skin tone and elasticity result in sagging, facial fat loss leads to volume depletion in the cheeks with a drop towards the neck. Loss of facial muscle tone also contributes to this drop. All these changes result in formation of jowls along the jawline, deep lines in the cheeks (Nasolabial Folds), alongside the mouth (Marionette Lines), hollowing under the eyes and excess fat and skin under the chin (Double Chin).
Face lift surgery, also known as rhytidectomy, is the gold standard for restoration of youthful contours of the cheek, the jawline and the neck. In order to achieve natural appearing, long-lasting results that restore the harmony of your face, meticulous attention to every detail is key. Modern facelift surgery includes a variety of individual surgical steps that enable us to help patients from their 30’s to their 80’s to achieve their desired results.
What are the goals of face lift surgery?
The general goals of a face lift are to enhance the defined appearance of your jaw line and add volume to the cheek area. Both are achieved by elevating natural tissue layers, the SMAS (S: superficial – M: musculo – A: aponeurotic – S: system) and the Platysma underneath the skin of your face and neck. During a face lift, the SMAS is tightened and folded to create more volume in areas of interest. Redundant skin easily follows, leading to a refreshed and more youthful appearance. With this technique, there is no tension placed on the overlying facial skin, securing smooth contours and avoiding an operated, tightly-pulled or “wind-blown” look.
What are the benefits of face lift surgery?
The face lift addresses and improves signs of facial aging like sagging skin, deep lines around the nose or mouth, jowls or volume loss in the cheeks. A refreshed and more youthful appearance can restore self-confidence and boost self-esteem. It may also restore harmony between your appearance and how you feel on the inside.
Before your procedure
Everybody’s anatomy is unique and therefore requires an individualised approach. During your face lift consultation, we will analyse your face and neck anatomy in order to identify your individual causes of facial aging. These may include bone volume loss, fat redistribution, loss in muscle tone or changes in skin quality. All details will be taken into consideration as we establish an individualised surgical plan. This tailored approach may include additional procedures that will lead to a superior result (e.g. eyelid surgery or a lip lift), or non-surgical treatments (e.g. NAB FAB, skin laser treatment) to improve the appearance of your skin.
Apart from a physical examination, we also put great emphasis on understanding how you feel about your face and what kind of an improvement you are seeking. Appreciating your personal aesthetics and managing your expectations is key to any surgical planning by Mr. Bran. Based on the clinical findings and your personal motivation, he will then be able to elaborate realistic goals. During your consultation, we will also review your medical history and photographs will be taken for your medical record.
You will also have a discussion about how the procedure is performed, possible risks of surgery, what to expect during recovery period as well an opportunity to ask any other questions you may have. Depending on your age and health, we might require additional tests prior to surgery.
Preparing for your face lift surgery
Preoperative assessment is critical in order to select appropriate patients for neck lift surgery. Apart from a physical examination, you will have a discussion about your current and past medical history, and any medication you are currently taking or have recently taken. You will be asked about allergies, particularly drug allergies. If required, an anaesthetist will see you before your surgery. Depending on your medication, you may be asked to stop or change certain drugs for a duration of time.
You should refrain from taking Aspirin, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen the week before your surgery.
In order to optimise your healing, we strongly advise all our patients to stop smoking at a minimum of 2 weeks prior to your surgery and refrain from cigarettes or any other nicotine containing products for 2 weeks after their procedure. Smoking significantly impairs your post-operative recovery and doubles the risk of complications such as delayed wound healing, poor scars or altered results.
A good candidate for neck lift surgery has one or more of the following:
- good physical health and a stable body weight
- deep nasiolabial folds
- jowls & undefined jaw line
- excess, hanging skin on the neck and near the chin
- realistic goals and expectations
- unrealistic expectations
- you are a heavy smoker
Not everybody who is looking for a more youthful appearance requires an extensive face lift. A combination of less invasive procedures may be the right choice to meet your expectations and allow you to enjoy the benefit from long-lasting results. These may include: liposuction under your chin with or without the combination of a chin implant (frequently referred to as the Weekend Lift), fat transfer, a mini-lift or non-surgical options like dermal fillers or skin-tightening procedures. During your consultation we will be able to discuss the spectrum of therapeutic options with you in detail.
Face lift surgery is usually offered as a day case procedure, performed under general anaesthetic. In selected cases, the face lift can be performed under local anaesthetic as a day case procedure.
Usually face lift surgery takes approximately 3-4 hours to perform, however if you have additional procedures, operating time will increase accordingly.
The results after face lift surgery are first and foremost natural. You will be able to appreciate the improvements for approximately 5-10 years. Although the ageing process will unfortunately still have its effect on the appearance of your face and neck in various ways, the contours of the not increase in volume again should you maintain a stable weight.
Minimal discomfort is expected. This includes swelling of the operated area. Bruising is uncommon. You will be given adequate pain medication to keep your discomfort at a minimum.
How long is the recovery after face lift surgery?
Our after-care is based on seeing our patients early and often after surgery. In order to provide a safe and comfortable surgical experience, we advise our patients to plan enough time for their recovery. In the first week you should expect swelling around your face and neck. In order to keep discomfort at a minimum, we advise our patients to wear the garment you will receive as part of the after-care package for 24 hours daily for the first 7 days after your procedure, and only at night in the next 2 weeks. Discomfort is usually minimal and easily controlled with adequate pain medication. We advise our patients to avoid strenuous exercise, avoid bending over and to sleep in an elevated position of the upper body in order to control post-operative swelling and protect your healing incisions. Mr. Bran and his team will guide you through your healing process at all postoperative visits to ensure a smooth recovery. Patients can go back to their daily activities approximately 10 to 14 days after surgery.
You will be able to appreciate the new contours of your neckline and an improvement around your cheeks immediately after your procedure. During the first two weeks after your surgery some swelling will appear which will obscure the result for that time. Results are considered final after approximately 2-3 months, when residual swelling has subsided.
The incisions are hidden in the natural aesthetic borders around your ear. One part of the incision will be placed just under your hairline, in front of your ear, this then continues in a natural crease in front of your ear, hiding partially behind the central piece of cartilage that covers your ear canal, then hug your earlobe and run in the natural crease behind your ear. Scars will be visible for the first months after surgery. As the scars continue to mature, they will become less noticeable. Mr. Bran completed his PhD on scars and has a particular interest in minimising scar visibility. He continuously improves his surgical techniques in order to achieve superior results with the least noticeable scars.
What can complement face lift surgery?
Other beneficial procedures that can complement face lift surgery include brow lift, eyelid surgery, neck lift, or lip lift surgery. As a non-surgical addition many patients benefit from our unique all-natural and patient blood-based skin enhancement NABFAB.
In order to find out more you should book a confidential consultation with Mr. Bran. As an expert in facial plastic surgery, he will be able to answer all of your questions and explain the details of your tailored procedure.
RISKS FACE LIFT SURGERY
In accordance with the Montgomery judgement, the following risks and side-effects are associated with face lift surgery:
|PAIN||Moderate discomfort is expected; suitable pain medication will be provided.|
|BRUISING||Uncommon, may last for 2-3 weeks. Avoid Aspirin / Ibuprofen.|
|SWELLING||Swelling will occur. It can take 2-3 weeks to fully resolve.|
|BLEEDING||Rare. Haematoma formation (blood collection – risk is less than 0.1%) may require drainage or return to surgery.|
|INFECTION||Occasionally, mild infection. Rarely serious infection. If required, appropriate antibiotics will be prescribed.|
|SCARRING||With any incision there is a risk of delayed healing and poor scarring, which can lead to hypertophic scars or keloid formation.|
|Some diminished sensation is expected around the scar and to facial tissue. It can take 6-12 months to return to normal.|
|Uncommon, can affect the corners of the mouth, the forehead or the eyelids. Can take up to 6 months to return to normal. Rarely permanent.|
|ASYMMETRY||Uncommon, any pre-operative asymmetry will be pointed out and the operation will aim to improve this.|
|This is a clot that forms in the deep veins of the lower limbs causing pain, inflammation, and swelling. This will require immediate medical attention.|
|This is a clot which has travelled to the lungs causing chest pain and shortness of breath. This will require immediate medical attention.|