A facelift or Rhytidectomy is a cosmetic surgery that helps reduce signs of aging by removing or repositioning excess skin on the neck and face. It helps restore common signs such as loose skin and extra fat in the neck, facial fat or sagging skin, and drooping skin.
The surgery does not stop the process of aging or treat superficial wrinkles. The surgeries are personalized and unique depending on a person’s goals and preferences.
Facelifts are very popular, and hundreds of thousands of people undergo the procedure each year. There are various types of facelifts depending on the areas targeted. Traditional facelifts aim at tightening the facial muscles and removing excess skin. A SMAS (Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic System) facelift focuses on the lower part of the face and removes excess fat and skin. A deep plane facelift targets different parts of the face simultaneously, while a mid-facelift targets the cheek area. A mini-facelift is less invasive, targets the neck and lower face, and helps to correct early signs of aging.
Taking a facelift procedure.
Any person without a pre-existing medical problem and who is physically healthy can undergo facelift surgery. You also have to be of sound mind to be a good candidate. If you have signs of facial aging, especially people over 40 years, you can opt for a facelift procedure.
You need to take a facelift consultation to identify your needs and goals. During the consultation, the doctor will check for any allergies, underlying medical conditions, and current medications. The doctor will also ask about any substance use and previous surgeries. After checking your physical, emotional, and psychological health, the surgeon will recommend the appropriate facelift procedure.
The doctor will take you over the risks and possible outcomes. You may have to stop smoking, get a blood test and avoid certain drinks and foods. Anti-inflammatory drugs and aspirin that can increase bleeding should not be taken before the surgery. The doctor will also give you an after-care routine to ensure you recover fully.
After a facelift Procedure.
After the facelift procedure, you may expect some bruising and swelling. You may have bandages to minimize the bruising. The time it takes to make a full recovery may vary depending on the person and the kind of facelift procedure taken. The doctor may recommend that you avoid chewing hard foods, smoking, and talking too much. During the first week of recovery, you may have to take a soft diet and take plenty of liquids.
It is also advisable to avoid excessive physical movement. You may experience fatigue from the effects of the surgery and anesthesia. After about three days, you may start walking and doing light physical exercise. After about six weeks, you can resume strenuous activity and exercise depending on your progress. During this time, you can follow up with the doctor for any discomfort or pain.
Even when the facelift procedure is minor, you may experience swelling around the tissues. The extent of the swelling varies depending on the person. Most people experience swelling in the face since the tissues are loose. The type of surgery will also determine the extent of the swelling. The swelling will start to reduce after three days and eventually disappear.
Your skin may become tighter, which will interfere with your smile and talking. If the swelling is around your jawline, you may find it difficult to talk for a while. However, this is not a cause for alarm as you will be able to talk comfortably after a few days.
Bleeding is also common after the facelift procedure. If you experience bleeding, you can apply ice on the face and apply a little pressure. However, most doctors are against applying ice on the face. Coughing, straining, and talking too much can cause bleeding as it increases your blood pressure. It’s advisable to avoid talking a lot to avoid bleeding or any other complications.
You may experience numbness of the skin surrounding the surgical site, which may also affect your talking. This is still normal and temporary, but it can take time to restore feeling if the surgery was not done properly. Talk to your doctor if the numbness persists to ensure everything is okay.
Precautions after a facelift.
After a successful facelift procedure, you should take foods high in calories and proteins. Ensure that you wash the incision site with soap and water at least thrice a day. You can use a q-tip to pat dry or a solution of hydrogen peroxide. During the first few days after the surgery, you can take light baths before taking showers.
When you are sleeping, keep your head elevated at a 40-degree angle. Avoid using pillows as they may put pressure on your ears. Additionally, avoid applying makeup to hide the bruising. This will prevent having permanent marks on your face. You may also need to limit your exposure to the sun. Sunburns can lead to discoloration or scarring on the face.
You can expect a full recovery within three weeks to a month. You can return to work after this period but avoid strenuous activities. You can expect to do exercise and heavy lifting at the end of six weeks. During this time, you can talk normally and chew properly.
Ensure that you pick a board-certified surgeon to do the surgery. This will increase your chances of making a full recovery, and you will get reliable and pleasing results. The American Board of Plastic Surgery sets the requirements for board certifications. It is recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties, and it’s the only body that certifies plastic surgeons.
Facelift procedures are aimed at giving you a youthful appearance. This can help you boost your self-esteem and confidence. However, it bears risks, and there can be complications after the procedure. You can expect to communicate within a few days after the procedure. Having friends and family support you before and after the surgery can help you recover more comfortably.