Aging is the irremediable natural consequence of the passage of time: its after-effects, together with the effects of prolonged exposure to the sun or the stress of everyday life, have a particular impact on the face and neck, causing furrows and folds that distort facial features and expression.
Lifting can reverse all these effects: it is a treatment that does not remove years but improves the appearance, restores skin tone and recovers the points of light and facial relief, achieving a rejuvenated and revitalized effect that time had made disappear.
How a facelift attacks the signs of aging
The signs of facial aging appear progressively: they begin in the periocular area (eye contour) and progressively descend through the different regions of the face until they reach the neck. This implies that the facelift treatment varies according to the needs of each patient and the areas of the face that are to be improved, thus marking the emphasis on the most affected areas, the use of complementary techniques (blepharoplasty, cheek augmentation, etc.) and the duration of the intervention.
A facelift is performed in a single intervention and can be performed under local anesthesia and sedation. In those patients who require special treatment in the neck area, general anesthesia may be applied.
After a thorough preoperative study between the patient and the specialist in Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery, the surgery is performed, which consists of repositioning the muscle layers, skin and fat, removing excess tissue through an incision that begins in the temple area (below the hair), extends into the natural lines that exist in the ear and continues around the lobe, behind the ear and scalp. It is designed precisely so that the scars are perfectly camouflaged. In case the neck needs a special lifting treatment, an incision is made just below the chin.
In addition to addressing the excess skin, the facelift concentrates on the muscular, bony and fatty structures of the face, which achieves more natural and lasting results in the medium and long term.
Once the surgery is completed, the wounds are closed with stitches leaving small tubes under the skin so that no exudate or blood accumulates. The patient leaves the operating room with the eyes covered by a patch, the head wrapped or not in a padded bandage and with a closed or open drainage system. The dressings, bandage and patch are removed the following day. Afterwards, the face and hair should be washed. Before discharge from the hospital, which usually takes place 48 hours after surgery, the drains are removed.
Results after a facelift
After the facelift, the face has a more or less swollen appearance depending on the work performed and the characteristics of the patient, who must remain hospitalized for at least a day or two after the intervention, depending on the type of anesthesia and the extent of treatment.
The postoperative period is not usually painful. The discomfort that generally appears is usually solved well with usual analgesics, as well as the bandage and drainage tubes are usually removed between 24 and 48 hours after the operation; the sutures of the eyelids, after 4-5 days; those of the face and head, after 7-8 days.
The patient is advised not to work and to avoid exercise or violent activities for at least two weeks after the operation. The facial skin will need specific care and should not be exposed to the sun or UV rays for at least three months.
6 essential questions about facelift
- At what age is it advisable to have a facelift?
There is no specific age, but the right time is when the patient and the specialist consider it appropriate.
- How long do the results of a facelift last?
At the moment it is impossible to fight against the force of gravity, which is responsible for the sagging of the various facial structures. The facelift creates a healing process that acts as a brake against gravity and slows down the sagging of the skin, but it cannot provide a definitive result. The important thing is to achieve natural results.
- What are the risks of a facelift?
As in any surgery, bruising, infection or reactions to anesthesia may occur. As for specific risks of lifting, they are rare: there may be injuries to deep structures or nerves that control the movement of facial muscles.
To avoid any complications, it is very important that the patient informs the surgeon of any medications he/she is taking or specific medical conditions (hypertension, etc.).
If the patient is a smoker, it is highly advisable to drastically reduce the amount of cigarettes or even quit smoking because smoking, in addition to impairing the healing process and blood circulation, increases the risk of complications such as skin loss at the edges of the wound.
- Can a facelift change facial expression?
No, although it is normal for the patient to look strange in the mirror for the first few days because of the swelling, which will gradually subside.
- When will it be possible to lead a normal life after the facelift?
Normally after three weeks you can resume your social and working life. As the results are natural, the operation will not be noticed by the people around you.
- Is the facelift painful?
No, although the sensation of swelling and tension in the first few days can be somewhat uncomfortable.