Facelift surgery requires different approaches varying from one person to the other. Therefore, it requires detailed planning unique to each individual.
Your doctor will check the elasticity of your facial skin during the first physical examination and she or he will decide whether additional aesthetic initiatives will be required. During the initial examination, your face will be carefully examined including your facial skin and underlying bones.
That is precisely the time when you should talk thoroughly and openly with your doctor on the purpose of this surgery and on your expectations from the operation. I would like to advise you to think of your expectations carefully and to discuss any of your concerns, including the minor ones as well, with your surgeon.
The complication risk for the facelifting surgery is low when the operation is performed by an experienced surgeon.
Your doctor will ask you several questions about the clinical conditions such as uncontrolled high blood pressure, disorders in blood clotting or poor wound healing, all of which may create problems before or after the surgery.
It is of critical importance before the operation whether you smoke or you receive medications which increase bleeding like aspirin.
It is recommended that smokers should quit smoking for two weeks before and after the operation. Smoking affects the blood circulation and wound healing processes negatively.
The facelift surgery is an operation which is performed under general anesthesia. Local anesthesia, on the other hand, is preferred only during certain operations to be performed at specific regions (eyelid surgery, brow lift, etc.). The duration of the operation varies from 3 to 6 hours depending on the region of the face at which the intervention will be performed. Incisions to the skin are performed in the scalp or on the hairline. The incision starts from the forehead, extends along the temples, and beneath the ears, forms a curve towards the neck, and continues in the scalp.
Starting from these regions, the facial skin is extensively lifted. The subcutaneous connective tissue (the tissue under the skin) is removed to some extent to allow a tighter skin. If an intervention will be performed in the neck region, a small skin incision will be needed just below the tip of the jaw. The subcutaneous fat tissue under the jaw is removed to eliminate the sagging appearance in the jowls. The skin is stretched removing the tissues in excess and the incisions are closed with aesthetic fine sutures. Staples in the form of steel clips can be used as they will not leave scar marks in the scalp.
At the end of the operation, a number of small tubes are placed in the subcutaneous tissue in order to drain the accumulating blood and fluid. These tubes are removed 1-2 days later after the operation.
An elastic bandage is applied to reduce facial edema and to ensure that skin will be tightly in contact with subcutaneous tissue. Elastic bandages are recommended to be used for a duration of up to a week to prevent edema formation under the skin and to ensure that the skin will be completely restored. The sutures are taken between 7th and 10th days. There will be no severe pain experiences occurring after the surgery. An emergent pain, which may be relieved by painkillers may develop.
I would suggest that you must not allow for any false expectations of any immediate results. Because these expectations will cause you to feel nothing more than unhappy until the end of the second month when the actual results of the surgery will begin to occur.
Remember that a happier process will be waiting for you when the lifted skin will commingle the underlying tissues along with the slowly improving postoperative bruises and swellings beneath your skin.
Of course, a facelifting operation will not stop the clock. Your face will continue aging and perhaps a repeat intervention will be required. On the other hand, even if the effects of this operation will fade away in time, you will be very pleased with the outlook you will have after many years when you compare yourself to those who have not undergone this operation.