Aging of the face is inevitable. As years go by, the skin on the face and the neck loses elasticity and starts sagging. Tiny lines start to appear around the eye. Relatively thin lines on the forehead get deeper and become more apparent. Skin around the chin and the cheeks become saggy. There are certain factors that speed up this process such as genetics, smoking, weather and the sun. With the advent of medical science and technology and increasing numbers of elderly individuals within the population this consequence is today more commonly noticed.
As in all facial cosmetic procedures, patients are expected to be in good health overall and have realistic expectations. The end results are dependant on and ultimately limited by the technique that is used by the doctor and the condition of the patient. The goal is to improve the appearance of the face, achieve a fresh, well rested look and not to end up with an unnaturally stretched, tight skin. Before the surgery, bone structure, skin type and elasticity and the amount of sagging must be thoroughly discussed along with the expectations. Although the surgery will no stop aging or bring back time, it will produce a relatively young, fresh appearance and improve the patients confidence.
Face-lift can be combined with complementary procedures such as liposuction (chin), fat injection (cheekbones and under the eyes), peeling around the mouth, chin contouring and eyebag surgery.
Possiblity of rather large scars called keloid, hypertension, diabetes, smoking and alcohol consumption are taken into consideration as well as liver or kidney conditions. Any of these factors must be taken care of beforehand if possible and can potentially prevent the surgery from being performed otherwise.
In addition to these factors, its crucial that the doctor knows for certain that the patient is psychologically ready and has realistic expectations, a good understanding of the limitations with the chosen technique, skin type, bone structure and overall body condition.
In the end several pictures are taken from different angles and the surgery is planned.
The incision begins at the temple under the hairline right in front of the ear and extends downwards along the ear outline until the earlobe. Here, depending on the technique, the incision either ends (MACS lift) or extends further behind the earlobe into the hairline behind the ear. Then the skin is lifted and the tissues underneath (SMAS) are raised and compacted in place. Excess skin and fat tissue can then be removed. In male patients incisons should be parallel to the direction of beard follicles. In any case incisions are made according to facial features. The surgery is performed under general or local anesthesia and may take 2 to 4 hours depending on the circumstances.
Right after the surgery, minor swelling and pain should be expected. Certain compression garments, ice therapy and medications can be used to alleviate discomfort. Strenuous physical activities, exposure to the sun and tanning beds should be avoided during the healing period. In some cases a drain may be placed during surgery which will then be removed typically in 2 days. All the sutures are removed within 5 to 10 days following the surgery. Healing period typically lasts 2 to 3 weeks and scars will be difficult to distinguish from the natural lines on the face.