A face-lift is the most extensive way to remove or reduce the appearance of wrinkles and sagging of the face caused by age. The skin is literally lifted off the face so that the skin and the tissues beneath can be tightened and the skin can be repositioned smoothly over the face.
For the procedure, you are either given general anesthesia or a sedative through an intravenous line and local anesthesia to numb your skin. Next, the surgeon makes an incision that starts in the temple area and circles the ear. The skin is raised, and the muscle and tissue underneath is tightened. The surgeon may remove some fat and skin. The skin is then redraped over the face and the incision is sutured. The incision usually falls along the hairline or in a place where the skin would naturally crease so that it does not show after the surgery.
The surgery usually takes several hours. You may be able to go home that day, but people sometimes spend one night in the hospital.
If signs of aging in your face are causing you to look tired or sad, a face lift may be right for you. By correcting skin excess in the neck, a face lift can improve visible signs of aging in the face and neck. Having a face-lift can make your face appear younger and healthier. Your face will continue to age, but a face-lift does indeed “take years off” your face. For some people, this may increase self-confidence and reduce anxiety over growing older.
Your face will be bandaged after the surgery. The dressings are usually removed 1 to 2 days later. If a drainage tube has been placed (usually behind the ear), it will also be removed 1 to 2 days after the surgery. Your doctor will remove your stitches within 5 to 10 days.
Your doctor may prescribe medicines to relieve pain after the surgery. Expect to have swelling and bruising of the face. Cold compresses can help relieve these side effects. Dr. Ramy Alanany may instruct you to keep your head elevated and still as much as possible.
It is important to avoid smoking and even second-hand smoke for 2 to 4 weeks before and after surgery. Tobacco smoke increases the risk for skin and tissue death and will delay your face’s healing process and make scarring worse.
Most people can return to their normal activities 2 to 3 weeks after a face-lift.
At first your face will feel stiff and will probably look and feel strange to you. This is normal, but it is important to be prepared for it.
Numbness of the skin may last for months after the surgery. Your skin may feel rough and dry for a few months. Men sometimes have to shave in new places because the skin has been rearranged, but laser hair removal or electrolysis can be used for beard hairs that have shifted to a new position.