Facing the facts!

by Arlene

As you age, it is only natural for your skin to develop wrinkles. Folds, creases and deposits of fat begin to appear around your mouth, nose and neck. However, you could defy the natural process of ageing and look younger than ever, with the help of a facelift.

A face lift can be described as a cosmetic surgery that can altar your looks in a way that you feel younger as compared to your age. In this procedure, the surgeon gets rid of the wrinkles on your face, throat and neck, by removing the droopy and sagging skin. In case you are in good health, but are not satisfied with the signs of aging on your face, a facelift could be the right option for you.

Facelift Procedure

Since your surgeon will need to make a few incisions on your skin during the procedure, you will be given some anesthesia. Once you are sedated, your surgeon will –
  • Make a cut close to the hairline near your temples, behind your earlobes and the lower scalp
  • Remove and “lift” some fat tissue that is below the skin
  • Move or get rid of any loose skin
  • Tighten the muscles of the face
  • Perform liposuction around the neck and jowls
  • Close the cuts using stitches or sutures
Once the surgery is over, your doctor will place a thin, tiny tube below your skin, in order to drain the excess blood that collects there. This tube is generally removed within a couple of days. In order to deal with the swelling and bruising the doctor will bandage the head loosely for around 3-5 days.

Facelift Recovery

Under normal circumstances, you should not experience any discomfort after a facelift surgery. It is natural to experience some pain, but your doctor can prescribe some medication for that. There will also be some numbness, which may last a few weeks, or even months.
For a few days following your surgery, your doctor will ask you to sleep with your head raised, preferably on two pillows, to keep the swelling down.

For the first 4 to 6 weeks after the surgery, you may not notice any changes. This is because your face will look bruised, puffy and pale. However, these are temporary symptoms and will disappear after a while.

Some of the other complications that may occur immediately after the surgery or during the recovery phase include –
  • Bleeding
  • Infection 
  • Hematoma 
  • Temporary nerve damage 
  • Changes in skin sensation
Unfortunately, there have been several instances of poor and unsatisfactory facelift results. Certain problems that have been highlighted from face lifts before and after pictures include –
  • Changes in the color of skin
  • Collection of fluid under the skin 
  • Stitches that cause irritation or are noticeable 
  • Unevenness or irregular contours 
  • Unpleasant scarring
Therefore, in case you are thinking about going in for a facelift, it is important that you choose the right surgeon. Fix an appointment with your surgeon beforehand to discuss the possible complications that may occur.

References
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002989.htm 
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