Who is a facelift suitable for?
Time is on occasion our greatest enemy. On one hand, it allows us to collect knowledge and experience that is so necessary for life. On the other hand, it brings wear and ageing of the skin all over the body. The face is where the ageing is most visible. Collagen and elastin fibres, which create a relatively rigid and flexible skin mesh, are responsible for elasticity, firmness and appearance of the skin. With ageing, skin damage and other influences, the collagen in the skin gradually decreases, resulting in wrinkles, creases and scarring. Between the nose and mouth so-called nose-wrinkles form. The skin at the base of the face under the chin and on the neck weakens and loosens. Facelift – facial and neck surgery – stops ageing for years, corrects flaccid structures and also prevents the formation of further fine and moderate deep wrinkles. During the procedure, excess skin of the neck and face is to be removed, so some wrinkles will be partially smoothed.
As with most surgical procedures, preoperative consultation is important even for a facelift. During the consultation, the operational area will be evaluated and the physician will inform the patient of the procedure. In most facelifts, general anaesthesia is used, and in some isolated cases, analgosedation is also possible. In the case of general anaesthesia, complete preoperative examination is required, which includes the chemical and sedimentation tests for urine: basic biochemical examination of blood – glucose, liver tests, sodium, potassium, urea, creatinine, CRP, blood count, sedimentation, Quick and APTT (tests for bleeding and blood clotting). In the case of cardiovascular disorders or hypertension, an ECG is also required.
At least 6 hours before surgery, it is not recommended to eat, drink, smoke or take certain medicaments. The surgeon must be informed of all used medicines during the initial consultation.
The facelift procedure takes 1.5 to 3 hours. The incision is mostly made through the hairy region of the temporal part of the cranium downwards, where it follows the natural line of frontal auricle edge and continues behind the ear lobe slightly upward back to the hairy region. If the operation requires operation in the chin area, it can also involve a minor incision under the chin. During surgery, the skin is stretched at the temples; dropped parts of the face are raised, excessive skin under the mandible is removed; the double chin is reduced, and skin on the neck is stretched. The basic principle of the operation is not only to remove and cut off excess skin, but mainly to stretch the muscle-binding layer of the face. This results in more permanent elongation of the structures of the face and neck. In the upper part of the face, we mainly achieve the rejuvenation of the face. In the middle part of the face, we mainly stretch the cheeks, correct the deep nasolabial line and partly the edges of the lower eyelids. In the lower part of the face, we cut off excess skin tissue in the area of mandible and sometimes the distinctive lines between the chin and cheeks and the outer corners of the mouth.
After surgery / Recovery
One-day hospitalisation should be expected. On the second day, drains draining the surplus fluid from the operating area are removed, and the patient may be released into home care. After the procedure, temporary hematomas, swelling, numbness of the skin, as well as a feeling of tension, sensitivity and dry skin may occur. In men, there is a constant need to shave in the area around scars where the skin from the hairy region was moved. The whole bandage of the head is removed on the third to fifth day after the operation and, if unabsorbable stitches are used, their removal is carried out for up to ten days after the operation. Recovery is usually completed within one to two weeks. The patient may return to work after 14 days. Demanding activities can be performed after two or more weeks; this will be determined by your surgeon. Hematomas start to disappear after 7-10 days. Sunbathing should be limited to a few months after surgery. In men, it is a constant need to shave in the area around the scars where the hairy skin was moved. Use of guards that provide protection against UVA and UVB radiation is recommended.
Effect of the procedure
The effect of the operation lasts five to ten years, but it should be noted that the operation itself cannot stop time or the ageing process, which of course is uninterrupted. Facelift surgery improves the weakening and dropping of the facial skin and loosened skin of the neck by removing excess skin and fat, strengthening the muscles and re-stretching the skin.
Possible complications are nerve injuries that control the muscles of the face or sensitivity, which are usually temporary or, in rare cases, might be permanent. An infection may enter the surgical wound. Bleeding, poor healing, slight skin necrosis, excessive scarring, asymmetry, hairline change and thinning hair around the scars may occur.