With a little bit of effort and some minor trickery, we can naturally hide some things. Whether our fears, controversial opinions or even some little scars. But there’s one thing very difficult to hide: our face. Our face is probably, with our hands and neck, the most exposed part of our body to the elements, pollution and environment. It is also, in most of the cases, the most expressive part of our body, with all the good things and not so good things that that adds to your complexion (wrinkles anyone?). The fact is…we age, and we need to face it. But, what do we do when we can’t bear to look at ourselves in the mirror every morning? We stop facing it and Face… Lift. The Facelift, also known as Rhytidectomy, is one of the most popular plastic surgeries in the world and has undergone several modifications and a lot of evolution over the last century, becoming a versatile procedure that relies deeply on surgical skill. It aims to improve the visible signs of aging in your face and neck. You know what we mean: the sagging skin in the mid face and jaw, deep creases below the eyelids, along the nose and corners of the mouth, the excess of fat that creates the undeniable double chin (this one, a must), wrinkles in general and the overall loss of muscle tone of our youth. Commonly, eye surgery is suggested to maximize the results of your facelift. Your surgeon might advise a brow lift or eyelid surgery. Liposuction of the neck and jowls may be performed at the same time of the facelift. Depending on the degree of change/correction needed, you might have a ‘traditional’ facelift, a limited incision facelift or a neck lift. This surgery takes normally 4-6 hours and is commonly made under general anesthesia, although other options are available. What happens while you are asleep? In a traditional facelift, the doctor corrects all the frame of the face.  An incision is made in your hairline, beginning at the temples, continues around the ear and ending in the lower back of the neck scalp. This allows the scar to be discretely hidden in your hairline. The upper skin is lifted and repositioned, but also the underlying tissues and fat will be sculpted, redistributed and repositioned from the face, jowls and neck and in most cases also tighten and lifted. The skin is then redraped and sewed over the new facial contour and its excess is trimmed. An incision on the chin may be necessary when treating the neck area. A limited cut around the ear might be all you need when having a smaller area facelift procedure or the same cut till the back scalp in the case of only neck lift. (see images for better understanding).

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source: Beverly Wilshire Medical Centre Facelift Surgery Guide

The day after Lets be clear. The day after is scary. You will be swelled, puffed and bruised. Some numbness and tightness in the facial skin and neck is also typical and may take around 2 months to totally disappear. Even if you did prepare yourself for this occurrence, you’ll probably be in shock when you look yourself in the mirror. If you’re not a person with a strong stomach, don’t look. Give yourself some days to recover. Cold compresses can help to relieve the swelling and discomfort. Remember that a  facelift is like any other surgery. Your body has gone through a very complex and drastic procedure to correct its fallen structure and needs time to heal. So be reassured. It is normal. When the swelling and the bruising heal and the incision lines mature (which make take several weeks or even months, depending on each individual healing time), you will be stunned…with how amazing you look again, 5 to 10 years younger, but now…more classy. P.s – After the first week you’ll probably be allowed to use concealing make up. So cheer up. Post-surgery If you’re not recovering at your medical facility, have someone to drive you home and stay with you the 48 hours after the surgery. Help yourself, preparing your house to receive you in recovery: prepare ice bags to help with your swollen, have gauze and clean towels ready, buy the medication, ointments and creams advised by your doctor in advance, have available all your clothes that are comfortable and button down and have a thermometer available to control your temperature at all times. If your fever gets over 38°C (±100°F), you have abnormal discharges (eg. puss), have extreme pain or tenderness or if your stitches fall out before they should, contact your doctor immediately. Following the surgeon’s instructions is vital for the success of this surgery and achievement of the expected results. Your facial incisions cannot be subjected to force, abrasion or motion during the time of healing. Although you’ll most probably have bandages covering your face and incisions during 1 or 2 days, you might also have a drain (to drain excess of fluid or blood that settles under the skin), so consider wearing clothes that do not require going over your head to put on. Maintain your head elevated and the most still possible during the first days 2 or 3 days or till doctor’s otherwise indications. It is very important to reduce recovery time. Stitches will normally be removed 5 to 10 days after surgery and you’ll probably be able to be back to work in 10 to 14 days and resume normal activity 2 or 3 weeks after surgery. Some very important advice to ensure long lasting results of your surgery: avoid unprotected and long sun exposure during the recovery months, and even after. And of course, don’t smoke. If you take care of yourself properly, the results of your surgery will last several years. Read the Facelift Guide by BWMC here Have a question? Ask here