Many worry about how their body changes with age. Aging is not an easy process because our face does not look the same as it used to when we were in our 20’s. Luckily, there are ways to help people, who are bothered by changes. Plastic surgery is one of the ways.

What is facelift?

Facelift is a surgical procedure, professionally known as rhytidectomy, during which excess fat is removed, facial muscles are tightened and facial skin is redraped. As a result of this surgery people can see improved signs of the aging process, they are no longer visible. In addition, facelift may be performed in combination with other plastic surgery procedures , such as brow lift, forehead lift and other facial procedures.

The best bandidates for facelift

Even though we all get older and start looking older and, perhaps, most of us would like to have facelift performed, not everyone is able to undergo this type of surgery. Women or men, whose skin started to sag but did not lose its elasticity and firmness, are suitable for this plastic procedure.

Also, people, who wish to have facelift , should be relatively healthy. Bear in mind, that facelift does not stop the process of aging or make your face to look completely different. A good candidate for this procedure should have realistic expectations and to not hope that facelift will change the attitude of other people.

Before facelift surgery

On your initial consultation, your surgeon will advise you how you can prepare for the surgery. He/she will instruct you on what to drink and eat. If you are a smoker, it is important to quit smoking at least two weeks prior to the procedure, to help the tissues heal better. Another issue is your hair. If it is short you would probably want to wait till it grows long enough to hide the healing scars. Additionally, make sure you have someone to drive you home from the hospital, when the operation is over. Most facelifts are performed in an outpatient department, although you might need to stay in the hospital if your doctor decides to apply general anesthesia. Still, you will only have to stay there for a day after the procedure. Usually local anesthesia in combination with sedatives is used. So, you will feel no pain but be awake during the facelift surgery. If your surgeon chooses general anesthesia, you will be asleep through the procedure.

Facelift surgery

It takes a few hours if facelift is done alone, and it might take longer if performed with other facial procedures. The approach to the facelift surgery is very individual and depends both on your facial structure and your surgeon’s technique. Incisions are most often placed above the hairline and go down in front of the ear. Then they follow behind the earlobe to the lower part of your head skin. Should you need your neck skin lifted, the incision will be made under the chin. The surgeon disconnects the skin from the fat and muscles lying underneath it. Then excess fat is removed, muscles tightened and the skin pulled back and excess of it removed. Stitches close the incisions and the skin might be fixed with metal clips.

After facelift surgery

If you feel any discomfort after the surgery, ask your doctor to give you some analgetic drugs. Be aware that your face will look bruised, swollen and feel numb for a few weeks after the surgery, until your face and the scars heal. Stitches should be taken out in about five days following the procedure. You will be able to get up in about two days. Your surgeon will advise you to avoid heavy exercise for a few weeks following facelift. You should also abstain from sex, using sauna, hot baths for a few months. Your doctor will probably advise you avoiding direct sunlight for a year following the cosmetic procedure. Bear in mind, that healing is a gradual process and you will have to be patient until you see final results. Your face may fell awkward for some time after the surgery but it will turn to normal after a certain period of time. In case you have further questions, do not hesitate to consult your plastic surgeon.

Facelift risks and complications

Although facelift, when performed by an experienced doctor, is a relatively safe procedure, just like any surgery, it carries some uncertainty and risk. Complications are rare but still possible, and mot frequent complications include infection, temporary damage of the facial nerves, hematoma that is an accumulation of blood underneath the skin and needs professional assistance. Smokers should bear in mind that their tissues and incisions are most likely to heal longer, as compared to non-smokers. In order to minimize the risk of possible complications, you should carefully follow your doctor’s instructions on how to behave before and after the facelift procedure.

The cost of a facelift

The cost of facelift depends very much on the state, region, surgeon, hospital and anesthesia fees. An average cost for facelift procedure varies from $7,000 to $9,000.

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