Counteract Aging with a Facelift
The surgical procedure known as rhytidectomy, or face lift, aims to reduce facial wrinkles and improve the appearance of the face and jaw, and is one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures.
Many patients choosing a face lift will do so aiming to counteract the effects of ageing, giving them a more youthful appearance, and to improve self-confidence.
The procedure is best suited to patients who are in good health and whose skin still retains good elasticity. A successful face lift will result in the removal of saggy skin, an overall tightening of the facial muscles and an improved definition of the face's shape.
Face lifts are often combined with other cosmetic procedures including a brow lift or a neck lift. Patients planning on undergoing the procedure must undertake prior detailed consultation with the surgeon, stop smoking for at least two weeks and take a course of pre-surgery prescribed medications.
As with all cosmetic surgeries, developments in techniques and equipment now mean that the procedure itself, and the results, are considerably improved. The costs involved with face lifts vary tremendously from one country to another. Costs will include not just the surgery, but anesthetist's fees, prescriptions and pre-surgery testing. Most importantly, however, patients should make sure that their surgeon is fully certified to perform the operation.
Those considering a face lift really should be clear about what parts of their face they wish to improve as there are a few face lift options, from the standard lower face lift, to a mini, or a mid face lift. Generally the operation involves an incision being made behind each ear, so that the skin and deeper tissue can be separated and the skin pulled tighter across the cheek bones. The excess skin is removed at the incision point and the wound is usually stitched closed.
As with all surgical procedures there are risks involved in undergoing a face lift. The procedure will result in some pain for the patient. There is considerable swelling and bruising after the operation so patients should be realistic about their appearance in the period immediately after the surgery. The operation can also leave visible scars behind the ears, and can result in nerve damage. Some patients may also suffer excess bleeding from the points of incision. The procedure is conducted under a general anesthetic and usually takes between three and six hours.
The usual recovery time from a full face lift to heal is up to four months. However, many patients are able to return to work as quickly as a week to 10 days after the surgery.
While most rhytidectomy patients are women, the procedure is suitable for both sexes.