As we get older, our skin and tissues naturally lose their elasticity and tone. Lifestyle choices, genetic predisposition, and other factors contribute to glorious wrinkles, age spots, and other indicators that Father Time is marching across our countenance.
Getting a facelift
A facelift involves removing excess skin, smoothing out wrinkles and folds, and tightening up the skin around the neck and face. While a facelift doesn’t typically include a brow or an eye lift, these procedures can be combined to reduce healing time and provide a more youthful appearance.
Am I a good candidate for a facelift?
You are a good candidate for a facelift if:
- You are in reasonably good health with no known pre-existing medical conditions
- If you refrain from drinking and smoking
- If you have realistic expectations about what surgery can do for you
What does the procedure entail?
While natural remedies exist, a traditional facelift is done with an incision along the hairline near the temples. Fat and excess skin is removed from the face and redistributed to areas in need. Underlying muscle tissue is tightened and toned, then reattached to skin. The incision is then sewn up, and sutures are put in place to allow for healing. Drainage tubes and bandages are put in place to allow for fluid and blood to drain away from wounds, and the healing process then begins.
How do I prepare for a facelift?
If it is determined that facelift is the right procedure for you, take these steps to get in great shape for your procedure:
- Undergo an eval
A pre-surgery evaluation and blood work will be needed to determine your state of health prior to the procedure. Schedule this approximately two to three months before surgery so you have time to make any necessary changes. Take this time as well to discuss fears and concerns that you may have with your doctor and to work out a self-care plan that emphasizes good health.
- Disclose a list of medications
Prior to surgery, your doctor will need to see a list of medications and supplements that you are currently taking. Some of these medications and supplements may cause complications with surgery, and your doctor may have to prescribe others or suggest that you stop taking certain substances to reduce the risk of complications and help facilitate recovery time.
- Refrain from eating and drinking the day before your procedure
Having food or drink in your stomach as you go under can increase complications and risks for your surgery; your doctor will likely ask you to refrain from eating or drinking anything but water at least twelve hours prior to your procedure. Continue taking medications and drink water as prescribed by your doctor.
- Arrange for help in the days following surgery
As much as you’d like to resume your normal level of activity after your procedure, the reality is that you won’t be able to handle all aspects of daily life by yourself. Line up help from family members and friends who can stay with you and help you with medications, dressing, and aspects of self-care that will be difficult in the few days after surgery. Allowing others to help you will reduce the risk of complications or injury, and it will help facilitate faster healing.
Are there risks associated with a facelift?
Any procedure or surgery can result in complications; failing to follow pre-surgery or post-surgery instructions as given by your doctor can also be dangerous. Take proper precautions and follow directions to avoid the potential pitfalls that can result from this type of surgery, including:
Hematoma is a condition where a large number of blood pools underneath the skin, forming a large, swollen, and bloody bruise. Hematoma is a dangerous condition that needs to be treated with surgery and follow up care to avoid tissue damage and other complications.
Incision scarring is minimal but permanent after surgery; although they occur most frequently around the jawline and hairline of the face, they can sometimes result in raised, red scars. Corticosteroid injections can help with the appearance of these scars and minimize discomfort.
Nerve injury, while rare, is a permanent and traumatic event that affects the nerves and muscles of the face and neck. Temporary paralysis of a muscle or loss of sensation over a portion of the face can last several days to a year, causing uneven muscle tone, drooping muscular structure, and problems with speech and facial expression. This can cause additional stress for you as you recover.
Rarely, blood flow to areas of skin can be interrupted, resulting in the sloughing of skin tissue. This skin loss is treated with medication, wound dressing, and surgical procedures if necessary to minimize permanent scarring.
Heart attack or stroke
In very rare instances, someone undergoing a surgical procedure can experience a heart attack or stroke; this is most likely due to underlying conditions that were not made known prior to surgery, or excess stress placed on the body as a result of undergoing a surgical procedure. These cases are extremely rare, however, and if they are properly managed, one can recover from a facelift as expected with a few accommodations.
Choosing the best surgeon
A competent plastic surgeon is not only going to disclose these and any other potential complications prior to your procedure, he will work with you to ensure that this is not part of your surgery and recovery experience. If you are looking for a facelift expert in NYC, consider the New York Center for Facial Plastic Surgery. Talented professionals, a commitment to quality patient care, and individual care plans ensure that you receive premium care and comfortable experience from start to finish. Don’t hesitate; call today to make an appointment for a no-obligation consultation. See what our top-notch surgeons and specialists can do for you and for your confidence. Visit our website for more information.
This content was sponsored by New York Center for Facial Plastic Surgery.