Facelift surgery - Rhytidectomy

Facelift is a surgery involving removal of excess, loose skin on the face. It is usually combined with lifting of the facial muscles in the particular area. The surgical procedure is suitable for patients whose soft tissues in the face have notably drooped, forming deep wrinkles and sagging skin. The skin then looks old and tired and the face has a sad expression. This operation is therefore most suitable for patients over 40.

How is facelift performed?

Facelift is usually performed under general anaesthesia and takes 2-3 hours depending on the type of anaesthesia and the extent of the surgery.

Basically, it consists in a skin incision made right in front of the ear, leading around the ear lobe behind the ear and along the hairline, where the bond with the skin, muscles and ligaments of the face and neck is released. The muscles and ligaments are then stretched (the method depends on surgeon's practice) and excess skin is cut off. The wounds are then sutured.

As a result, the face has a youthful appearance. Conventional facelift is very often combined with neck surgery.

What is necessary to realize before the surgery?

  • results are more visible in slimmer people
  • depends on quality of the skin, subcutaneous tissue and amount of body fat
  • does not solve visible signs of ageing in the face as a whole
  • lifts only lower third of the face, no influence on forehead, bags under the eyes, etc.
  • suppression of ageing symptoms for several years
  • may be repeated
  • patient must be in a good health condition
  • skin on the face must be free of any skin disease

Treatment after the facelift

After the facelift surgery, overnight hospitalization is needed and compression bandage is applied to the face. Next morning the patient is usually discharged and comes to the clinic for follow-up visits and dressing changes.

Facial oedema must be always anticipated, reaching its maximum degree on the 3rd to 4th day. Common postoperative symptoms may also include temporary bruising of the eyelids and the neck. Further, the patient may have a slightly increased temperature for a few days. The swelling can be alleviated by applying cold pads and the temperature managed with drugs that do not contain the acetylsalicylic acid, which reduces blood clotting.

After two days, the bandage is removed and special elastic sleeve is worn instead for three weeks after the surgery. Stitches are removed 18 to 21 days after the facelift depending on the stage of healing of the wound. After 14 days, the patient may already start wearing make-up. In the area where the skin has been released from its base, the sensitivity has been disrupted and the patient might feel tension.

However, such symptoms will subside after several weeks. For one month after the facelift surgery, it is not recommended that the patient dye their hair, have a perm done, receive massages or go to solarium or bathe in the sun, as the skin would be unnecessarily exposed to drying. The course of the recovery depends on the healing abilities of each individual organism. 

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