Facelift, also known as Rhytidectomy, is the surgical procedure that helps lift and tighten the sagging skin on your ageing face and neck.
It can tighten the loose skin hanging around your jaw line and remove deep creases around the mouth and nose, thus reshaping the lower half of the face.
107,261 women and 13,702 men in the United States underwent facelift surgery in 2016, according to the statistics released by the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS).
It is a popular procedure that is known to take years off your face, helping restore a more youthful appearance.
Listed below are some characteristics that make you a good candidate for facelift:
- You have too much sagging skin on your face that it makes you self-conscious
- You feel as if your face gives you an older appearance
- The folds between your nose and corner of mouth have deepened
- You have double chin or "turkey neck" because of the extra fat and loose skin
- You want back a defined jaw line, which has disappeared under your saggy skin
To plan your facelift overseas and to understand if you will make a good candidate for it, write to us and we'll get back to you.
To cater to the demands of different patients, facelift surgery can be done in several different ways. Following are the types of facelift:
It is not enough to just cut and pull back the facial skin because it would fall back easily, so the doctors introduced superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS) lift.
In this, an incision is made above your hairline and is extended downwards following the natural creases of your face along your ear and ending somewhere behind your earlobe.
The tissues are tightened and sutured and excess skin is removed.
Ideal candidate: This is the gold standard of facelift procedures and can be performed for anyone with jowling or mid-face sagging. It is also helpful for sagging neck tissues.
Deep plane lift
This is for people with excessive sagging as the surgeon reaches deep into your facial tissues and brings about the corrective tightening. The skin and muscles of the face are first separated from the underlying tissues are then reshaped.
This excessive skin is removed and sutured, leaving behind a significantly improved mid-face area.
Ideal candidate: Older people with severe sagging and loose facial muscles.
Short scar facelift / MACS lift or Mini facelift
This is for moderate correction of facial tissue, which is done through a relatively shorter incision. An S-shaped cut is made in front of the ear and tissues and skin over it are tightened.
The MACS (the Minimal Access Cranial Suspension lift) technique is also a kind of short scar facelift, in which the extent of the incision stops at the ear lobe.
Ideal candidate: This is mostly done on women is their 40s and 50s, who need lesser correction work.
In cases requiring moderate correction, the facelift can be performed with the help of an endoscope—a pencil shaped probe with a tiny camera attached to it.
It only required 2-3 small incisions (one-inch), which means the scarring will be minimal.
Ideal candidate: People who need minimal to moderate correction or those who are not comfortable with the big scars of a conventional facelift.
Midface lift or Cheek lift
This is significant for correction in the middle third of your face. The surgeon will make the incisions in your hairline and inside your mouth. The skin and fatty layer over your cheekbones is then repositioned.
This provides a noted improved in nose-mouth lines and sagging cheeks.
The incisions are placed in your hairline and the inside of your mouth. Your surgeon then lifts and repositions the natural fatty layer over your cheekbones.
Ideal candidate: Patients who want their mid-face tightened and naso-labial folds lifted, without much scarring
This is done to address the fat accumulated under the chin, loose skin on the neck, as well as sagging jowls. The incision for this starts in front of the ear lobe and runs back to end in the hair behind your ear.
Ideal candidate: Patients who have loose sagging skin and excessive fat under their chin and on the neck.
The follow are the steps in a facelift surgery:
STEP 1 – ANESTHESIA
Usually facelift is performed under general anesthesia but the doctor may even use intravenous sedation with local anesthesia.
STEP 2- INICISIONS
Based on the type of facelift you have decided with the doctor, the incisions will be made to access the inner tissues.
STEP 3 – TIGHTENING OF TISSUES
The tissues under your loose skin are pulled and repositioned in a more favorable place
STEP 4 – CLOSING THE INCISIONS
The excessive skin is cut and the incisions are finally closed with the help of sutures, which will automatically dissolve or be removed in a few days.
It is important that you do not rush to fly back home after your facelift overseas. Closely follow the post-op instructions provided by your surgeon and contact him/her immediately, if there are signs of infection or any other problem.
The following are the stages of recovery:
Week 1 after facelift
- You will be discharged 1-2 days after the surgery, and will be able to move around slowly.
- If drains have been placed they will be removed within the first week
- Expect swelling and bruising for 3-4 days, after which it will begin to subside
- Pain medication will be prescribed by the surgeon; do not take aspirin or any drugs without your surgeon’s consent
- Cold compress will be suggested to reduce the swelling
- Avoid bending, heavy lifting or any kind of strenuous exercise for a week
- Bathing is normally allowed 24 hours after surgery but do not let the water hit your face direct
- It is normal to have more swelling on one side of your face but if your face is severely distorted and painful or if you have fever, contact your surgeon
- You will be advised to sleep in an inclined position for the first couple of days after facelift surgery
Week 2 after Facelift
- A small amount of bruising or swelling is normal
- Some patients also feel tingling, numbness, tightness on their face, which is nothing to worry about
- If staples have been used, they will be removed by now and you should start to feel more comfortable
- Swimming, diving, direct sun exposure, or strenuous athletic activity is still not allowed
- You should still sleep in the inclined position that has been recommended
- At the end of two weeks, if your healing progress has been enough, you could see the doctor and get a fit-to-fly certificate to fly back home
Week 3 and beyond
- You may still have some swelling but you should feel a lot better by now and may even return to work
- By the fourth week, you would be able to resume most of your normal activities
- The scars may take several months to over a year to completely fade, but once you have healed nicely, you can start to use makeup to cover them
Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol, and follow the post-op instructions closely to accelerate your healing process.
All surgeries have a certain amount of risk and you have to consider the potential benefits against those to decide if you want to undergo facelift surgery.
You must fully understand the risks and complications and discuss your concerns with the surgeon before traveling overseas for your facelift.
Although facelift is a relatively safe surgery, the possible risks are:
- Adverse reaction to anesthesia
- Delayed healing
- Excessive bleeding
- Injury to nerves or vessels
- Changes in skin sensation
- Discoloration of the skin
- Asymmetry or unsatisfactory results
- Deep vein thrombosis
Complications in facelift surgery are rare but you have to consider all the risks and address all your concerns with your cosmetic surgeon.
Going overseas for facelift could be a little unnerving but here are a few things that should make you feel confident about your surgeon
- Education and certifications
- Experience performing facelift
- Does the doctor have some kind of international experience or training?
- Were his previous patients satisfied?
- Does he/she have any testimonials and before-after facelift pictures?
- Can they speak your language?
- Are they able to answer your questions satisfactorily?
Once you have finalized your plan, you will be given a set of instructions to follow before facelift surgery. Some of the things to so are:
- Get a general medical evaluation
- Avoid smoking for atleast six weeks before the surgery
- Avoid taking aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Advil, Aleve, Motrin, which can complicate your healing
- Keep yourself well hydrated by taking plenty of fluids before and after the surgery
- Pick out loose, comfortable clothes to wear in the days after the surgery
- Arrange for a companion or some help to assist you during the recovery process
Since your face is the most noticeable part of your body, the main concern for people getting undergoing facelift is being healed soon enough. “How soon after facelift will I look presentable again,” they ask.
For some people the swelling subsides in 10 days and they feel confident enough to go out. Recovery for each patient is different but most people will start to feel normal within four weeks of facelift surgery.
It is just important to have ample sun protection and start wearing makeup only after your doctor approves it.
Unlike facial fillers that sometimes give a rather plastic appearance to the patients, facelift lets them look more natural.
Your skin will again become loose and saggy as you age but you will still have a relatively tighter skin and a more youthful appearance after facelift as compared to how it would have been without the surgery.
To maintain your post-surgery appearance you should try and avoid major weight fluctuations, eat a healthy diet, and adopt a regular skin care regimen.
You can use our service to find the best hospitals for affordable facelift.