Introduction To Face And Neck Lift
Face and neck lift surgery tightens facial tissue and skin, resulting in a more defined jawline, reduced jowls and smoother neck skin. A facelift can revitalise your image, boost your confidence and make you look significantly younger.
Who Is Suitable?
The best patient for a face and neck lift is a man or woman whose face and neck skin is sagging but still elastic and whose bone structure is strong and well defined. Many of our patients are in their forties to sixties but we also take slightly older patients too (in their seventies and eighties). As aging means that volume is lost from the face, sometimes treatment is needed with temporary fillers or fat transfer but this is something we would discuss fully with you at the consultation stage.
Before Facelift Surgery
Before surgery, there are several things we require so that your procedure goes as smoothly as possible.
One of the most important things is to stop smoking as smoke introduces toxins into the blood that can increase the risk of healing problems, skin loss and complications. We also ask that smokers stop at least 6 weeks before their surgery date and don’t start again until wounds have completely healed.
We also ask patients who are undergoing this procedure to stop taking oral contraceptive pills (alternative methods are fine), aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs. This is because some of those pills can increase the risk of bleeding. And finally, we ask that patients do not take off-the-shelf herbal medicines or nutritional supplements.
To ensure that you are fully prepared for the surgery, we will ask you to attend a medical examination at a pre-operative assessment clinic where certain tests may be carried out to ensure your safety during anaesthesia and surgery.
The Procedure And Risks
Face and neck lift surgery usually takes place under general aesthetic and can take around 3 to 4 hours (depending on the procedure). It usually requires a two-night stay in hospital. During surgery, incisions are made in the hairline and around the ear. Once the incisions are made, the skin, deeper tissues and muscles are tightened using stitches. The skin is then placed back and any excess skin is removed. Drains (plastic tubes) may be used to remove any excess fluid and then the skin is repaired using stitches and finally, dressings are applied.
Individuals vary greatly in their physical reactions and healing abilities and so it is important to consider the potential risks of this surgery before making a decision.
Potential risks include haematoma, asymmetry, injury to the nerves that control facial muscles (usually temporary but can be permanent), sensation loss around the ears, infection, adverse reactions to the anaesthesia and in rare cases DVT (deep vein thrombosis) and PE (Pulmonary Embolism). Potential risks for smokers include poor healing of the skin or unexpected scars.
As your wellbeing is our number one priority, we offer a comprehensive and personalised aftercare package all included in your treatment.
After you are discharged, we will provide you with post-operative care instructions to take home and immediately after surgery, you will have 24-hour access to trained staff who will be on hand to advise you should you have any questions or concerns.
After the surgery, we will arrange appointments for follow-up examinations with your surgeon to monitor your progress and check that you are recovering well (it usually takes 2-3 weeks to recover and heal from this procedure).
2 weeks after surgery, one of our trained staff will see you, check your wounds and remove any stitches. Your surgeon will see you after 6 weeks for a follow-up and again after that until you are fully recovered. These follow-ups are standard and will be provided at no extra cost.
In the unlikely event of a problem, we’ll immediately make arrangements for you to be seen by trained staff and (if needed), by the surgeon who performed the procedure. As the Sthetix surgeons live and work locally, you can always see your surgeon at relatively short notice. After performing the surgery our surgeons don’t leave the country or the local area. Very rarely, a surgeon may leave the local area for other commitments but if this happens, we will ensure that there is another trained plastic surgeon from our team available to provide you with comprehensive care.
Will I have scars?
Yes, you can expect to have scars around where the surgeon makes the incisions (the hairline and around the ears).
How long will I take to recover?
A face and neck lift can take up to 2 weeks to heal. Most swelling and bruising settles down within 2 weeks but it may take up to 6 weeks for the swelling to completely disappear.
When can I return to work?
Most patients can return to work once they are fully healed and this can take around 2-3 weeks.
When can I drive?
You can drive again after 2 weeks but this depends on how fast you are healing.
How long will the results last?
This depends on the type of face lift and the quality of the patient's skin and underlying tissues. The ageing process will naturally continue, and a gradual loss of volume and skin tightness will occur (as it would without surgery).