Facelift Surgery And How It Affects Skin Texture
As we age, tissues and skin naturally lose elasticity, which causes wrinkles and sagging. Facelift surgery, also known as rhytidectomy, is a cosmetic surgical procedure that helps tighten and lift the facial tissues and skin, giving you a younger look.
A facelift often focuses on the bottom parts of the face and sometimes the neck. Sometimes, the surgeon could also do a brow lift to match the upper part of the face to the bottom. Some of the main issues that a facelift helps deal with include;
- Excess skin and fat on the chin or jawline causing jowls
- Sagging skin on the cheeks and jawline
- Wrinkles and folds
- Creases around the nose and mouth
How To Prepare For A Facelift Surgery
Before the day of the surgery, you will have a consultation with the surgeon. During the consultation, the surgeon will look at your medical history, ask about any current illnesses and medications, consider your skin type, and ask about your expectations for the procedure.
They will also photograph your face from different angles to understand all your facial features. They will also examine the shape of your face and your bone structure.
If you are using any blood thinners, your surgeon will advise that you stop using them two weeks before your surgery. You should also not eat or drink, smoke, or consume alcohol 12 hours before the surgery.
On the morning of the procedure, you should wash your face, hair, wear comfortable clothes. You must also plan for your recovery by getting necessary home supplies and planning for transportation back home.
A facelift lasts between two and five hours, depending on your goals and how severe the condition you want to deal with is. The procedure also varies depending on your issue and goals. First, the surgeon administers anesthesia.
Traditionally, the surgeon makes incisions in the hairline from the temples. They then go down in front of the ears and then behind the ear lobe to the lower scalp.
Sometimes, they may make limited incisions. Those start in the hairline above the ear, down to the ear lobe, but do not get to the lower scalp.
If you only want to remove excess skin and fat around the jawline and chin, the surgeon will make the incision from the front of the earlobe and around the ear to the lower scalp.
After making the incision, the surgeon removes excess fat or may redistribute it around the face. They also remove any excess skin, redistribute and tighten the underlying connective tissue and muscles.
Finally, they tighten and pull back the remaining skin and stitch up the incisions. To minimize scarring, surgeons use skin glue or dissolvable sutures. However, in some cases, you might have to go back to the surgeon for them to remove the stitches.
What To Expect After The Facelift
After the procedure, the surgeon will bandage your face and place a drainage tube to help remove any drainage from the incision site. The surgeon will have you in the hospital until the anesthesia wears off.
After the procedure, you might experience pain, swelling, bruising, and discomfort around the incision sites and other facial areas. While this is normal, the surgeon will give you some medication to help, especially with the pain.
You might also use cold packs on your face and incision sites to help with the swelling and pain. The surgeon also instructs you on when and how to remove the bandages and drainage tubes, plus when you need to make a follow-up visit.
A few days after the facial surgery, you should wear clothes fastened at the front to avoid injuring the incision sites by pulling clothes over your head. It would be best if you also slept with your head elevated for the first few days until swelling goes down.
The surgeon also advises you against smoking and drinking alcohol a few weeks after the procedure. That is because they could cause bleeding and slow down the healing process.
Avoid using any makeup or washing your face with hot water until the incisions sites heal entirely. You should also avoid dying, perming, or coloring your hair for around six weeks after the procedure.
Before going back to your normal activities, your surgeon will recommend that you rest for two weeks. However, you have to wait for four weeks to go back to strenuous activities like working out.
To be safe, you should ask your surgeon about this because all patients have different skin types. You will start seeing the facelift results after the swelling dies down, but for your skin to start feeling normal again, it may take a few months.
A facelift does not stop the aging process, and you might see some wrinkles and loose skin around ten years after the procedure. However, to ensure that the results remain for a long time, some of the things you should do include;
- Keep your skin moisturized
- Protect your skin from the sun
- Use mild products
- Maintain a healthy diet
- Avoid exposure to pollutants
Side Effects of Facelift Surgery
While side effects are minimal and not fatal, you might experience some like;
- Anesthesia risks
- Blood clots
- Prolonged swelling
- Hair loss at the surgical sites
- Slow wound healing
- Nerve injury
- Muscle stiffness
Facelift Surgery And How It Affects Skin Texture
One of the main things people worry about is how a facelift could affect their skin texture. One of the main concerns is scarring at the incision sites. Most times, surgeons make incisions in the hairline to ensure that they are not visible.
They also use dissolvable sutures that will blend in with your skin over time. On the positive side, since a facelift involves tightening the skin and underlying muscles and tissues, it will make your skin look younger and smoother.
However, it does not help eliminate fine wrinkles and lines on your face or reverse sun exposure damage. It also does not help eliminate or reduce age spots, blemishes, redness, or hyperpigmentation.
You have to follow up a facelift with other procedures like chemical peels, micro-needling, and a good skincare routine for those problems.