A facelift is a surgical procedure to improve visible signs of ageing in the face and neck.
As part of the ageing process – which happens to all of us sooner or later – our skin progressively loses its elasticity and our muscles tend to slacken. A facelift procedure helps to reverse signs of ageing by making the face tighter and smoother.
Mr Sherif Wilson is an expert plastic surgeon who is able to perform facelift surgery in Bristol, Bath or Gloucester.
Typical facelift patients
The stresses of daily life, effects of gravity and exposure to sun can be seen on our faces. The folds and smile lines deepen, the corners of the mouth droop, the jaw line sags and the skin of the neck becomes slack. For some people, the change in their appearance leads to a lack of self-confidence and therefore they turn to surgery to reverse the signs of ageing in their face.
The best candidate for a facelift is a patient whose face and neck has begun to sag, but whose skin still has some elasticity and whose bone structure is strong and well defined. A facelift works better for the lower half of the face and particularly the jawline and neck.
If you have sagging eyebrows and wrinkles of the forehead then you should perhaps consider an endoscopic brow lift instead of a face lift. Loose skin with fine wrinkles, freckles and rough areas will benefit more by chemical peel or laser resurfacing.
Before facelift surgery
Going ahead with facelift surgery is a big decision so it’s important you are well-informed before deciding that you want to go ahead. Mr Wilson will meet with you in a private consultation before your operation. During this consultation he will assess your face and talk you through how the procedure will work. He will also be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Mr Wilson will also make you aware of the risks with facelift surgery. Complications arising from facelifts are rarely serious. However, all patients need to be aware that there is the chance of sustaining damage to the facial nerves. This can cause weakened movement of the eyebrow and lip, although such repercussions are not common and generally improve over several weeks.
Mr Wilson will carry out your facelift procedure in either Spire Bristol Hospital, Bath BMI Clinic or Winfield Hospital (Gloucester). A facelift is carried out under general anaesthetic and typically takes around four hours to complete.
A typical facelift involves elevating and repositioning the skin and soft tissue of the face. During the procedure, cuts are made in front of the ear, extending up and forward along the hairline. Redundant skin is then removed, and the remaining skin is hitched and re-draped over its new foundations and sewn into position. Fat and tissue is redistributed and sometimes added to the face.
After facelift surgery
After your facelift surgery there is usually some bruising of the cheeks and with gravity this tends to descend into the neck. Discomfort is usually mild and can be controlled with paracetamol. It is normal for there to be some numbness of the skin of the cheeks and ears. This will usually disappear in a few weeks or months.
Normally, you will stay in hospital for one or two nights after a facelift, or longer if required. When you return home you will need to take it easy and get as much rest as possible, to help with the healing process.
It’s important to remember that whilst a facelift will make you look and feel younger, it doesn’t stop the ageing clock, it just sets it back. The effect of the facelift is likely to always be there, in that you will not look as old as you would have done if it had not been carried out.