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.
A face and neck lift involves removing excess skin, smoothing out folds or wrinkles, and tightening facial tissue. It doesn’t include a brow or eye lift (blepharoplasty), although these might be done at the same time to ensure the best cosmetic results. This procedure will result in a tighter and smoother look and more youthful appearance. It is important to remember that although this procedure can ‘turn back the clock’, it does not prevent any further signs of aging and the skin can continue to lose elasticity in the future.
Why you might need a facelift procedure
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 this procedure 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.
Assessment for this surgery
Going ahead with this surgery is a big decision so it’s important you are well-informed before deciding that you want to go ahead. Mr Sherif Wilson MB, ChB, MS, FRCS (Plastic Surgery) 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 the surgery. Complications arising from this procedure 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.
What does this procedure involve?
A facelift is carried out under general anaesthetic and typically takes around four hours to complete.
A typical procedure 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.
Before and after gallery
Mr Wilson is able to go through before and after photos of this procedure with you during your consultation if required.
Going home after surgery
After your 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 surgery, 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 procedure 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.
You will be required to wear a compression garment after surgery to ensure the best results and to minimise bruising and alleviate swelling. This should be worn 24/7 for the first two weeks after surgery (can be removed for washing purposes). After the second week it is recommended that you continue to wear the garment while at home for an additional 2-4 weeks. You may take it off when you go out and Mr Wilson will advise you of when you can stop wearing this completely at your post-operative follow up appointment.
How much does this surgery cost?
Depending on the type of procedure you require, the cost of surgery can vary.
These are guide prices and are subject to change following an initial consultation with Mr Wilson, where a bespoke quote will be provided, specific to each patient.
The prices include one Covid swab at the hospital of your procedure. This Covid swab will need to be performed 72 hours prior to your admission and the hospital will book this with you directly upon receipt of your surgery booking. You will be required to completely self-isolate between the time of the Covid swab to the time of your admission to the hospital.
At Nuffield Bristol Hospital
At BMI Bath Clinic
At Winfield Hospital (Gloucester)
At St Josephs Newport
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