A facelift or rhytidectomy is the surgical procedure to smooth and tighten the sagging skin and wrinkles on the face. There is no specific age when a face lift surgery can be considered, though most people, especially women, begin to see the signs of loose skin in their 40s.
The patient opting for face lift surgery must be in good health with no cardiovascular and pulmonary problems. A patient with significant renal or hepatic disease is not suitable for this elective procedure. Also, careful thought must be given for surgery on heavy smokers or alcohol drinkers.
The surgeon’s preference and the patient’s condition usually govern the choice of anesthesia for rhytidectomy. Local anesthesia is used along with sedation. Most healthy patients can manage to go through rhytidectomy under local anesthesia with sedation, without complaining of any discomfort or inconvenience. General anesthesia is also perfectly acceptable methods though it can be used only in well equipped hospitals. For candidates with a phobia for surgery, general anesthesia is more suitable.
During face lift surgery, the plastic surgeon starts by making an incision usually above the hairline to separate the facial skin from the underlying tissue. The incision above the hairline hides any scars that may develop due to the surgery. Excess fat and skin are removed after making the incision, and the surrounding muscles are tightened to improve the contours and appearance of the patient’s face. The skin is then repositioned with surgical sutures and the treated area is covered with bandages. The removal of accumulated fat and excess skin results in a noticeable reduction of sagging and age lines in the face. Combined with the tightening of facial muscles, the rhytidectomy procedure gives patients a younger-looking, and more vibrant appearance. The total duration of the surgery can be up to 2 hours.
There is a general discomfort and mild pain on regaining consciousness after any surgery. But painkillers prescribed by the surgeon can be taken to subside this. A drainage tube may be inserted behind the patient’s ear to prevent blood from collecting under the skin for some time. If there are no other complications, the patient can be discharged from the hospital after 4 or 5 hours, following the surgery. Adequate bed rest should be taken after this and exposure to sun must be avoided. The recovery period can be one to five weeks. The results of the surgery start to show in about a month.
At Orlando Plastic Surgery Center, we have an in-house surgical suite (OASIS), a comfortable, relaxing, and professional facility for different cosmetic surgery procedures including face lift surgery. Dr.George Pope, a highly regarded plastic surgeon is certified by American Board of Plastic Surgery with more than 20 years’ experience in the field. He has also been voted by the readers of Orlando Magazine as the “Best Plastic Surgeon” in Orlando for two years in a row.