FACE LIFT (RHYTIDECTOMY)

OVERVIEW:

A face-lift (rhytidectomy) is a cosmetic surgical procedure done to correct natural processes caused by ageing, this is achieved by reducing excess facial skin, resulting in a more youthful appearance. It can also be done to correct changes in the shape of your face that occur with age. A face-lift will not reduce fine lines or wrinkles nor will it reverse damage from sun exposure. There are other cosmetic procedures that can be done to address the appearance or quality of the skin itself.

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01

CONSULTATION

Initially, you will talk to a plastic surgeon about a face-lift. The visit will likely include:.

MEDICAL HISTORY AND EXAM
Prepare to answer questions about past and current medical conditions, previous surgeries, complications from previous surgeries, history of smoking and drug or alcohol use. Your surgeon will do a physical exam, may request recent records from your doctor or order a consultation with a specialist if there are any concerns about your ability to undergo surgery.

MEDICATION REVIEW.
You will provide the name and dosages of all medications you regularly take, including prescription drugs, over-the counter drugs, herbal medications, vitamins and other dietary supplements whether the p

FACIAL EXAM
Your plastic surgeon will take photos of your face from different angles and close-up photos of some features. The surgeon will also examine your bone structure, shape of your face, fat distribution and quality of your skin to determine your best options for face-lift surgery

EXPECTATIONS.
You and the surgeon will discuss what the surgery will involve, where it will take place, the type of anaesthesia used, the recovery and potential complications that may develop. Your surgeon will ask questions about your expectations for the outcomes of a face-lift. He or she will help you understand how a face-lift will likely change your appearance and what a face-lift does not address, such as fine wrinkles or naturally occurring unevenness in your face

02

HOW TO PREPARE FOR A FACE-LIFT


FOLLOW MEDICATION DIRECTIONS.
You will receive instructions about what medications to stop taking and when to stop. For example, you will likely be asked to discontinue any blood-thinning medication or supplement at least two weeks before surgery. Talk to your doctor about what medications are safe to take or whether the dosage should be adjusted.
WASH YOUR FACE AND HAIR
You will likely be asked to wash your hair and face with a germicidal soap on the morning of the surgery

AVOID EATING.
You will be requested to not eat anything after midnight on the day of your face-lift. You will be able to drink water and take medications that have been approved by your surgeon.

ARRANGE FOR HELP DURING RECOVERY.
If your face-lift is done as an outpatient, make plans for someone to drive you home after surgery and stay with you the first night after surgery

03

BEFORE THE PROCEDURE

Depending on the type of procedure to be done, local anaesthesia or sedation can be used which will numb only part of the body to be worked on. Alternatively, a general anaesthetic which makes the patient unconscious can be used.

HOW THE PROCEDURE IS PERFORMED
Your surgeon will lift the skin and tighten the underlying tissues and muscles. Fat in the face and neck may be sculpted, removed or redistributed. Facial skin is then re-draped over the newly repositioned contours of the face, excess skin is removed and the wound is stitched or taped closed.

The incisions for the procedure depend on the techniques that will be used and the patient’s preferences. Options include:

• A traditional face-lift incision that starts at your temples in the hairline, continues down and around the front of your ears and ends behind your ears in your lower scalp. An incision might be made under your chin to improve the appearance of your neck.
• A limited incision is a shorter incision that begins in your hairline just above your ear, wraps around the front of your ear, but does not extend all the way into the lower scalp.
• A neck lift incision starts in front of your earlobes and continues around your ears into your lower scalp. A small incision is also made under your chin.
A face-lift generally takes two to five hours but may take longer if other cosmetic procedures are done at the same time.

04

AFTER THE PROCEDURE

Your incisions will likely be covered with bandages that provide gentle pressure to minimize swelling and bruising. A small tube might be placed under the skin behind one or both of your ears to drain any excess blood or fluid.

After a face-lift you may experience:
•Mild to moderate pain which can be relieved with medication.
• Drainage from the incisions.
• Swelling and bruising may peak after 2 days and can persist for a number of days. • Numbness and muscle stiffness may occur for some time.
• The following is to be avoided post-surgery: smoking, alcohol intake, stress, sun exposure and contact with pollutants.

Contact your doctor immediately should the below be experienced:
•Severe pain on one side of your face or neck within 24 hours of surgery.
• Shortness of breath.
• Chest pain.
• Irregular heartbeats.

In the first few days after surgery:
• Rest with your head elevated.
• Take pain medication as recommended by your doctor.
• Apply cool packs to the face to ease pain and reduce swelling.

Follow-up appointments
You will have several follow-up appointments scheduled during the next two months after surgery that will include the following:
• The day after surgery, your surgeon will likely remove your drainage tube, apply antibiotic ointment to your incisions and place new bandages on your face.
• Two to three days after your face-lift you may be able to switch from wearing bandages to wearing an elasticised facial sling.
• About a week after surgery, your doctor will remove your stitches and assess the wound.
• Subsequent visits will likely be scheduled to monitor your progress

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