The face-lift is a surgical procedure that is designed to restore a youthful appearance to the face and neck area. It is intended to restore youthfulness, and set back the clock a few years.
Clinically the face is divided into upper, middle and lower thirds. The face-lift is designed to restore a more youthful appearance to the lower 2/3 of the face and the neck. The traditional facelift alters the face by focusing on the cheeks, jowls, neck and temples. To a lesser extent the lower lids may be positively affected as well. The operation relies on the removal of excess skin, the re-positioning of underlying fat pads, and the tightening of select facial muscles.
Prior to any surgical procedure, it is important to take appropriate preparations to increase safety, and maximize the benefits of the procedure. First, patients should not take anti-inflammatory drugs such as Aspirin®, Motrin®, Ibuprophen, or Advil®, due to their effects on the body's blood clotting, for at least two weeks prior to surgery. Tylenol ES®, is a painkiller that can be used for those who suffer from chronic pain. Any use of herbal supplements or other alternative medicine should be discussed with your surgeon. Finally, alcohol should be avoided for at least a week prior to the surgery date.
Smoking is a very important factor in face-lift surgery. Chemicals from smoking can cause vasoconstriction of blood vessels, which restricts the blood supply to the newly re-draped and transferred tissues. Smoking must be stopped at least 2 to 3 months prior to surgery in order to eliminate the risk of further tissue loss. It is important to understand that all smokers, regardless of quantity, are at an increased risk of tissue death following invasive procedures, and for this reason, some surgeons may refuse to operate on smokers.
Although these procedures have been performed for decades, recent advancements in the field of plastic surgery have developed new methods that lead to more longer-lasting results.
Typical recovery time following a face-lift surgery is approximately 3 to 4 weeks. A facial bandage or garment is often used in the days following surgery, as well as OTC or prescription painkillers. Bruising and swelling of the face, neck, and the eye area is common, and peaks at 4 to 5 days following the face-lift. This is a normal part of the recovery process, and should subside within 2 to 3 weeks.
Scarring from the procedure will take approximately 12 to 18 months before they can be assessed. Prior to assessment, it is essential that the scarred area is protected from the sun (using 45 o 60 SPF sunscreens) to prevent permanent darkening of the scars. Despite this, patient satisfaction with this procedure is typically high.
A discussion of potential complications is essential with every discussion about a surgical procedure. It is important to know that although complications from surgery are possible they are not common. Some possible complications associated with a rhytidectomy are listed into both early and late complications:
For a more detailed discussion on expected results, recovery, and specific complications, please see your individual surgeon.
Facelift surgeries are considered to be elective procedures, and are not covered under the Canadian Medical Plan and the final cost for such a procedure will be at the discretion of the plastic surgeon that is performing the procedure. The average cost of this procedure, as published by the Canadian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery is $8000 (with a range of $6000-$12,000).
This website does not cover all of the medical knowledge related to rhytidectomy or mid-face lifts nor does it deal with all possible risks and complications of surgery on the face, neck, and associated structures. Although it is designed to provide the patient with greater depth of information in some areas, it is not intended to substitute for the in depth discussion between patient and surgeon that must occur prior to any surgical procedure.
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