For those who are struggling with the look of mature skin, a facelift procedure is an effective way of reversing the signs of ageing.
Sagging around the face area is very common as you age.
This is because, as we got older, elastin and collagen production slows, and as these proteins break down, the body cannot replenish them as easily as in our youth, causing the skin to sag.
This sagging can make us feel a lot older than we are, and can even cause men and women to become more self-conscious of the way they look.
And this is where a facelift can really help to improve the way we look and feel about our appearance.
A facelift helps to lift this particular area of the face and remove the look of sagging, which helps to create a youthful appearance, bringing back the feeling of confidence.
What happens during a facelift procedure?
With a number of different facelift procedures available, the type of facelift you have is personal to the patient.
A surgeon will decide or recommend the type of facelift they believe is best for the condition of your skin and will run through the proposed procedure with you ahead of your surgery.
This is a perfect opportunity for the patient to ask any questions they may have about the procedure to their surgeon, including what to expect from the recovery process.
When a patient has agreed to go ahead with the facelift procedure, the surgeon will begin the surgery by making an incision into the skin.
The position of the incision will be dictated by the type of facelift you are having, but each procedure is completed under local or general anaesthetic.
To ensure the skin achieves that youthful look the patient so desires, the skin tissue below where the incision is made will be tightened and smoothed, which is how the effective results are achieved.
Once this has been completed, the incision is then closed with stitches to ensure a smooth recovery process.
In total, the procedure can take between 3-6 hours to complete.
What can I expect during facelift recovery?
Once the procedure has been completed, in most cases it can take patients anywhere between 2-4 weeks to fully recover from a facelift procedure.
Due to the nature of the type of surgery a facelift requires, your doctor or surgeon will ask you to not drive for at least a couple of weeks.
During your follow-up meetings, your doctor will assess your recovery and confirm when they are happy for you to drive once again.
What are the side effects of facelift surgery?
There are a number of physical side effects that a patient can experience following a facelift procedure. These side effects include:
Following the successful completion of the facelift procedure, you will most likely experience quite nasty bruising around the facial area.
This is due to the nature of the procedure, as the skin will need to heal around the area that the incisions have been made.
Due to the invasive nature of the procedure, it is also common to expect swelling around the facial area for a few weeks.
In most cases though, the patient will notice improvements to the swelling a few days post-surgery, and this should continue to gradually get better each day.
As with many cosmetic procedures, as your skin heals, it will begin to tighten.
This will therefore cause this area of your face to feel numb and can cause discomfort for the patient.
Reassuringly though, this is a very common side effect for this type of procedure, and in most cases is nothing to be concerned about.
As with all cosmetic procedures, you will have some pain and discomfort following the surgery.
You will typically be prescribed with the necessary pain medication to ensure your days running up to recovery are as smooth as possible, and you will notice the pain to subside as time goes by.
Top tips to dealing with the facelift recovery process
Following a successful procedure, it will then be up to the patient to ensure that the recovery process runs as smoothly as possible.
There are a few easy steps to follow to ensure a seamless recovery, and these include:
Eating soft foods
As your facial muscles move when you eat, this can, of course, aggravate the stitches that are healing if you are eating chewy or hard foods.
By choosing to opt for soft foods such as soups, soft fruit, yoghurt etc, you will be able to ensure that your face doesn’t need to move as much, and therefore cause you less discomfort.
Avoiding strenuous exercise
Although it’s important to keep moving during your recovery, it is vital to ensure that you only do this at a time when it is safe to do so.
Gentle exercise, around 10 days after your procedure, is recommended as this will ensure that you stay relatively active during your recovery, and will reduce the risk of swelling.
Keep your head raised at night
Ensuring your head stays lifted during your recovery is vital.
By keeping your head raised as you sleep, this will reduce the chance of swelling, as this can easily become an issue if the head doesn’t stay relatively upright for the first few weeks post-surgery.
You will be expected to manage your own bandages when you are discharged from hospital.
You will be required to change your dressings regularly, as of course, if left, you may increase the risk of infection.
In conclusion, following a successful facelift procedure, you will most likely start to see the full effects of your surgery anywhere between 6-9 months post-op.
If you are considering a facelift and would like more information on how the process works and recovery, our trained representatives can help advise you on any concerns.
If you’d like to discuss your options with a member of the MedicoTrips team, please call +44 (0) 121 288 4552.