A facelift can help men and women to 'wind the clock back' by reversing the effects of gravity and the signs of ageing on the face and jowls as well as improving the contour of the neck. The ultimate aim is to rejuvenate the face.
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What type of facelift will I need?
There are various types of facelift and our surgeons will recommend the best one for you depending on your aspirations, your age and the extent of any facial sagging. Many people who come to The Westbourne Centre often seek a more complete facial rejuvenation solution. Combining treatments is certainly possible and can be discussed with your consultant. Some of the other facial rejuvenation procedures we offer include blepharoplasty, fat transfer and buccal fat removal.
Some of the more common types of facelift that are performed here at The Westbourne Centre include:
Ageing can cause the brow to droop giving the face an older and tired look and causing what is often referred to as the hood effect. Brow lift surgery is a simple procedure carried out to lift the area directly above the eye, opening up the eye area and making the face look younger. Whilst many patients choose to use anti-wrinkle injections as a temporary method of reversing this effect, brow lift surgery is permanent.
For the majority of cases, the procedure can be done via small incisions in the hairline. For some patients, the incisions can be made in the brows themselves resulting in well-hidden scars.
The procedure itself involves lifting the brow and tightening the muscles which have been stretched over time, as well as tightening any loose skin in the area and reducing excess fatty tissue. While brow lift surgery is often performed for purely cosmetic reasons, drooping brows and upper eye lids can affect vision in the most extreme of cases and this can be a quick and simple way to rectify the situation.
Mid facelifts are designed to target the middle third of your face; improving the appearance of nasolabial lines (nose to mouth lines) and sagging cheeks.
The incisions are usually made in the hairline and inside the mouth, and the natural fatty layer across the cheekbones is lifted and repositioned. This procedure is often performed in conjunction with blepharoplasty surgery, and therefore the incisions along the lower lid can be used to lift the midface. The results are often subtle as the deeper structures of the face are left unaltered.
Lower facelift (MACS)
The lower facelift, also known as a 'Minimal Access Cranial Suspension lift' or MACS, aims to rejuvenate the jaw line and correct sagging cheeks. The rejuvenation is similar to that of a traditional facelift, but with less invasive surgery and a smaller scar which makes it ideal for the younger patient.
During a MACS procedure, the surgeon will make a careful incision in front of the ear. Then, through this incision, the sagging subcutaneous tissue is tightened with a special inner thread. Excess skin is cut away and the wound is sutured.
Full facelift (SMAS)
The full facelift, also known as a 'Superficial Musculoaponeurotic System' lift or SMAS, is ideal for the older patient who has significant looseness of the skin and muscles on the face and neck.
The SMAS layer controls the muscles that create facial expressions such as smiling and frowning. During a full facelift, the surgeon will create an incision just above the hairline that is extended down towards the ear (hidden within the skin’s natural creases) to enable them to lift and reposition the SMAS using sutures. Excess skin is removed and the wound is sutured.
Occasionally, our surgeons will perform a thread, or silhouette, lift. It is more commonly known as the ‘1-stitch’ facelift as it was developed to lift sagging skin with minimal invasive surgery. Tiny suture barbs gather the skin layers upward, thereby tightening the skin. Our surgeons may use this technique as part of a wider facelift procedure to provide extra support, however, they very rarely perform it as a stand-alone procedure due to its limited longevity.
How long will it take to recover after a facelift procedure?
All of the facelift procedures are carried out under local anaesthetic with sedation. During the procedure, patients are given a local anaesthetic with intravenous sedation and painkillers. Patients are not unconscious; they breathe for themselves meaning that they are able to go home the same day to recover in the comfort of their own home.
The face and neck will usually be quite bruised and swollen for up to two weeks following your procedure. Our surgeons will usually recommend two weeks off work, but this is an individual matter and will vary from patient to patient. Things to consider would be how comfortable you would be with colleagues, customers/clients seeing the physical side effects of the surgery. Also, how physically demanding your job is and the type of environment you work in. Manual labouring jobs, or working in dirty/dusty environments are not advisable for at least four weeks to avoid damaging the surgical sites, and to reduce the risk of infection. Our surgeons will advise that you should not drive or fly for approximately three weeks following surgery. You should also avoid wearing make up until the scars have fully healed.
Your surgeon will talk to you at length about the implications of undertaking facelift surgery and any possible short or long-term complications.
Unfortunately, a facelift will not alter the quality of the skin. Our surgeons here at The Westbourne Centre take a holistic approach to facial rejuvenation, with skin condition being a very important part of the overall result. Your consultant will give you expert advice on all aspects of skin care, both pre- and post-operatively. This may include special skin care regimes and products, laser treatments, or non-surgical injectables, in order to achieve an optimum result.
Before and after photos
As no two people are the same, it is important to understand that outcomes can vary post-operatively for each individual patient. We do not publish before and after photos of facelift surgery on our website, nor do we distribute them prior to the consultations. Our surgeons will show you some images during the consultation which are relevant to your individual case.
Sometimes it can be difficult to manage expectations if you’ve seen images where the end result is not compatible with your skin condition and laxity, facial shape or feature proportions. It is also useful for the surgeon to talk you through the transformation and why they achieved the result they did.
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