Why a facelift ?
As years go by the skin looses its firmness and one’s face changes. Continuous contractions of the face and neck muscles cause deepening of existing folds and also new wrinkles and folds occur. The law of gravity is responsible for the sagging of the skin and the underlying fat tissue. Hereditary factors and way of life (e.g. smoking) play an important role here too.
As a result of this more and more fine wrinkles occur and already existing wrinkles deepen. Typical are wrinkles due to frowning, deepening of the nose mouth fold and deepening of the folds running down from the mouth towards the jaw. Also the jaw line sometimes changes because of sagging of fat in the cheeks (hamster cheek). The neckline suffers from folds as well.
Injectables (filling the wrinkles or diminishing excessive muscle contractions locally), micro dermabrasion treatment (polishing of the skin) or applying peelings (taking away a superficial layer of skin) are suitable treatments in an initial stage of the process. These treatments are meant to disguise the effects of ageing. They do not tackle the causes. In some cases they can postpone a facelift.
A facelift does more than disguise the effects of getting older. As it treats the causes too it is much more efficient. The excess weakened and loosened skin is taken away so the effect is skin that looks much more firm again.
The sagging of the tissue is corrected by lifting the fat tissue and bringing it back into its original position. The obtained effect is a much more youthful and fresh appearance. One has to be aware of the fact, however, that a facelift cannot guarantee eternal youth. Ageing is an ongoing process.
The plastic surgeon’s know how and aesthetic feeling is extremely important in obtaining the desired result. That is why Clinic BeauCare is the right place. The expertise and experience of our surgeon allows him to remove the exact amount of skin necessary to obtain a youthful and fresh appearance without people noticing that you have had cosmetic surgery. After the treatment the skin should not be too tight. Finding the right balance between too much and not enough requires experience, patience and excellent communication with the patient. That is why the team at Clinic BeauCare insists on the importance of highly individual advice for each of our patients.
Every single person is unique so every single operation is different. Our cosmetic surgeon will discuss in detail with you what it is exactly that you consider as a problem. The plastic surgeon will also discuss with you what strikes him/her. You will get information on which type of facelift would be best in your case. Your entire face is taken into account: forehead, eyelids, cheek fat, jaw line, neck. A harmonious and balanced result is the goal of plastic surgery. When necessary a facelift can be combined with upper or lower eyelid correction, neck lipo sculpture to remove excess fat tissue in the neck area, a laser or dermabrasion treatment of the upper lip to ease away fine lines in that area.
Our plastic surgeon will see to it that you get the most complete information so as to allow you to make a well informed and well founded decision. The cosmetic surgeon will assist you in finding the treatment that is best suitable to achieve the desired result.
Treatment / Surgery
One has the choice between a classic facelift, the MACS-lift (mini facelift) and a neck correction.
1. Full facelift
Full facelift takes place under total anaesthetic. For a classic facelift an incision is made from the hair line of the temples via the natural fold in front of and behind the ear towards the back of the head. This enables the surgeon to detach the skin from the sub skin bind- en muscular tissue (SMAS / Sub-smas). It is precisely this SMAS, which is heavier than the skin, which is responsible for the visible sagging.
Stretching the SMAS towards the ear and hairline will make the skin look much more firm. After this the excess skin is cut away and the skin is stitched without tension. This is very important in order to obtain an invisible scar. Depending on the size of the treated area the scar can be longer, either towards the back of the ear (for treating the neck) or upwards towards the hairline (for treating cheeks, corners of the mouth and nose lip fold).
In order to divide the traction on the skin, the stitches are applied in various layers.
2. MACS lift ( mini facelift)
De MACS (Minimal Access Cranial Suspension) or mini lift is very popular at the moment. It is milder and simpler than a full facelift. The sagged tissue is suspended via a minimal incision; this makes it a revolutionary technique in facial rejuvenation. It aims at obtaining a harmonious and natural rejuvenation of the face through surgical intervention.
The MACS lift takes place under local anaesthetic usually in combination with a light sedative. This allows for undergoing the treatment in calm and pleasant circumstances. Via a minimal incision in front of the auricle the sagged tissue is lifted with a special interior thread and tightened up again. After bleeding is checked, the plastic surgeon removes a small amount of excess skin and closes the wound.
Usually a sub skin drain is placed to drain any blood from the wound. The other side is treated in the same way. The obtained result is a restored contour of the jaw line, a firmer neck and a smoothing of the folds next to the nose (the “nasiolabial” folds).
3. Neck correction
Neckcorrection takes place under total anaesthetic. The incision is made as far as the back of the ear and in the neck hairline to obtain a maximal result. Sometimes also a small incision is made under the chin to remove sub skin fat tissue and allow for tighter stitching of the skin tissue.
The facial skin is cleansed and a wound dressing is applied that will need to stay in place for 24 hours. After this has been removed you will need to wear a stretch bandage for at least a week. Also two drains are placed to drain any discharge. These are usually removed the following day. After 10 to 14 days the stitches are removed either by your GP or at our clinic BeauCare.
After 2 to 3 weeks the result of the facelift will be clearly visible although the healing process is then still in process. It will take at least 2 to 3 months for the final result to be seen.
Lifting the face means smoothing and firming the skin, this does not mean however that wrinkles from laughing and talking will disappear. These wrinkles are part of your facial expression and will always remain. Also fine wrinkles around mouth and eyelids will not completely disappear with this treatment. For this additional treatments are required. You can discuss this with the plastic surgeon in order to find the solution best suited for you. It is also important to be aware of the fact that a facelift cannot stop the natural ageing process of the skin. Also after the facelift operation the skin’s elasticity will gradually diminish, just as it did before.
The risks of a face lift are the same as with any other form of plastic surgery. There is always a chance of post operative bleeding or of infection. In some cases a facial nerve can temporarily be deactivated and cause temporary paralysing symptoms (e.g. a drooping mouth corner or the inability to close an eye completely). Luckily these serious complications seldom occur. Sometimes areas with oedema or somewhat harder areas in the face can occur after a facelift. These will disappear spontaneously or you can opt for having them treated by a beautician.
This overview aims at giving you a first general idea of what a facelift is. We hope to welcome you personally in our clinic soon to inform you in a more individual way.