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Facelifts And You, What Every Patient Should Know

Nov 12, 2007
As people age, effects of gravity to the sun, and the stresses of daily life can be seen in their faces. Deep creases form between the nose and mouth, the jaw line grows slack and jowly, folds and fat deposits appear around the neck. One should know that the face lift can't stop the aging process. It can only set back the clock, improving the most visible signs of aging by removing excess fat, Tightening underlying muscles and re draping the skin of your face and neck. A face lift can also be done along with other procedures such as forehead lift, eyelid surgery or nose reshaping.

Suitable candidate for face lift:
--A man or a woman whose face and neck have began to sag but whose skin still has some elasticity.
--Whose patients bone structure is strong and well defined.
--Most patients are in their forties to sixties. But face lift can be done successfully on people in their seventies or eighties as well.
--A face lift can make you look younger and fresher may enhance your self confidence in the process. But it can't give you a totally different look, nor can it restore the healthy and vitality of your youth.

Risks involved:
--When a facelift is performed by a qualified plastic surgeon, the complications and risks involved are minor. By follow the doctors advise closely you can reduce your risks.
--Hematoma C a collection of blood under the skin that most be removed by the surgeon.
--Injury to the nerves that control facial muscles which are usually temporary.
--Infection and reactions to anesthesia.
--Smokers are usually affected by poor healing.

Planning your surgery:
The surgery will evaluate your face, including the skin and underlying bone and discuss your goals for the surgery. The surgeon will check for medical problem such as high blood pressure, blood clotting problems, or the tendency to form excessive sears. You will be asked to stop smoking for few weeks before and after the surgery as it inhibits blood flow to skin and healing process. You will be asked to stop talking aspirins it effects clotting. It your hair is to short, you can let it grow long before surgery, so that it is long enough to hide the sears while they heal.
A face lift is usually done on an out patient basis, but some surgeons may hospitalize the patient for a day when using general anesthesia. Most face lifts are performed under local anesthesia combined with a sedative to make you drowsy. You will be awake but relaxed and insensitive to pain.

A face lift surgery usually takes several hours. Every surgeon performs the procedure in his or her own way. Some complete one side of the face at a time and other move back and forth between the sides. The incisions are started above the hair line at the temples, extend in the natural line in front of the ear, and continue behind the ear lobe to the lower scalp. A small incision is made under the chin, if the neck needs work.
The surgeon separates the skin from the fat and muscle below. Fat is either trimmed or suctioned from around the neck and chin to improve contour. Then the underlying muscle and membrane is tightened the skin is pulled back and excess skin is removed. Stitches secure the layers of tissue and close the incisions. Metal clips may be used on the scalp. After the surgery a drain tube is placed under the skin behind the ear to drain any blood that might collect there. The head may be loosely wrapped in bandages to minimize bruising and swelling.

Post operative procedure:
If there is any discomfort it can be minimized with pain medication. Numbness of the skin is quite normal and will disappear in a month. To keep the swelling down head should be kept elevated and still for a couple of days. Drain tube and bandages will be removed after one to five days. Your face may appear bruised and puffy but in a few weeks you will look normal. Stitches will be removed after five days. Scalp will take longer to heal. Patients are back to work at about ten days after surgery. But the third week you will look and feel much better.

--Take it easy for the first week after surgery as your skin will be tender and numb. Be gentle with your face and hair.
--Avoid strenuous activity including sex and heavy house work for two weeks.
--Avoid alcohol, steam baths and saunas for several months.
--Get plenty of rest, let the body heal.

Even after the swelling and bruises are gone the hair around your temples may be thin, you skin feel dry and rough for several months. The scars are hidden by your hair or in the natural creases of your face and ears. They will fade with time and are scarcely visible. Having a face lift does not stop the clock. Your face will continue to age with time. You may want to repeat the procedure one or more times after five or ten years down the line. But the effects continue to look better than if you would never have had a face lift at all.
About the Author
Dave Stringham is the President of LookingYourBest.com an online resource for plastic surgery in Los Angeles. Learn more about breast augmentation and cosmetic surgery procedures.
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