What is a facelift?
A facelift is an aesthetic (cosmetic) surgical procedure to improve features of aging of the face and neck.
A facelift can improve the visible signs of aging of the face. Most people looking for a facelift have wrinkles and sagging skin in their face and neck. A facelift removes excess skin and repositions fat and muscles to correct deep facial lines and neck laxity which. The goal of any facelift should be to provide a natural, more rested youthful appearance, which is not artificial in any way. Its effects typically last 5 to 10 years, depending on the type of facelift performed. Dr. Merten has worked on perfecting a facelift that is natural and helps restore a more youthful look.
There are many types of facelifts being performed. Facelifts can range from one hour of surgery to 4 hours of surgery, depending on the technique and extent of work being performed. A facelift is often combined with a forehead lift or eyelid lift. The most common age patients seek facial rejuvenation is usually 45.
Dr. Merten performs the most modern techniques in face lifting, which involve lifting the underlying muscle and fat pads of the face instead of just skin. This surgery is more extensive than the older “skin lifts”, and requires a longer healing time of up to 3 weeks, but has the advantage of providing a less “pulled” and more natural look with longer lasting effects.
During the surgery incisions are usually made above the hairline at the temples, go around the front of the ear, then curve behind the earlobe to behind the ear and into the scalp. Tissue and muscle is separated, fat may be suctioned and underlying muscles tightened. The skin is pulled back and any
excess trimmed and then sutured or stapled into place. The incisions are well hidden in your hairline so you do not have to worry about the scars being visible.
Recently, mid-face lifting has emerged as a new technique to lift only the face without lifting the skin of the neck. This technique is especially suited to younger patents with little or no aging in the neck area.
Your Facelift Consultation
Women that are interested in facelift may consult with Dr. Merten at either his Sydney CBD or Macquarie University rooms. Dr. Merten will complete an evaluation of your needs and make recommendations accordingly. There are minimally invasive facelift procedures that postpone the need for more invasive procedures and delay more mature aging signs. There are also more extensive procedures, such as the deep plane lift for advanced stages of aging. You may treat excess skin and fat under the eyes, lower cheeks, and jowl area with the facelift procedure as well as improve the appearance of facial wrinkles.
The Facelift Procedure
Dr. Merten usually performs the facelift procedure under general anesthesia, with a one-night stay in hospital. Incisions are made behind the hairline and may extend around the head, depending upon the extent of the lift required. During the procedure, Dr. Merten lifts the excess tissue, muscle and skin to reposition and suture into place. The incision is made in front of the ear, inside the ear, and then extends behind the ear by the earlobe. The skin, fat, and muscle are separated, lifted and then re-draped to a more youthful-appearing position. Care is taken in suturing the incision to minimize the scar, rendering it virtually invisible after the initial healing period.
Dr. Merten usually prefers his facelift patients to stay overnight in hospital after facelift surgery. You will have dressings around your cheeks and neck and wrapped with a bandage that compresses the area slightly. After your surgery you will be asked to keep your head elevated to avoid increased swelling. If you had a drain put in to drain blood it will be removed in a day or two. You will feel minor discomfort and your face might feel tight, but pain is easily controlled with medication. You can expect your face and neck to be swollen and bruised – this can last for a few weeks. Stitches may come out in 5 days, if staples were used in your scalp they might stay in longer.
The Facelift Recovery
Prior to the facelift procedure, you will receive a list of instructions to follow in order to enhance your recovery. You should have someone to stay with you during initial 24 hours or more after the procedure and use gauze pads soaked in ice chips to reduce swelling often each day. The results may change, depending upon lifestyle habits such as smoking which may adversely impact the results of the procedure over time. People are most often content with the results from the facelift for ten to fifteen or more years time.
Stitches are removed in 7 to 10 days. Most patients return to work after 2 weeks. Minimal discomfort occurs after the facelift, however bruising and swelling usually can take around 2 weeks to resolve. You will be asked to rest for the first week and not to participate in strenuous activities for 2-3 weeks.
As with all facial plastic surgery, good health and realistic expectations are prerequisites. The goal of the facelift is to improve the overall facial appearance. What it can do is help your face look its best and give you a healthy, more youthful appearance.
Facelift surgery in Sydney provides lasting improvements that can remain for 10 years. Our patients often find that regaining their youthful look enhances their self-esteem as well as their appearance.