Stephen Handisides

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What Is A Face-Lift (Rhytidectomy)?


A face lift, or rhytidectomy, is a popular cosmetic surgery treatment for smoothing sagging facial skin. A face lift tackles skin that has lost elasticity with age, and is ideal for men or women who are concerned with deep wrinkles and loose skin on the lower two-thirds of the face. While the procedure can be expensive and leave you a little sore, the results can dramatically rejuvenate your face by tightening the skin and smoothing out wrinkles. To achieve the best results, you may also need to combine a face lift with a brow lift or neck lift. For those under 40, most cosmetic practitioners would recommend less invasive options to help you achieve the results you want without the need for surgery. The only way to discover if the procedure is suitable for you is to consult with a surgeon.

Am I a Candidate? – Not everyone is suitable for a face lift procedure. The ideal candidate for a face lift is someone who has loose facial skin that still has some elasticity and a relatively well-defined bone structure. Patients are usually in their 40s, 50s or 60s, but face lifts can be successfully performed on patients in their 70s and 80s.

Before Surgery – It is important to prepare for your face lift procedure. Before the operation, ensure you have set out your expectations clearly with your cosmetic surgeon and that you have obtained as much information as possible to help you to make a fully informed choice.

During Surgery – A face lift treatment is usually performed under a general anaesthetic. The procedure generally involves an incision around the hairline to free the skin so that the surgeon can pull it tighter. Once the skin has been pulled into its new position, any excess fat is trimmed off by the surgeon. The entire face lift operation can take between 3 and 5 hours.

Recovery – Depending on the length of the operation, you may be allowed go home after a few hours, or remain in hospital for a couple of days. Most patients return to work 10 to 14 days after face lift surgery. Find out more about your Face-Lift recovery

Benefits – A face lift procedure can significantly reduce the appearance of jowls and sagging skin in the chin and neck area. Underlying muscles can also be surgically tightened to improve the contour of the face.

Types – There are several different options when it comes to a face lift procedure – from endoscopic surgery to minimize scarring to treatments that involve repositioning the deeper facial tissues to restore a more youthful line to your face. Your cosmetic surgeon can advise which face lift technique is right for you.

Risks and Complications – As with any operation, there are risks or side effects associated with a face lift or rhytidectomy, such as reactions to the anaesthetic, bleeding, haematoma, asymmetry and nerve damage. Expect some pain and discomfort for several days following surgery, with facial swelling, bruising and numbness at its worst 24 to 48 hours after surgery. Find out more about the Face-Lift complications

Cost – Prices for face lift cosmetic surgery are usually in the £4000-£8000 range.

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