The face is usually the first part of the body to show signs of aging. Gravity and a loss of volume cause skin to sag and wrinkles to form. While there is no way to prevent aging, a face and neck lift procedure can smooth your skin, tighten tissues and muscles, and remove excess skin and fat. This should help you look and feel younger. The best candidates for facelift surgery display signs of facial aging, but their skin maintains some elasticity. They are usually in their 40s through 70s.
Before undergoing a facelift, you’ll need to schedule a consultation with a surgeon. You should be healthy and have realistic goals for your procedure. Your surgeon will give you a physical exam and thoroughly discuss your medical history before making a recommendation based on your expectations and overall health. In some cases, a more minor procedure may be enough to satisfy your goals.
The aim of a facelift is to improve problem areas such as sagging skin, creases below the eyelids and along the nose and mouth, loose skin and fatty deposits. A neck lift can eliminate sagging jowls, loose skin and accumulated fat. The two may be performed simultaneously and other procedures (facial implants, soft tissue augmentation or injectable fillers to reduce wrinkles) may also be completed, either at the same time or soon afterward, to enhance the results.
During the procedure, anesthesia is administered and incisions are made, allowing the surgeon to sculpt and reposition fat, tissues and muscle from the face, jowls and neck. Skin is then draped over the contours of the face and closed using sutures or adhesives.
All surgeries carry some risk of side effects or complications. Initially, there will be swelling and bruising. You may also experience scarring, bleeding, infection, numbness, pain, hair loss at the incision sites, facial nerve injury, skin loss and fluid accumulation. You must decide for yourself whether the risk is worth the payoff. For many patients, the final results – a more youthful appearance that is long-lasting and easily visible – help restore confidence and far outweigh the possibility of any complications.
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