The rhytidectomy, or much more commonly known as a facelift, is a cosmetic surgery specifically designed to restore a more youthful appearance by removing major obvious wrinkles and sagging skin from the facial area. The procedure involves tightening of the facial and neck muscles, as well as actual removal of any excess skin. In doing so the patient should find his or her appearance to be several years more youthful than before. In some good cases, a patient may look as many as ten years younger!
The skin naturally begins to wrinkle and sag as a result of age, sun exposure, and genetics. Children and young adults have smooth, round faces due to evenly distributed tissues in facial contours. Over time, the skin sags and folds. This is particularly occurs around the chin, jaw line, and neck. Not only does a facelift improve facial appearance but also has a dramatic effect on the chin and neck, enhancing the patient’s profile. Though as dramatic as the end results are, unlike several other types of cosmetic surgery, a facelift is not a simple procedure, and requires anywhere from one to two weeks of rest to make a full recovery.
This is a procedure that does actually demand some work from the patient beforehand. Before going in, avoid drugs that contain aspirin for several weeks prior to surgery to minimize excess bleeding. You may be required to take antibiotics to prevent infection. Depending on the doctor, you may be instructed to shampoo your hair the night before surgery.
For the procedure the surgeon will make incisions inside the hairline at the temple, then around the earlobe and behind the ear, ending at the scalp area. Excess skin is removed and sagging muscles and connective tissues are tightened. In some cases, fatty deposits may be removed from beneath the chin and neck. Incisions are closed with small sutures. The surgery may take up to 5 hours, depending on how many other facial procedures are being done in conjunction with the facelift.
There will be a lot of swelling afterwards, but after about two weeks the patient should notice a steady recovery beginning. Scarring fades quickly. In the time following surgery the patient should avoid the sun for several weeks after surgery. The main thing to remember is that the healing process takes time. It is gradual, and so the final results may not be noticeable for even half a year. Keep patient, and soon enough the positive results will become clear.