When people advance in age, the effects of gravity, sun exposure and daily life concerns can be seen on their face. Deep wrinkles will appear between the nose and the mouth; the line of the jaw becomes loose and flaccid; the folds and fat deposits of the skin appear around the neck. The operation known as facelift (or more technically as a rhytidectomy) is the surgical procedure by means of which it is sought to reposition facial tissues that have lost their tonicity and therefore fall as a result of gravity and aging. Aging is a gradual process that in the case of the face not only affects the skin, but also other structures, such as subcutaneous fat, muscles and facial bones. The facelift cannot stop this aging process. What you can do is “turn the clock back,” by improving the most visible signs of aging by extracting excess fat, by grinding the inner muscles and reattaching the skin of your face and neck. You can only perform facelift surgery, if you wish, or simultaneously with other procedures such as correction of some alteration in the eyelids by aging or any other surgery, as well as treatments on the skin, either to correct the Fine wrinkles due to sun exposure and aging.
The best candidates
The best candidate for a rhytidectomy is a man or woman whose face and neck have begun to look flabby but whose skin still has some elasticity and whose bone structure is strong and well defined. The majority of patients are from the age of forty, however age does not present a contraindication to perform this surgery and people who have a family characteristic of excess or flaccidness of the skin, can request correction at more ages early A stretch of the facial skin can make you look younger and your skin look fresher, it can also improve the confidence you feel in yourself. It can not, however, give it a totally different appearance nor can it restore the health and vitality of its youth. Physically healthy people, psychologically stable and realistic with their expectations, may be good candidates.
Planning your surgery
Rhytidectomies are very individualized procedures. When making the initial consultation we will evaluate your face including the skin and bone structure. We will also evaluate the convenience of jointly treating the eyelids or other associated procedure. Do not forget to tell us if you smoke, are hypertensive or are taking any type of drug or medication, especially aspirin or other medicines that affect blood clotting.
Getting ready for your surgery
We will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including certain rules about what you should eat and drink, and what vitamins or medications you should take or avoid. Following these instructions very closely will help your surgery to be performed more effectively and with fewer obstacles. If you smoke, it is especially important to stop at least a week or two before and after surgery because smoking inhibits blood flow to the skin and this may interfere with the healing of the incision areas. Be sure to arrange for someone to accompany you home after surgery and to help you for a day or two if you need it.
Where will your surgery be done?
The surgery is performed in the clinic, which has all the necessary medical equipment and the greatest comfort for you. The day of surgery should come with the washed face, and without makeup. You should arrive about 30 minutes before the scheduled time, to make the entry procedures, make a complete medical history, and take preoperative photographs. In your room, we will give you a sedative by mouth and you can change clothes. After the surgery, he will stay in the clinic for between one and two hours, until we make sure everything is in order and he can return to his home, where he will continue to rest.
Types of anesthesia
Facial Lifting is usually done under local anesthesia. The area to be operated will be asleep, as will the deeper tissues. This anesthesia is frequently associated with a sedation that will be administered orally or intravenously. You will be awake, relaxed, and insensitive to pain. Occasionally you may feel some small pain or discomfort during the administration of local anesthesia, similar to what you may experience at the dentist, but that disappears in seconds.
The stretching of the facial skin usually takes 2 to 3 hours, depending on the extent of the surgery, or sometimes more when more than one procedure is performed, for example a correction of the eyelids. In a typical procedure, the incisions are made following the natural lines of the skin. The scars will be hidden inside the hair and within the normal folds of your skin, in the places where a change of area is observed, that is, at the edge of the hairline, or in the case of the area of the ears. , on the edge where the face ends and the ear begins. (put on the lifting schemes) Generally, the incisions begin at the line of the scalp on the temples, extend with a natural line towards the front of the ear (or just inside) of the cartilage towards the front of your ear), and continues behind the ear towards the lower area of the scalp. If it is necessary to work on the neck, a small incision can also be made below the chin. After surgery, a small, thin tube may be placed under the skin for 24 to 48 hours behind the ear to drain blood that may accumulate there. After surgery your head will be covered with bandages at the level of the cheeks, leaving your face uncovered, to minimize bruising and inflammation.
Generally, there is no significant discomfort after surgery; If there is, we will prescribe a medication for pain, of the type of classical anti-inflammatories. If you feel severe or persistent pain or an immediate inflammation of your face, you should call us immediately. We will give you a series of instructions to follow, such as keeping your head elevated and as fixed as possible for a couple of days after surgery. It helps to reduce inflammation and bruising, which varies from person to person, reaching its maximum level during the first week and will gradually disappear in the following weeks. If a drainage tube has been inserted, it will be removed one or two days after the surgery. The bandage is usually removed after one to three days. Do not be surprised if you see that your face is pale, with bruises or with small inflamed with the moment you start to look better and better.
Returning to normal
In one or two days you should already be standing and doing your normal tasks, however plan to perform light tasks for the first week after surgery. Be especially gentle with your face and hair, as your skin will be sensitive to pain and numb. We will give you specific instructions to gradually continue with your normal activities. Among the suggestions we will give you are: avoid strenuous activities, including sexual activity and heavy housework for at least two weeks (it is okay to walk or stretch slightly); avoid alcohol, smoke and be in closed areas in contact with smokers, steam baths and saunas for several weeks. You may be somewhat hypersensitive for a few weeks, therefore it will be advisable to use sun glasses, and sunscreen for the times when you are away from home. At first, your face may look and feel a bit strange. Most patients return to work after ten days. If necessary, some makeup can be used to cover any bruises that may remain.
Your new look
The scars tend to be imperceptible very soon, in less than two months, your face will look pretty close to the final result. You should remember that scarring is a gradual process and in some cases the scars may look pink for a few months before they clear up to a fine white line. After the surgery you will present a fresher and rejuvenated face to the world, keeping your own features.