With the natural aging process, the facial contour loses its firmness. If you noticed that your eyebrows look droopy, the cheekbones seem lower, the wrinkles between the nose and the mouth are more and more visible, and the jaws look sagging, then it is time for a facelift!

What is facial lifting?

Facial lifting - facial rejuvenation - is a surgery that aims to improve the appearance of the face by eliminating some of the premature aging signs. Aging causes the skin to lose its elasticity, the cheeks to lose their suppleness and drop, and the harmonious contours of the face to be less visible due to saggy skin.

Types of facial lifting procedures

There are several types of facelift surgery techniques, depending on the level of tissue laxity. The type of surgery varies from minimally invasive interventions to extensive, sophisticated procedures.

Here are some of the most common facelift procedures:

  • Mini lifting
  • MACS lift (facelift + suspension wires)
  • SMAS lifting
  • Total facial lifting (Deep plane face lifting)
Facial lifting – The surgery

The facelift surgery is performed with the patient under general anesthesia, and its duration is of 4-5 hours, depending on the complexity of the chosen techniques. The incision is made at the level of the sideburns, descends in front of the ear, then under the lobe of the ear, and goes to the back of the head. The skin along with the underlying fat and muscle tissues are elevated. Excess skin is removed, and the wounds are sutured with fine threads to get a scar as small and invisible as possible.

In some cases, a drainage tube is left postoperatively for up to 72 hours to minimize the risk of a hematoma (collection of blood under the skin). A facelift is usually performed in conjunction with a neck lift. Other procedures that can be performed at the same time include, a browlift, upper or lower eyelift (blepharoplasty), and a lip lift. This allows for a complete rejuvenation of the entire face, and thus a more natural and refreshed overall outcome.

Since the facelift intervention can sometimes take quite a long time to perform delicately, the patient may need to spend one night in the hospital after the intervention. It is recommended to have someone with you at home during the first 24 to 48 hours post-op. The facial plastic surgeon will prescribe antibiotics, analgesia and anti-anxiety medications following surgery.

Facial lifting – Risks

Facial lifting is a complex plastic surgery intervention requiring a thorough understanding of the anatomy of the face and a keen eye for detail, so it is recommended to have an experienced facial plastic surgeon performing the procedure. In addition to the complications that are common to any other type of surgical intervention (hematoma, seroma, and infection), skin necrosis or facial nerve damage may occur (very rarely).

Pre-surgery instructions for facial lifting patients
  • Do not eat or drink anything from midnight the night before surgery
  • One week before surgery, stop taking aspirin or other medications that may affect blood clotting
  • Do tell your surgeon if you have any medical problems (blood pressure, vascular disease, diabetes, epilepsy, allergies to various drugs, etc.),
  • Avoid smoking at least 3 months before surgery
  • Avoid sun exposure one week before the surgery
  • Don't go on a calorie restrictive diet before surgery as this might affect the recovery process.
Post-surgery instructions after a facial lifting procedure

After the facelift intervention, the face will be swollen, bruised and will feel quite tight. A compressive head dressing will be applied immediately after the surgery to minimize excessive swelling and bruising. Bruising and swelling disappear without any additional treatment within the first few weeks post-op.

Most patients experience only mild pain during the recovery period. After the initial 24hours only minimal basic analgesia is required.

Patients should avoid sun exposure, as well as excessive cold during the recovery period.

What is the best age to get a facelift?

The facelift intervention can be performed on both men and women between the ages of 40 and 70 years old. When it comes to plastic surgery interventions, it’s rarely about the age of the patient, but mostly about the health and emotional condition and the realistic expectations they have.

Even younger people (in their 30s, for example) can be confronted with facial contour issues at the level of the chin, jaw and neck due to various causes (including the genetic predisposition). These patients can also benefit from the face lift procedure.

Good skin tone and bone structure are essential to get the best possible results after a face lift intervention. Eliminating excess skin, lifting facial muscles, getting rid of wrinkles from the neck and cheeks restores the harmony of the facial features and improves the overall look of the patient.

You are eligible for a facelift if you have:

  1. Sagging skin on the central and lower area of the face
  2. A tired looking face (even when you waking up in the morning)
  3. Sagging cheeks
  4. Fat deposits and wrinkles at the level of the neck and a "double chin" or "turkey neck."

Final words

The natural passing of time, environmental conditions, and our lifestyles, all leave their mark at the level of the skin, especially on the face. If you want to erase the signs of aging from your face and look a decade (or two!) younger, then maybe you should look into the face lift surgery.

Patients undergoing the face lift surgery want results that they can enjoy for as long as possible. The results achieved with the facelift surgery can be sustained for longer if you avoid excessive sun exposure, smoking and other factors that are often associated with premature signs of aging. Keep in mind that it’s also up to you to sustain the youthful appearance for longer.