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Reconstructive Surgery

Facelift or Rhytidectomy

As we age, our facial skin loosens and wrinkles, and the muscles of the neck may weaken as well. The effects of gravity, sun exposure, stress of day to day life, weight fluctuations, heredity reasons makes the the skin to lose elasticity. A facelift (technically known as rhytidectomy) set back the clock,improving the most visible signs of aging by removing excess fat, tightening underlying muscles, and re draping the skin of your face and neck. A facelift can be done alone, or in conjunction with other procedures such as a forehead lift, eyelid surgery, or nose reshaping.

A facelift restores smoother, more pleasing contours to your face and neck. A facelift can address these problems by firming and tightening the skin of the face and neck all in one step. It is most effective for the lower face (jowls and neck). A double chin can be improved at the same time by a surgical procedure called supplemental lipectomy. To effect a more complete facial rejuvenation, facelifts are frequently done in conjunction with other procedures such as upper eyelid blepharoplasty and lower eyelid blepharoplasty.

Contrary to popular opinion, the texture of the skin will not be changed by a facelift. Acne scars, age spots, fine lines and smokers creases will soon return to their original texture, no matter how tight the skin is pulled. A facelift will not give someone beautiful skin unless they have beautiful skin to begin with.However, skin treatments such as laser resurfacing or chemical resurfacing can be used in combination with a facelift to improve the texture of the skins and smooth skin wrinkles.

In evaluating you for facelift surgery, your plastic surgeon will assess the thickness, texture and elasticity of your skin, and the severity of wrinkles and folds. Your hairline will be examined to determine where incisions can be discreetly placed. All of these factors, as well as your bone structure and underlying tissues, will be considered in developing an individual surgical plan.

The procedure is to tighten the SMAS layer over the cheek and jawline region. This layer of tough tissue covers the facial muscles and is what the drooping fat sits upon. By pulling it taught, the dropping fat is lifted back into a youthful position, restoring the cheekbone and jawline. The incisions will usually begin at the temples (in the hair) and extend down inside your ear, behind the earlobe and around the back into the scalp.

Following a facelift, patients will usually go to a private overnight care facility for the first night after surgery. Drains are no longer needed because of the use of fibrin glue. Dressings are removed the next day and you may shower and shampoo your hair then. Bruising and swelling are minimal. There is usually minimal pain that is easily controlled with medication. You are able to drive and resume work within 1 or 2 weeks. Exercise will need to be curtailed for up to 2 weeks.

At the beginning, your face may look and feel rather strange. Your features may be distorted from the swelling, your facial movements may be slightly stiff and you'll probably be self-conscious about your scars. Some bruising may persist for two or three weeks, and you may tire easily. It's not surprising that some patients are disappointed and depressed at first.

By the third week, you'll look and feel much better. Most patients are back at work about ten days to two weeks after surgery. If you need it, special camouflage makeup can mask most bruising that remains.

The chances are excellent that you'll be happy with your facelift-especially if you realize that the results may not be immediately apparent. Even after the swelling and bruises are gone, the hair around your temples may be thin and your skin may feel dry and rough for several months. Men may find they have to shave in new places-behind the neck and ears-where areas of beard- growing skin have been repositioned.

You'll have some scars from your facelift, but they're usually hidden by your hair or in the natural creases of your face and ears. In any case, they'll fade within time and should be scarcely visible.

Please keep in mind that even after facelift, your face will continue to age with time, and you may want to repeat the procedure one or more times-perhaps five or ten years down the line. But in another sense, the effects of even one facelift are lasting; years later, you'll continue to look better than if you'd never had a facelift at all.

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