What to Expect on the Day of Your Facelift Procedure

Facelift procedure

Written by Michelle

October 4, 2021

Are you considering a facelift procedure? You are not alone. There has been a 70% increase in virtual consultations for cosmetic procedures. 

There are many reasons why more people are considering cosmetic procedures such as facelifts. Some people choose to have facelifts to change the appearance of ageing, while others want to tighten and contour their faces.

Whatever your reason, it is essential to know about the procedure to make an informed decision. Here is everything you need to know about what to expect with a facelift procedure and how to prepare for a facelift.

What Is a Facelift?

A facelift, which is technically known as a rhytidectomy, reverses the visible appearance of ageing. It is a cosmetic surgical procedure. 

It helps firm sagging skin, folds in your cheeks, and excess skin at your lower jawline. It also addresses issues around the neck, such as excess fat and sagging skin. A facelift procedure can also reduce wrinkles and fine lines as a facelift tightens facial tissues too. 

Types of Facelift

There is not just one type of facelift procedure. Surgical advancements continue to be made, which means there are different types of facelifts available. It also means that facelifts are one of the cosmetic procedures that are becoming more popular each year. 

For example, you can have a mini-facelift that makes incisions to tighten skin and remove excess tissue. It is an excellent option to tackle the appearance of ageing early on before it becomes more pronounced. 

A full facelift is when the surgeon lifts all of your main facial features. This includes your forehead, eyebrows, neck, jaw, and eyes. It is a long-lasting facelift and can provide dramatic results, but you need more recovery time. 

There are also facelift procedures that refer to the type of incision made, such as the S Lift. This is a less-invasive facelift that limits the length of the incision. It is a mini-lift facelift but with a specific incision style, which looks like an S-shape. 

An S-lift is a popular facelift because of the short surgery duration, natural results, and short recovery period. It also has fewer risks, such as less risk of scarring, hair loss, or facial nerve injury. However, if you pick a reputable surgeon with experience and positive reviews, risks are also reduced.

What to Expect During Surgery

A facelift procedure has different steps. On average, it can take two to five hours. 

It is likely after the first step; you will not remember much of anything about your surgery. Your exact facelift procedure will depend on your anatomy, goals, the type of procedure, and the surgeon. 

1. Anesthetic 

Surgeons either use general anaesthetic or intravenous (IV) sedation to make their surgery more comfortable. Both are safe forms of anaesthetic. 

A general anaesthetic is used when you are unconscious, and your airway is protected by a breathing tube. You will not notice what is going on around you, and it often feels like you have been asleep once you wake up from surgery.

IV sedation is also called conscious or twilight sedation. You may have a sense of time or hear sounds, whereas other patients do not remember anything. However, you are less likely to experience side effects such as nausea or tiredness after IV sedation.

The type of anaesthetic you receive depends on your needs and the type of facelift procedure. Your surgeon will be able to advise you on this.

2. Incision

It depends on what facelift procedure you have for how the incision is done, such as the S lift. The S lift starts at your temple, making an S-shape around the front and back of your ear. It focuses on the lower part of your face. 

A full facelift starts incisions around the temple, then the ears, and the neck. The surgeon may redistribute or remove fat. Deeper layers of tissue and muscle are lifted and repositioned as required. 

Then, your skin is laid over the lifted facial tissues, with your excess skin removed. The result is a youthful and smoother face. 

3. Sealing Incisions

After the facelift is done, the surgeon has to close the incisions. You may receive stitches (sutures), which need to be removed, or they dissolve on their own. Sometimes surgeons close incisions with skin glues too.

Your surgeon will seal incisions in a way that conceals them well on your face. For example, the S lift can follow facial contours and hairline incisions are also easily concealed. 

4. Recovery

Usually, you are ready to go home on the same day as surgery. However, you will need time to recover. The surgeon will apply bandages and sometimes a drain under the skin behind your ear to remove excess fluids and blood.

You will have instructions on how long this will last and how to manage aftercare. You will likely have some bruising and discomfort that will last for around one to two weeks. 

How to Prepare for Your Facelift Procedure

Your surgeon will advise specific steps to take for how to prepare for a facelift. However, generally, you may have to adjust some prescription medications and stop smoking. You should also address logistics for your surgery, such as who will help you, pick you up, and prepare meals before the facelift procedure day. 

On the days leading up to the surgery, take time to hydrate and relax. Dress comfortably and in clothes that are easy to take off without going over your head. If someone can take you to the appointment, it will save you hassle with logistics, as you cannot drive afterwards. 

Enjoy Your Facelift 

Before you know it, you will be able to enjoy the results of your facelift procedure! Whether you pick a full facelift or a mini facelift, it remains the case that these procedures are some of the best ways to reduce the appearance of ageing.  

Are you interested in learning more about the facelift procedure? Dr Aslam has been trained in surgery for over ten years and is currently President of the British Association of Cosmetic Surgeons (BACS). Contact Dr Aslam today to start your facelift journey. 

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