The process of a face lift operation
Face lift surgery can be done under general anesthesia or under so-called analgosedation, which is a combination of analgesics (painkillers) and sedatives. Most surgeons prefer this type of anesthesia but when deciding which type of anesthesia to use it depends on the patient. No matter what type of anesthesia will be used, people are requested not to eat, drink or smoke for a minimum of six hours before the surgery. The patient must also plan for a minimum one day stay in hospital.
Facelift - the surgery
Facial skin separation
A facelift usually takes 1.5 to 3 hours; if you're having more than one procedure done, it can take longer. For extensive procedures, most surgeons prefer to schedule two separate sessions.
Every surgeon approaches the procedure in his or her own way. The exact placement of incisions and the sequence of events depends on your surgeon's technique, although in most cases it doesn’t vary that much.
The incision usually begins above the hairline at the temples, extends in a natural line just inside the cartilage at the front of the ear, and continues behind the earlobe to the lower scalp. If the neck needs work, a small incision may also be made under the chin.
The surgeon gently loosens the skin around the temples and neck, and after an exact measurement he/she removes the excess. In case of a deeper fat layer, especially around the neck and chin, the procedure may be combined with a gentle liposuction. For a long lasting result it is necessary to tighten the subdermal musculoaponeurotic system tzv. SMAS lifting as well as the skin. The incisions are usually closed with intradermal absorbable sutures.
Under the skin of the neck and cheeks a drain may be placed on both sides. The drain will collect any liquid in order to prevent its accumulation which could significantly complicate the healing process. At the end of the surgery the surgeon usually uses an elastic bandage to fix the area of cheeks and neck.
Facial skin lifting