When the skin of the cheeks, jawline, and neck become loose and wrinkled, facial features can lose definition, making a person look older than they feel. Facelift surgery, available at our Gold Coast practice in Queensland or Ballina practice in New South Wales, can make the skin in these areas smoother and tighter, resulting in a contoured and more youthful appearance.
- What is a facelift?
- Who is a candidate?
- What can you expect after the operation?
- What are the potential risks?
- Pre-operative Instructions
- Post-operative Instructions
What is a facelift?
A facelift is a surgical procedure designed to result in a more rested and youthful appearance to the face and neck. The procedure is customised to suit your individual requirements and may range from a mini- facelift to a standard facelift with the addition of other procedures such as a brow lift, blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), or rhinoplasty (nose surgery). It is very much a matter of what concerns you and designing a way to address that concern in the best possible way.
The operation is performed under general anaesthesia and can be performed as an inpatient or on a day surgery basis.
The facelift incision is made behind the hairline and above the ear, extending down behind the ear, where it will be easily hidden in the hair. The neck muscles are tightened, the facial skin is lifted and re-positioned, and the excess is trimmed away. In some cases an incision under the chin is added to further address neck laxity.
The final result is evident in 4 to 6 weeks or sooner with continued improvement for several months.
Who is a candidate?
If you are considering having a facelift, schedule a consultation at our Gold Coast practice in Queensland to determine whether or not you are a good candidate. If you have experienced a loss of skin elasticity and muscle tone of the face and neck or have developed facial and neck wrinkles you may benefit from a facelift. The surgery can reduce the appearance of jowls and deep creases between the base of the nose and the corner of the mouth, restore or create a youthful chin and neck contours, and improve a tired facial appearance.
The results of a facelift can often be greatly improved by the addition of other procedures such as lip augmentation, eyelid surgery, brow surgery, or laser skin resurfacing. As mentioned previously, the procedure needs to be customised to your exact needs to get the results you desire.
What can you expect after the operation?
A facelift is a surprisingly painless operation with oral medication easily controlling the discomfort.
You will have bandages around your head and drain tubes present when you awake from your operation. These will be removed at 48 hours.
Sutures are removed over the first 10 days and swelling decreases to socially acceptable levels during the first three weeks.
Depending on the type and number of procedures undergone there will be varying degrees of numbness, tingling, tightness, and swelling as nerves regenerate and muscles normalise.
What are the potential risks?
Any surgical procedure involves a certain amount of risk. Although facelift surgery is safe, there is always the potential for certain complications, such as infection, severe bruising, or damage to nerves. Dr. Craig Layt provides each patient with a list of pre- and post-operative instructions that will reduce the chances of complication and encourage a speedy recovery.
Specific Pre-operative Instructions
WASHING: Wash the evening prior to surgery and the day of surgery paying particular attention to the area to be operated on including behind the ears. This decreases the bacterial count and should decrease the risks of infection.
HAIR: Wash your hair the evening prior to surgery. If you have long hair it should be tied up in a pony tail using a simple elastic band. This will keep it out of the way during surgery and make dressings easier to apply.
FASTING: You should have nothing to eat or drink for 6 hours before your operation. If you are required to take medication during this time please speak with your physician to check if this can be taken before the 6 hour fasting period or after your procedure.
PRODUCTS: Do not apply moisturisers, make-up, perfume/deodorant, nail polish or hair products after washing. Remove all jewellery.
CLOTHING: Wear loose, comfortable clothing and footwear. A shirt with a button or zipper opening is ideal for removal
MEDICATION: If you are having the operation as a day case, you will be given a script for antibiotics and pain relief tablets that you will need to purchase from the chemist and bring with you on the day of your procedure. Do not take these prior to surgery. The nursing staff will advise you and your carer after your procedure on how to administer them.
Certain over the counter products and prescription medicines can cause complications before and after surgery. They can reduce the ability of your blood to clot and could increase your tendency to bleed during and after surgery. Do not take any medication containing or related to aspirin 2 weeks prior to your procedure. This includes NSAID’S, anti-Inflammatory medications, Advil, Nurofen, Disprin, Aspro, Ibuprofen, Voltaren, Mobic Celebrex, Cartia, Plavix, Iscover, Astrix, Cardiprin, Warfarin. *This is not an all inclusive list*.
Also avoid Vitamin E supplements and red wine. Stop all herbal medications before surgery. The most common herbs used are Echinacea, Ephedra, Garlic, Ginseng, Ginkogo, Kava, St. John’s Wort, and Valerian. They may adversely effect anesthetic drugs, prolong bleeding and impair healing after surgery. Please consult your physician before ceasing any medication.
SMOKING: Smoking increases the risks of complications significantly and should be ceased 6-8 weeks prior to surgery.
ADMINISTRATION: Unfortunately, paperwork is a necessary evil. Each theatre complex has its own procedures. We have attempted to make it all easy by providing a simple series of steps to follow titled “THINGS TO DO FOR YOUR PROCEDURE” specific to the surgery center you are attending. Please follow these instructions. If you have any queries about this or anything else don’t hesitate to contact us on 55974100.
Specific Post-operative Instructions
POSITION: Keeping your head elevated as much as possible will help to reduce the postoperative swelling. If you can, sleep on two or three pillows to keep your head above the level of your heart.
DRESSINGS: The bulky dressing placed at the time of surgery puts some pressure on the areas operated on and helps soak up any external drainage of normally occurring serum and blood. If the dressing is too tight or causes pain, please call us at (07) 5597 4100. You may be instructed to cut part way or completely through the portion of dressing under the chin. This will usually relieve the discomfort. Removing the entire dressing will not cause any problems, in the unlikely event that this seems to be necessary. We remove the bulky dressing 48 hours after the surgery. After that, there are no more dressings. You may shower and shampoo your hair the day after the drains are removed.
WOUND CARE: A tube of Chloromycetin antibiotic ointment (sometimes labelled eye ointment) will be supplied. The ointment is applied to wounds using a thin smear of the ointment. Continue use until tube is finished. Thereafter Vaseline will suffice.
DRAINS: On each side of your face, a small drain will be placed under the skin and brought out through a small incision made behind your ear. These drains evacuate the fluid that accumulates after surgery and enable you to heal faster.
BLEEDING: Small amounts of oozing and bleeding after surgery are normal. The bulky dressing may be stained and the size of the stain may enlarge after you go home – this is normal. If serious bleeding occurs, apply pressure and call us. Bleeding under the skin flaps that causes serious swelling and discomfort is very uncommon, but if it does occur, it requires attention and evaluation by Dr Layt. Call us at (07) 5597 4100 immediately.
SUTURES: The sutures in front of your ears will be removed 4 – 6 days after surgery. If you have had an incision made under your chin, those sutures also will be removed 4 – 6 days after surgery. The staples within the hair and the sutures behind the ear are removed 9 – 12 days after surgery.
SUNSCREEN AND MAKEUP: It is imperative that your scars be protected from the sun for a good 6 months after surgery. Use a sunscreen with a skin-protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 at all times. It should be applied before your makeup. You may begin applying makeup 2 days after your sutures are removed. An appointment will be made several weeks prior to surgery (preferably at least 6 weeks) for a skin consultation and advice on pre operative skin treatments. We provide this service to help you maximise the benefits of your “new look.”
TED STOCKINGS: You may be required to wear TED stockings for compression to prevent DVT (blood clotting) post-operatively. If required these will be fitted at the hospital on your admission day. The nursing staff will advise you on how long you need to wear these for.
MEDICATION: Take your pain relief and anti-biotic medication as directed. Any medication you ceased prior to surgery must not be taken after your surgery until you are completely healed or as directed by your physician.
HAIR CARE: After a face lift, most patients experience a temporary change in the texture and manageability of their hair. Your hair is reacting to the “shock” of surgery and will recover naturally within 6 weeks. If you colour or perm your hair, plan to have it done at least a week before surgery or wait until 6 weeks afterwards for the best results. Your hair will be a little “lifeless” during that period of time.
WASHING: 48 hours after surgery or 24 hours after the drains have been removed, you may wash your hair. You may prefer to have your hairdresser wash it for you. In either case, a hair dryer, if used at all, should be kept on the lowest heat setting, as your scalp may be partially numb.
LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE: You may require Lymphatic drainage appointments. These appointments are complimentary treatments with our Para Medical Aesthetician or Nurse. Each appointment will take approximately 1 hour.
To learn more about what a facelift can do, contact our Gold Coast practice in Queensland today. We can answer your questions or help you schedule a consultation with Dr. Craig Layt on the Gold Coast or in Ballina.
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