Facelift – Rhytidectomy
Tightening of facial features
Rejuvenation in the facial area
In the face and neck, the natural ageing process leads to the formation of wrinkles and sagging cheeks, which are not beneficial to a person's appearance.
The skin loses its elasticity and subcutaneous muscular tissue slackens.
A facelift will make you look younger and more radiant, and you will probably also feel younger. Whether and at what age you have a facelift done will depend entirely on how you feel about it personally.
What results can be achieved?
A facelift will tighten your skin and subcutaneous tissue and improve your appearance. While a facelift cannot stop the skin's ageing process, the signs of ageing can be put back by around 10 years. My goal is to achieve a natural and relaxed appearance.
In order to preserve your natural facial expressions, you will still have some tiny wrinkles even after the procedure. If all the wrinkles were to be rigorously smoothed out, this would give you a mask-like appearance. Here, the skill and experience of the plastic surgeon are crucial to the success of the operation. Usually, minor adjuvant interventions are also carried out during a facelift operation so as to optimize the overall result – these include e.g. transfer of the person's own fat to build up the cheek bones and the cheeks and where necessary to fill deep cheek wrinkles.
Forms of anaesthesia
The procedure is performed as an inpatient procedure, and in exceptional cases also on an outpatient basis. The use of general anaesthetic means that both you as the patient and I as the plastic surgeon will have the calm necessary for the 3 to 4 hours of "precision work". Limited minor procedures such as a mini-facelift can also be carried out as outpatient procedures under local anaesthetic and with sedation.
How should I prepare for the operation?
For a period of 14 days before the operation you should not take any painkillers (such as e.g. aspirin) and should avoid smoking and alcohol.
If you wear your hair very short, it would be advantageous to let it grow a little longer so as to be able to conceal the surgical scars, which will be visible initially.
What happens during the operation?
Depending on what part of the face is to be lifted and tightened, a distinction is made between a temple lift, a cheek lift, a neck lift and a mid-face lift.
Under anaesthesia, the incisions you will have discussed with me in advance will be made. Incidentally, it is not necessary for the hair to be shaved before the procedure. The normal incision runs from the temple hairs about 5 cm behind the hairline, passes in front of the ear and ends in the neck behind the ears. The skin is detached from the underlying tissue along the line of the incision and the connective tissue beneath the skin, the slackened muscles and sagging pads of fat are tightened. Fine sutures fix the sagging connective tissue and the muscles in their original position. The lines in the facial region (nasolabial folds) and the cheeks are often cushioned with a person's own fat. The remaining wrinkles can also be smoothed by means of peeling. After the edges of the wound have been closed with intracutaneous sutures, you will sometimes have two drains inserted and be given a head bandage for about 24 hours. In total, the surgery lasts for about 3 to 5 hours. A MACS lift involves a short incision from which the fascia of the facial muscles is anchored by three suture loops to the firm cheekbone and temple structure. The recovery period here is shorter than in the case of a conventional facelift.
What happens after the operation?
After the operation, your skin will be taut and swollen. Bruising in the area of the cheeks and under the chin and a slight feeling of numbness in the face area are completely normal. You will not generally have any pain. The initial swellings will recede after 8-10 days. The residual swelling will persist for about 2-3 weeks. Patients in employment can go back to work after 14 days. Self-employed people normally start work again after just a week. In cases where the neck has also been tightened, it will be necessary to wear a compression bandage for a week.
What risks do I need to be aware of?
If you suffer from allergies (to medications or care products) or other illnesses, it is imperative that you inform us of these. If you bruise easily or suffer persistent bleeding after minor injuries, we need to conduct laboratory tests before the operation to rule out the possibility of a clotting disorder.
What follow-up treatment is required?
You will be back to feeling normal just a few days after the operation.
The bandage will usually be taken off and the drainage tubes taken out after 1-2 days and the sutures can generally be removed after 10 to 14 days.
The length of time until complete regeneration will vary according to the predisposition of the individual patient. After the operation, you should allow yourself at least 5 to 7 days of rest. Direct sunlight should be strictly avoided for a period of 4 weeks. Thereafter, it is recommended that you apply sunscreen with a high UV protection factor to the scar area for several weeks. You can usually resume all your normal sporting activities after 4 weeks.