Facelifts (rhytidectomy) and neck lifts (lower rhytidectomy) are surgical procedures that improve the visible signs of aging in the face and neck.
As individuals age their skin and structural tissues of the face and neck gradually lose tone, at the same time the underlying bone and fat of the face lose volume. In combination these changes create an aged appearance.
Typical aged changes include:
Face and neck aging is the result of a number of factors, such as family genetics, smoking, sun damage, stress, weight loss or gain, and individual physical characteristics.
There are a number of surgical options can be offered depending on individual characteristics, such as:
Individuals are good candidates for surgery if they are healthy non-smokers and do not have conditions or take medicines that may impair healing. Individuals need to have realistic expectations and understand that face and neck lifts will rejuvenate their appearance but will not change their personal look. They will also be aware that aging is an ongoing process and their rejuvenated post-surgical appearance will change with time.
To start, at your pre surgical consultation you will meet Chris Porter and together discuss your personal goals, medical health and previous treatments, surgery and anaesthesia. A list of your current medications is required but you do not need a referral from your family doctor. Your facial characteristics will be examined and explained to you. At the end of the consultation you will have discussed:
You will also have the opportunity to satisfy any nervousness or personal concerns, you should be comfortable discussing your feelings during the consultation. Remember, your individual goals are specific to you but are also commonly experienced by other plastic surgery patients.
On the day of surgery you will be admitted to the hospital where you will be assessed by the Anaesthetist who may administer medication to settle any pre-surgical nervousness. Chris Porter will perform pre-surgical markings and take photographs for your personal file. Following this, you will be transferred to the operating room where you will meet the surgical team and then your general anaesthetic will be started. While you are asleep under the anaesthetic your surgery will be performed and you will be given pain relief medication so you are comfortable when you wake up following the anaesthetic. Following completion of your surgery and anaesthetic you will be transferred to the ward where the nurses will keep you comfortable and guide your recovery. Typically you will have a two day hospital stay and on discharge you will be provided with pain relief medication, instructions to optimise your recovery, and post-operative appointments.
You will have some post-surgical bruising, swelling and discomfort which will subside towards the end of the first week. Following discharge from hospital you should not drive or return to work during the first week after surgery. During this time you need to rest at home with your head elevated to minimise swelling, bruising and as well as optimising your wound healing. Your dressings are sufficiently waterproof to allow showering from the first day after your surgery. You will be able to gently wash your face at this stage, however you cannot wear make-up until after your stitches have been removed at your first follow up appointment about one week after surgery. I suggest you wait at least three weeks after surgery before you have your hair cut or coloured. General activity is limited to gentle walking for the first four weeks.
Surgery is performed under a general anaesthetic and usually requires one or two nights in hospital to allow recovery. Post-operatively, pain typically is minimal and easily controlled with simple forms of pain relief such as Paracetamol and Ibuprofen. Following discharge from hospital you will require a period of time resting at home with your head elevated to minimise swelling, bruising and optimise wound healing.
Towards the end of the first week the majority of the bruising and swelling has subsided and sutures are removed at this point. Make up can then be applied and patients can start to move in their normal social manner. Return to work and driving is expected during the second week post-operatively.
Patients who are healthy and have realistic expectations about what the surgery can achieve are suitable for face and neck lift surgery. There are a number of face and neck lift techniques and these are individualised to each patient’s specific characteristics and needs. It is important that your face and neck lift surgery is performed by a Plastic Surgeon who is well versed in all face lift techniques.