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Facelift (Rhytidectomy)

As people age, the effects of gravity, exposure to the sun, and the stresses of daily life can be seen in their faces. Deep creases form between the nose and mouth; the jawline grows slack and jowly; folds and fat deposits appear around the neck.

A Facelift can’t stop this aging process. What it can do is “set back the clock” improving the most visible signs of aging by removing excess fat, tightening underlying muscles, and redraping the skin of your face and neck. A Facelift can be done alone, or in conjunction with other procedures such as a Forehead Lift, Eyelid surgery, or nose reshaping.

The Best Candidates for a Facelift

The best candidate for a Facelift is a man or woman whose face and neck have begun to sag, but whose skin still has some elasticity and whose bone structure is strong and well-defined. Most patients are in their forties to sixties, but Facelifts can be done successfully on people in their seventies or eighties as well.

Planning Your Surgery

Facelifts are very individualised procedures. In your initial consultation Mr Klein he will evaluate your face, including the skin and underlying bone, and discuss your goals for the surgery. Don’t hesitate to ask Mr Klein any questions you may have, especially those regarding your expectations and concerns about the results. Mr Klein will explain the procedure in detail, including the risks and limitations, the type of anesthesia that will be used, the type of facility where the surgery will be preformed and the costs involved. Be sure to tell Mr Klein if you smoke, and if you’re taking any medications, vitamins, or other drugs.

Where Your Surgery will be Performed

A Facelift may be performed in an outpatient surgery center, or a hospital.

Types of Anesthesia

Some Facelifts are performed under local anesthesia, combined with a sedative to make you drowsy. Mr Klein prefers general anesthesia and this means you will sleep through the operation.

Surgery Risk

When a Facelift is performed by a qualified plastic surgeon, complications are infrequent and usually minor. Still, individuals vary greatly in their anatomy, their physical reactions, and their healing abilities, and the outcome is never completely predictable. During your consultation the procedure will be explained in detail, including the risks and limitations.

The Facelift Surgical Procedure

A Facelift usually takes several hours or longer if you’re having more than one procedure done. Incisions usually begin above the hairline at the temples, extend in a natural line in front of the ear (or just inside the cartilage at the front of the ear) and continue behind the earlobe to the lower scalp. If the neck needs work, a small incision may also be made under the chin. In general, Mr Klein separates the skin from the fat and muscle below. Fat may be trimmed or suctioned from around the neck and chin to improve the contour. Mr Klein then tightens the underlying muscle and membrane, pulls the skin back, and removes the excess. Stitches secure the layers of tissue and close the incisions; metal clips may be used on the scalp. Following surgery, a small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin behind your ear to drain any blood that might collect there. Mr Klein may also wrap your head loosely in bandages to minimize bruising and swelling.

After Your Facelift Surgery

You may feel minor discomfort after the surgery, this can be lessened with pain medication prescribed by Mr Klein. Some numbness of the skin is quite normal; it will disappear in a few weeks or months. Mr Klein may tell you to keep your head elevated and as still as possible for a couple of days after surgery, to keep the swelling down. If you’ve had a drainage tube inserted, it will be removed one or two days after surgery. Bandages, when used, are usually removed after one to five days. Don’t be surprised at the pale, bruised, and puffy face you see. Just keep in mind that in a few weeks you’ll be looking normal. Most of your stitches will be removed after about five days. Your scalp may take longer to heal, and the stitches or metal clips in your hairline could be left in a few days longer.

Getting Back to Normal After Your Facelift

You should be up and about in a day or two, but plan on taking it easy for the first week after surgery. Be especially gentle with your face and hair, since your skin will be both tender and numb, and may not respond normally at first. At the beginning, your face may look and feel rather strange. Your features may be distorted from the swelling, your facial movements may be slightly stiff and you’ll probably be self-conscious about your scars. Some bruising may persist for two or three weeks, and you may tire easily. By the third week, you’ll look and feel much better. Most patients are back at work about ten days to two weeks after surgery. If you feel you need it, special camouflage makeup can mask most bruising that remains.

Your New Look

The chances are high that you’ll be happy with your Facelift especially if you realise that the results may not be immediately apparent. Even after the swelling and bruises are gone, the hair around your temples may be thin and your skin may feel dry and rough for several months. Men may find they have to shave in new places-behind the neck and ears-where areas of beard- growing skin have been repositioned. You’ll have some scars from your Facelift, but they’re usually hidden by your hair or in the natural creases of your face and ears. In any case, they’ll fade within time and should be scarcely visible. It’s important to remember a Facelift doesn’t stop the clock. Your face will continue to age with time, and you may want to repeat the procedure one or more times in perhaps five or ten years. But in another sense, the effects of even one Facelift are lasting; years later, you’ll continue to look better than if you’d never had a Facelift at all.


Procedure Details

A. A facelift can improve the deep cheek folds, jowls and loose, sagging skin around the neck that come with age.
B. Incisions usually begin above the hairline at the temples, follow the natural line in front of the ear, curve behind the earlobe into the crease behind the ear, and into or along the lower scalp.
C. Facial, neck tissue and muscle may be separated; fat may be trimmed or suctioned and underlying muscle may be tightened.
D. After deep tissues are tightened, the excess skin is pulled up and back, trimmed and stitched into place.
E. Most of the scars will be hidden within your hair and in the normal creases of your skin.
F. After surgery, you will have a fresher more youthful face.

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Did You Know

  • Non-surgical treatments may achieve dramatic results or enhance your surgical results.
  • Find out more

Financial Assistance for Cosmetic Surgery

  • Finance your plastic & cosmetic surgery, obesity, laser eye surgery etc from New Zealand's best specialists.
  • Nova Medical Finance