While having a good skin care regimen can improve the appearance of your skin, there’s no miracle cure from a bottle to reverse signs of ageing permanently. However, facelift surgery can help you roll back the clock, leaving you looking years younger than you are.
Our bodies manifest signs of aging in many ways. Age can affect our cognitive abilities, mobility and physical appearance. Genetics and lifestyle choices, such as self-hygiene, diet and exercise, can impact how we look as the years go by. However, we have very little control over the toll gravity can take on our bodies, and more specifically, our faces.
Gravity and the elements, such as the sun, tend to leave behind the earliest signs of aging. If you’re looking for ways to restore your appearance, you may be considering facelift surgery.
Here’s a rundown of the key things you need to know about facelift surgery.
What Are Signs That I May Benefit from Undergoing a Facelift?
Your skin loses its elasticity as you age. Sun damage, stress, genetics, smoking, fluctuations in weight and gravity can also cause you to lose that filled-in, contoured facial look of your youth. The natural aging process may lead you to notice:
Deeper fine lines around your mouth and nose
A loosening or hanging of skin around your chin and neck
Sagging skin that takes the appearance of jowls around along your cheeks and lower jaw
A facelift aims to improve the appearance of your face and neck. Many individuals opt to undergo a forehead or brow lift and eyelid surgery in conjunction with their facelift to address the additional signs of aging around their eyes.
Is There An Ideal Age to Have a Facelift?
It used to be that people waited until their 60’s to have facelifts. American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) research shows that facelift patients’ ages are decreasing though. A 2019 study revealed that most facelift patients are under 54-years-old.
Today, it’s increasingly popular for patients to undergo mini facelifts in their 40s and 50s. Patients who undergo mini facelifts generally want to turn back the clock five to ten years, which is more easily accomplished via an in-office, minimally invasive procedure. Recovery time is generally minimal for mini facelift patients, too.
Patients in their 60s generally come to a plastic surgeon once significant signs of aging have set in, and they are looking to take 20 years off their appearance. Achieving such a stark difference in appearance requires doctors to use more invasive surgical techniques, resulting in longer recovery times.
While anyone 40 and up can benefit from a facelift, undergoing them gradually – and early on, can help you achieve a more natural look. Trying to reduce your appearance by decades during a single plastic surgery session is not only a far more drastic step to take, it’s also a lot more obvious for those who want to try and keep their surgery private.
What Does a Facelift Entail?
A facelift only addresses the bottom two-thirds of a patient’s face and generally involves a few different procedures, including:
The cutting away of excess skin
Smoothing areas where fine lines or wrinkles are present
Re-tightening facial tissues
Patients may undergo a brow lift simultaneous to their facelift to address the upper one-third areas of their face, such as their forehead, glabella (the area between the eyebrows and just above the nose) and eye area.
If you opt to undergo a hairline brow lift in addition to your facelift, then your surgeon will likely place their incision between your hairline and forehead. Your surgeon will then cut away excess skin and tissue from the upper portion of your forehead. This helps restore your eyebrows to their original position while smoothing out lines around your eyes.
What Results Should You Expect After a Facelift?
You can expect your recovery after a facelift to last anywhere between two weeks up to a month. You’ll need to visit your surgeon’s office a few days post-op for a check-up so that they can remove your sutures, and go back for periodic follow-up appointments as deemed necessary by the doctor.
You’ll likely need to wait at least a month after your surgery to return to normal activities such as exercising. Your doctor will let you know when you can return to life as normal based on how well you’re recovering. Each patient’s body heals at a different pace.
According to the ASPS, facelift patients may experience the following residual symptoms for up to a year post-op: numbness, bruising, swelling, tightness. Note, no one else should notice these residual effects but you.
Ultimately your facelift should allow you to achieve a refreshed look that many people associate with a carefree, healthy, well-rested and youthful appearance.
Who Makes For a Good Facelift Patient?
As with any elective surgery, someone keen to receive a facelift must be in relatively good health. Your plastic surgeon may be unwilling to operate on you if they have reason to believe that your facelift or any other cosmetic procedure could potentially result in an adverse outcome.
A heart condition, breathing problems, past issues with anaesthesia, or wound healing could unfortunately rule you out for this type of surgery.
Your surgeon may also decide that you’re not an ideal facelift candidate if you have any unhealthy habits such as smoking, as this can affect the integrity of your respiratory system (for anaesthesia purposes) and slow down the healing process.
Lastly, plastic surgeons don’t tend to operate on patients if they think that the patients expectations aren’t aligned with the results they can achieve (or are otherwise unsafe, unnecessary or unreasonable). For example, a surgeon may find it inappropriate to perform a facelift on someone in their 30s showing minimal signs of aging and instead refer them to receive fillers like Botox.
Each patient has a different medical history, facial structure and surgical outcome expectations. These, combined with lifestyle choices and age, will dictate whether they’re a good facelift candidate or not.