With age, the skin on the face and neck tends to lose elasticity, which gradually creates wrinkles around the eyelids, forehead, and on each side of the mouth. Pouches may develop along the jaw line and additional folds my form over the front part of the neck, forming what is commonly known as the "double chin".
A facelift (rhytidectomy) performed to diminish the changes of aging in the face and neck region. It entails lifting and removing the excess skin of the face, neck and temple region.
Other procedures can be performed at the same time enhancing desired results. A submental lipectomy or submental liposuction may be needed to remove excess fat under the chin. Other complementary surgeries include plastic surgery of the eyelids and forehead which will further reduce wrinkles in this area. If fine lines remain following the surgery a chemical peel may be required to eliminate these fine lines.
A face lift begins with an incision in the temple region near the hairline, above and in front of the ear. This incision extends down in front of the ear, around the ear lobe, up behind the ear, and back into the hair of the scalp. Working from this incision, the skin is released out into the temples, cheeks and neck. The underlying muscle and connective tissues are repositioned and excess skin and fat are removed. Occasionally, a small incision is made under the chin to aid in this correction and to enhance satisfaction following surgery. The skin edges are sutured, these scare are well hidden in the face and surrounding the hair line. Rhytidectomies usually take anywhere between two hours and four hours. When it is finished, a bulky dressing is applied and the patient is admitted to the recovery area.
Most patients report minimal pain following the surgery. The surgeon will still prescribe medication to keep you comfortable. Swelling and bruising is unavoidable, to some degree. You surgeon will instruct you to use cold compresses to keep swelling to a minimum. If a dressing has been applied, it will be removed within a couple of days of surgery. The surgeon will also instruct you to keep your head elevated while lying down, to avoid as much activity as possible, and to report and discomfort.
Recovery usually takes two to three weeks, although many patients are able to return back to work within two weeks.
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