Facelift (also known as rhytidectomy) is not just about tightening facial skin but is actually a multi-component operation that involves tightening the deep muscular layer and redraping the facial skin. The aim is to restore facial shape, volumise the upper midface, tighten the jawline and contour the neck. The youthful female face has a characteristic inverted triangular shape, fullness in the cheeks and soft, bright skin.
There are a variety of facelifts, each characterised by incision length, extent of skin undermining and method by which the deep muscular layer is tightened. There is no such thing as a ‘gold-standard’ facelift and every patient must be assessed on an individual basis to determine which facelift is best for them.
Mr Karri performs a variety of facelifts and can offer the most appropriate one for you. Regardless of the technique, his philosophy is to create a natural, refreshed look that addresses all your concerns.
This lady speaks about her experience after undergoing high-SMAS facelift, necklift and upper eyelid surgery by Mr Vasu Karri.
As one part of the face changes, other areas are affected as well. In fact, the upper face usually shows signs of ageing before the lower face. Changes in the upper face can affect the forehead, eyebrows, upper eyelids and lower eyelids. Mr Karri often performs facelift in combination with other facial rejuvenation procedures such as brow lift, eyelid surgery or fat grafting to maintain a harmonious facial appearance.
It is important to understand facelift does not remove fine wrinkles, such as those around the eyes and mouth. These are best treated with a skin resurfacing procedure such as laser or chemical peel.
What Is The Difference Between A Full Facelift And Mini-Facelift?
Patients are often confused about the difference between a full facelift and mini-facelift.
Full facelifts traditionally involve rejuvenation of the forehead, long scars extending behind the ear and into the hairline and wide skin undermining. Patients with significant jowls and neck laxity are best treated with a full facelift.
Mini facelifts entail a shorter scar, minimal skin undermining and limited skin excision. They are ideally suited for younger patients with mild jowls and minimal neck laxity.
What Are The Different Types Of Mini Facelift?
There are a variety of mini facelifts, each one different in terms of skin incision, extent of skin undermining and method of tightening of the deep muscular layer (known as Subcutaneous Musculo-Aponeurotic System or SMAS). The incision may be confined to just in front of the ear, extended to just behind the earlobe or extended high-up behind the ear. The deep muscular layer may be tightened by removing a segment, suturing it onto itself (known as plication), suturing it onto itself causing it to overlap at regular intervals (known as imbrication) or elevated using suspension sutures.
Are Facelifts Appropriate For Men?
Both men and women can benefit greatly from a facelift. A customized facelift for a man not only rejuvenates the face but can also strengthen the jawline.
At What Age Is A Facelift Appropriate?
The decision to have a facelift should not be determined by your age but whether or not your face shows the signs of ageing. People age at different rates and their age may not reflect the changes they see in their face. It may be entirely appropriate to perform a facelift on a forty-year old with jowls and midface sagging but not necessary for a fifty-year old who has no signs of ageing.
Neck Lift And Platysmaplasty
To eliminate vertical folds in the neck and improve neck and chin definition, Mr Karri may perform a platsymaplasty in combination with your facelift.
For some patients, liposuction under the chin and lateral platymaplasty (whereby the platsyma is tightened laterally) may be appropriate. For other facelift patients, a small incision may be made under the chin and the platsyma tightened anteriorly, a technique known as corset or anterior platsymaplasty. During your consultation with Mr Karri he will discuss which is the best option for you.
Facelift Under Local Anaesthetic
One of the more popular procedures performed by Mr Karri is facelift under local anaesthetic. By avoiding general anaesthesia, this facelift is safer, patients have a smoother post-operative recovery and are able to go home soon after the operation. Patients are often surprised at how comfortable they are during surgery.
Facelift under local anaesthetic involves an incision starting in the hairline, running down in front of the ear and up behind the earlobe. The deep muscular layer is tightened and skin repositioned. Any excess fat in the neck area is removed by gentle liposuction. Facelift under local anaesthetic can correct jowls, tighten the jawline and correct skin laxity in the neck. Throughout your surgery, Mr Karri will ensure you are always kept relaxed and comfortable.
Am I A Good Candidate For A Facelift?
The best candidates for a facelift are those;
- Who wish to improve the signs of facial ageing that a facelift can correct
- Who have elastic skin and good bone structure
- Are generally healthy and do not have a medical condition that could impede healing
- Do not smoke
- Have realistic expectations of the results and willing to follow all pre-op and post-op instructions
What Does A Facelift Not Do?
Although facelifts can produce a dramatic improvement in appearance, they do not stop ageing. Over time the signs of ageing will gradually reappear. How quickly this occurs depends on many factors, including sun exposure, skin quality, age and genetics.
Facelifts do not rejuvenate the eyebrows, eyelids, nose or eliminate wrinkles around the eyes, mouth and chin. If you wish to improve these areas, then you must consider combining your facelift with brow lift, eyelid surgery or a skin resurfacing procedure.
A facelift incision begins in the temporal area above the ear, follows the contour of the ear, curves around the earlobe and continues into the hairline behind the ear. To make the scar inconspicuous as possible, Mr Karri maintains the hairline in the temporal region, sideburn and behind the ear.
For patients with mild jowls and minimal neck laxity the incision can be confined to just in front of the ear, and this is known as a short-scar facelift.
Recovery From Facelift
Recovery following facelift varies from patient to patient and also depends upon the extent of the procedure. As one would expect there is some swelling and bruising. Bruising usually resolves after 7 to 10 days and much of the swelling subsides within the first 2 weeks. The final result however, may not be apparent for several weeks.
Following surgery, most patients spend the first week resting. During the second week, patients resume light activities and during the third week patients often resume work and begin to go out socially. Exercise can be resumed 4 to 6 weeks following surgery.
A good facelift is not only defined by the natural, refreshed look it creates but also by the absence of tell-tale visible scarring. Mr Karri places great emphasis in hiding your facelift scar by hiding the incision within the hair, inside the tragus (the segment of cartilage that covers the ear canal) and behind the ear. This approach reduces the potential risk of unsightly scarring.
The incisions Mr Karri commonly uses for facelift are located;
- In the hair, just above the ear
- Directly in front of the ear
- Behind the ear
- In the hair behind the ear
- Under the chin (only if the neck needs to be tightened in the midline)
Examples of Mr Karri’s facelift scars
As with any surgery, facelift does have some risks associated with it. These include;
Scars / poor scarring – in the vast majority of patients, the facelift incision heals very well. In some patients however, the scars may become red, raised or asymmetric (appear different on the right and left side of the face).
Bruising and swelling – bruising and swelling is expected but rarely, can persist for several weeks.
Bleeding and haematoma formation – it is possible, though unusual, to experience a bleeding episode during or after surgery. Should post-operative bleeding occur, emergency treatment may be necessary to drain the accumulated blood.
Infection – should an infection arise then treatment with antibiotics or further surgery may be necessary.
Delayed wound healing – delayed wound healing is possible.
Asymmetry – there is always a risk of asymmetry whenever surgery is performed on both sides of the body. It is important to understand that nearly everyone has some pre-existing asymmetry e.g. the right cheekbone may be fuller than the left etc.
Nerve injury – motor and sensory nerves may be injured during a facelift resulting in weakness or loss of facial movements.
Numbness around the ears
Skin necrosis – very rarely, blood supply to the skin may be compromised so as to result in skin necrosis. This risk is higher in smokers.