The procedure is designed to reduce the effects of sagging skin, principally around the lower half of the face and neck, by removing excess fat and drawing the skin back so it is firmer and tighter.
A traditional facelift, also known as rhytidectomy, involves an incision along the hairline down to the ear and underneath the earlobe to make amendments and remove excess skin and fat. The wound scars fade quickly and are barely visible in the natural contours of the face.
Bandages may be needed to support the face along with temporary drains fitted behind the ears to disperse excess blood and fluids for a few days as the face heals.
It takes up to a month to fully recover from a facelift and it is advisable to restrict activities and not to return to work during that period.
Surgeons can also employ keyhole surgery or a technique called Minimal Access Cranial Suspension (MACS) which involves smaller incisions and a telescopic camera to guide the process of fat removal and muscle tightening.
Operations can be done under local or general anaesthesia and sedation and can last three hours.
The full benefit of the procedure will normally become evident only after six months. As with all cosmetic procedures, it is important to have a full discussion with the consultant to determine what can be achieved aesthetically.