Facelift surgery reduces 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 operation can be carried out under local or general anaesthetic and sedation and can last three hours. 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. 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.
The full benefit of the Facelift surgery will normally become evident only after six months. The scars from the hairline incisions will fade quickly and will be hidden by the natural contours of the face.
As with all cosmetic procedures, it is important to have a full discussion with the consultant to determine what can be achieved aesthetically. It takes up to a month to fully recover from face lifting treatment so patients are advised to restrict activities and not to return to work during that period.