A facelift, or rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure that smoothes out some of the signs of ageing on the face and neck, including sagging, creases, loose skin, fatty deposits and slack muscle tone. This procedure is often combined with eyelid surgery and a brow lift.
Here are five things you need to know before committing to a facelift.
A facelift is major surgery
This procedure is done under general anaesthesia and takes several hours. In a traditional facelift, an incision is made inside the hairline allowing fat to be excised from the face, neck and jowls. Muscle and deeper layers are repositioned, then the skin is re-draped and the excess cut away.
A facelift requires after care
You don’t get to run into the doctor’s office, get a facelift and go home. Following a facelift, the patient needs to spend time in an aftercare facility where they can be monitored for complications and receive pain medications. The stitches must be removed and time is needed for the patient to resume normal activities.
In Australia, the simplest procedure addresses only the layers of skin and is called endoscopic facelift. This lift ranges from $6,500 to $12,000. The standard lift, or SMAS (superficial musculo aponeurotic system ) facelift and neck lift generally costs $17,000–$25,000. The most complicated lift is the deep plane facelift, which is priced at $20,000–$30,000.
These costs include fees for the surgeon, assistant surgeon and anaesthetist, hospital costs and follow-up visits. Facelifts are usually considered to be cosmetic procedures and are not covered by insurance.
There are serious risks
Post-surgery problems can include numbness, excessive bleeding and infections. Unfortunately, there are even more serious problems that can be fatal, like respiratory failure due to toxic levels of anaesthetics. Minimsze the chances of complications by choosing your plastic surgeon carefully and thoroughly investigating the risks before deciding to have a facelift.
There are less drastic solutions available
While a facelift is the best solution for major sagging, there are alternatives to a complete lift. One is a chemical peel that burns off the damaged outer layers of skin to reveal the baby-soft new skin underneath. Another is laser treatment that can remove outer layers of skin and tighten muscles.
Still another is Botox, which is popular in Hollywood for both men and women. Botox weakens or paralyses some muscles and nerves, making for fewer lines and wrinkles. Although there are non-medical sources offering Botox injections, these injections should really only be done by a doctor.
If you have small problem areas and don’t want to go for the complete facelift, there are minor surgeries available targeting certain conditions. Consider a cheek lift, upper brow lift or neck lift to refresh your appearance without resorting to a complete facelift.
What do you think of facelifts?