Who is a good candidate for this surgery?
A full facelift which incorporates a necklift is suitable for patients who have loose skin and wrinkles of the face and neck. This is the result of a combination of age, sunlight and or smoking.
What can this surgery do for me?
The tightening and removal of excess skin from the face and neck together with the stitching of the SMAS (submuscular aponeurotic system) will tighten the deep tissues of the face and neck and rejuvenate the patient.
How is the surgery done?
An incision is made in front of and behind the ear extending into the hair. There is no need to shave the hair. The skin is elevated and the SMAS layer is tightened with long lasting sutures. The skin is redraped and the excess removed. Clips and stitches are used for closure. A head bandage is applied which is removed the next morning. We will provide you with a head bandage to wear at night for 2 weeks to reduce any swelling that might occur. No drains are used as a rule.
What kind of anaesthetic do I need?
A general anaesthetic is used supplemented with a long acting local anaesthetic for post operative pain relief.
How long am I in hospital?
2 nights is usual.
How quickly will I recover?
There is no time scale that applies to all patients. Once the stitches are removed after 2 weeks, the cheeks will remain numb for some months and this is normal. The wounds will remain sensitive, particularly the one behind the ear for some weeks. Most patients will be recovered enough to be able to carry out normal day to day activities in 3 weeks. Complete return to normality may take 4 to 6 weeks.
What are the potential problems with this surgery?
In addition to the possible problems that occur with any type of surgery such as bleeding and infection which is less than 10%, the commonest problem is haematoma formation. This is when a collection blood collects under the skin and is painful and will delay the healing. This happens in 10% of patients and will require a return to the operating theatre for it to be removed. In almost all cases this will present while you are in hospital. The scars usually heal well but can be sore behind the ear. Wound healing will be more of a problem if you smoke and we encourage patients to give up at least one month prior to surgery.
How much will a facelift operation cost me?
Please contact our experienced team of medical secretaries and they will be able to advise you of costs at your chosen hospital. (Spire Norwich Hospital or Nuffield Health Ipswich Hospital).