Dr. Tilman Stasch
Vitality Fountain Clinic
Suite 6B – GROSVENOR
+254 725 045 705
+254 714 144 000
A face-lift (also sometimes known as a rhytidectomy) is a rejuvenation procedure that is performed to restore a patient’s face and neck area to a more youthful-looking, but natural version, of themselves. A face-lift is used to address age-related problems with the lower half of the face, from the eyes and ears downwards, including the jawline and neck. Anything above the eyes is treated with a brow-lift or non-invasive procedure.
Any one or combination of the following conditions may indicate that you may be considered a good candidate for facelift surgery:
Cosmetic facelift surgery can usually correct these problems, though a combination of treatments may need to be considered. If the upper eyelids are sagging, then an upper eyelid lift (blepharoplasty) may be recommended. If the tear troughs are very deep, a facelift can very well be combined with a lower blepharoplasty. Smoothing of crow’s feet around the eyes may be accomplished with botulinumtoxin, microneedling or laser resurfacing procedures. Circles beneath the eyes caused by dark pigmentation may be treated with cosmeceutical skin products, microneedling, PRP or corrected with lipofilling (nanofatgrafting). Lipofilling is especially useful if the face has lost some volume, where injection of the patient’s own fat will be used in combination with the facelift, or at a later stage, to smoothen the contour, increase the fullness of the face and improve the complexion of the skin.
Most patients are between 40 and 60 years of age, but facelifts can be done successfully on people in their 70s or 80s. It should not be obvious that you have had a facelift, but instead, you should look younger, more vital, and refreshed. It is a procedure that can give great results and thus increases morale and self-confidence.
During the consultation, you will be asked about the results you would like to achieve from your facelift surgery. This will help us to understand your expectations and determine whether they realistically can be achieved.
A face-lift involves elevating and repositioning the skin and soft tissue of the face. During the procedure, an incision is made from the temple (most commonly in your hairline), then in front of the ear and then passing behind the ear.
The fascia (SMAS) and soft tissues of the lower face and neck are tightened and lifted, redundant skin is then removed, and the remaining skin is re-draped over its new foundations and gently sewn into position. The skin is sutured so that it is lifted upwards and backwards, just as when one lifts the skin when looking in the mirror.
Occasionally it may be necessary to make a small incision under the chin. More usually however the platysma muscle and its fibrous attachments (SMAS) are dissected free and sutured tightly to the solid structures in front and behind the ear to achieve a smooth, lifted neck.
Fat along the jaw line and under the chin may be removed by liposuction or on occasion through an incision under the chin. Fat is sometimes added to the face, using lipofilling: the nasolabial folds or lips can be augmented to give the face a more wholesome appearance.
Facelifts are usually performed under sedation with local anesthetic or general anesthetic. The operation takes between 3 and 4,5 hours, and patients are likely to need to stay in the hospital overnight.
We will keep a close eye on you after your surgery. The wounds will be covered with Steristrip-tapes; you will have small silicon drains coming out of the wounds behind your ears to drain the excess fluid and some blood. The whole head will be wrapped with gauze dressings and a comfortable bandage. You will be allowed to gently cool the skin to reduce possible bruising and swelling.
Oral medications will help with discomfort during your recovery. Dr. Stasch will see you regularly after the surgery, and for your follow-up appointments at regular dressing clinics every 2-3 days.
Stitches are removed about a week to ten days after surgery, at which point your post-operative photographs will be taken. Bruising and swelling will continue to decrease after stitches are removed. Sunglasses and protective sunblock are recommended. After ten to fourteen days patients can think about returning to work or going out in public. Within 2-3 weeks, you will begin feeling more like yourself albeit a younger-looking version.
The recovery from surgery will be marked by swelling and bruising initially, which will slowly decrease over the course of 1-2 weeks, at which time most of the bruising will have disappeared. We recommend the use of Arnica or Heparin-cream to speed up the recovery. It is better to keep the head elevated for a couple of days to reduce swelling. Drainage tubes will be removed a day or two after surgery. Avoid strenuous activity, saunas, and massage for at least two weeks. Swelling will slowly subside and can last for up to 3 months. After this time, the final result will become more apparent. However, patients are advised not to judge the final result of a face-lift for about six months post-op.
Facelifts are generally successful procedures and can have beautiful results, often setting the clock back about ten years. However, patients need to be aware that no face-lift will ever make them look 18 again, and you should be aware of the limitations before you agree to undertake surgery.
Whilst these operations are generally safe in the hands of a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon and regarded to be highly successful, there are, as with any operation, risks involved and the possibility of complications that patients need to consider.
As with any surgical procedure, complications such as infection, bleeding, wound separation, or asymmetry can occur. More specific for this operation are: Feelings of tightness when opening the mouth, swelling and bruising, feeling low and depressed in the first week, discomfort at night (sleeping upright with cooling packs applied to cheeks is recommended). We will discuss these issues in detail during the consultation.
Pain is not a major problem with facial surgery. It is normal for there to be some numbness of the skin of the cheeks and ears. This will usually disappear in a few weeks or months. However, all patients need to be aware that there is a chance of sustaining damage to the facial nerves. This can cause weakened movement of the eyebrow and lip, although such repercussions are not common and generally improve over several weeks. The scars in the hair do not usually show except when the hair is cut shorter immediately around the wound. There may be some slight reduction in hair growth in the temples, but this is not usually a problem unless the hair is very thin and repeated facelifts are being carried out.
Smokers are strongly advised to discontinue smoking several weeks prior to surgery and after the operation, as smoking increases the risks of complications and delays wound healing by altering blood circulation in the skin. You can reduce your risks of complications by closely following our instructions before and after the surgery.
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