An increasing number of people these days are opting for rhytidectomy procedure-commonly known as the facelift-to retain their youthful looks.
Tarun (name changed), a 46-year-old television anchor is considering going under the surgeon’s knife to remove the inevitable signs of ageing from his face- wrinkles, crow’s feet, furrows around the mouth and forehead. Despite his 20-year experience as a TV show host, he feels he will be able to face the cameras more confidently after a rhytidectomy procedure- commonly known as the facelift.
Welcome to the look-enhancing world, where an increasing number of people are willingly going under the surgeon’s knife to retain their youthful looks through rhytidectomy surgery.
In a society where good looks are essential components for acceptability, any signs of ageing can be a cause for serious concern. In fact, even psychiatrists are now recommending people to cosmetic surgeons to retain their youthful looks and restore their confidence.
Once considered an obsession of the West, facelifts are becoming common in India as an increasing number of people are refusing to accept the onslaught of age, and are ready to invest to retain their youthful looks. In fact, according to the
American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Americans spent over $1 billion on facelifts and facial surgeries last year. This procedure treats facial skin laxity and sagging, and gives a person a younger look. The benefit can spread over 10 years.
Types of Facelifts
Depending on the condition of the face and the end result that a person is looking for, there are many different kinds of facelifts available ranging from minimally invasive to heavily invasive. A traditional face lift involves incisions around the hairline, behind the ears and the sides of the face. Usually there may be tissue and muscle involvement, though some surgeons may just do skin tightening. This varies on the individual requirements and condition of the skin.
Thread Lift is done when the surgeon inserts sutures and barbs, and uses these to tighten the skin. No cutting of skin is done here, and this lasts for around three years. Basically it is done to give sagging skin a lift, and is performed under local anaesthesia, and is not a complicated procedure.
When the surgeon makes incisions that go under the hairline and behind the ears and also repositions the skin and tissues, the procedure is called a Mini Face Lift. Small sutures are used and these are practically invisible. Usually this is done for people who do not require much work, or who have suffered from the ravages of premature ageing. The procedure can be done on an outpatient basis. The recovery period is just three to four days.
Mid Face Lift is a more invasive procedure. In this, the surgeon makes incisions in and around the hairline and mouth, and the fatty layers are re- positioned and tightened. This procedure removes the nose-to-mouth lines and also lifts sagging cheeks. This takes three to four hours, and requires at least one to two weeks of healing. It is usually done for people who do not have jowls or banding in the neck region.
Deep Plane Facelift
One of the most invasive procedures is the Deep Plane Face Lift. In this, the midfacial region and cheekbones are re-positioned and tightened by deeper incisions. Here, the skin, tissue and even muscle layers are involved. Hospitalisation is usually required in this surgery.
To lift the brow area and reduce ridges and furrows around the forehead, cosmetic surgeons suggest a Brow Lift (also called the Forehead Lift). Small incisions are made and the surgery is done endoscopically. Unless the area is normally very furrowed and wrinkled, this procedure can be done along with other face lifting surgeries.
Minor procedures take less time, may be done on an outpatient basis, and the recovery time is also less. For major procedures, a person may require one or two days of hospitalisation and good after-care. For major procedures, the doctor may place drainage tubes to pump out excess blood and fluid. The patient may experience bruising and discolouration, and may have to wear compression bandages to counter swelling.
During surgery, a patient is under anaesthesia and so there is no pain. After surgery, the doctor will put him or her on painkillers and anti-inflammatories to reduce pain, swelling and discomfort. A person may experience some numbness, but this will reduce over time. If there are insoluble stitches, he or she may have to get them removed when the healing is over. In the case of some facelift surgeries, a patient may require to be on a liquid or soft diet till the healing process is complete.
At what age can one go for a facelift?
A face lift can produce better results in those who are more mature or need extensive lifting, tightening or rejuvenation. However, there is no “usual age” for a face lift. It can range anywhere from 30’s to 80’s.
In case you are going for a facelift, you should find out from your doctor what to expect. Basically, you ought to be reasonably wrinkle-free from the areas that come under the procedure with tighter skin. You should also find out how long the results will last. Depending on the elasticity of skin, your age and myriad factors, the ‘new’ look may last any time between five and 15 years. However, after time, the skin is going to sag again and new wrinkle will form. This is not a permanent, magical turning back of the clock forever.
It is very important to follow medical advice for follow up and after care. Use the right products for your treated face, and take proper care of your looks to minimise formation of wrinkles and jowls again.