As we age, heredity, gravity, life stresses and exposure to the sun contribute to noticeable signs of aging on the face. Loss of facial tone and fat deposits can result in jawlines softening to jowls, deep creases developing between the nose and mouth, and sagging tissue beneath the chin. Aging in this fashion can often make a face look more tired and older than a person feels. Rhytidectomy or "Facelift" as it is commonly known is a surgical procedure that can improve the most visible signs of aging by removing excess fat and skin from the face, and tightening underlying muscles and connective tissues. The overall effect is a smoother, firmer, more youthful looking face.
Often other procedures can be performed during a Facelift such as eyelifts, forehead lifts, or facial reshaping or augmentation. Facelifts cannot change your looks but can give you a more rejuvenated and well-rested appearance.
The Facelift procedure is usually done on an outpatient basis, under sedation analgesia or, less frequently, under general anesthesia. The surgery takes two to four hours, depending on the procedures performed. There is usually only minor discomfort after the surgery which can be handled with medication prescribed by the doctor and should subside in a couple of days. Most patients will experience puffiness and bruising around the incisions which will fade completely in a few weeks. Generally patients feel and look good enough to return to work in two weeks.
Patients are required to have someone drive them home from the procedure and it is recommended that someone be around the first 24 hours for assistance. After that, it is important that the patient have adequate time to recuperate from the surgery before returning to normal activities. It is also very important to follow the doctors postoperative instructions carefully in order to get the full benefit from the surgery. Expect to achieve the best results in about three months.
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