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A facelift aims to reverse some of the effects of gravity and the ageing process on the face and neck. Most commonly patients request improvement in the definition of the jawline and the shape of the neck.
In youth, a sharply defined angle between the neck and lower jaw marks out the boundaries of the neck and jaw, however, the ageing process blunts this demarcation point and, at worst, results in a continuous band (or bands) of skin running from the neck directly to the chin. This can have a very ageing effect on the face and makes the face and neck appear ‘heavy’.
Prices from £6,700
2 to 4 hours
4 to 6 weeks
It can take 3 months for visible improvements to appear and you can enjoy a more youthful, rested appearance.
What does a facelift do?
The soft tissue ligaments of the face (structures that connect the skin to the underlying bone of the facial skeleton) stretch as a result of the effects of gravity on the facial fat pockets that they are holding in place. This contributes to the overall ‘sag’ of the face, causing jowls to appear, deepening of the nasolabial folds (the lines present between the cheek and the upper lip), and the appearance of marionette lines (the lines present between the lower lip and the cheek).
A facelift improves the appearance of the neck and returns the soft tissues of the cheek closer to their original location by tightening the soft tissue structures underneath the skin. It will not return you to how you appeared when you were 20. It will, however, make you appear much fresher and less tired (the optimum result for many patients is that friends and colleagues will comment on well or less fatigued you look rather than asking if you have had surgery). A good analogy is that a facelift turns back the hands of the clock (a rejuvenation effect of roughly ten years is a good rule of thumb), however, it does not stop them ticking and, following surgery, the effects of ageing will again start to take effect.
Does having a facelift make me age more quickly afterwards?
No, you will continue to display the effects of ageing in the face and neck at the same rate as always, only now you will be aging from the ‘reset’ age of your face (ie you will keep the gains you have made in your appearance). Depending on the particular areas you wish to address, and on your joint consultation discussions with Mr MacQuillan, the type of facelift that is best suited to your needs will be determined. Like a bespoke item of clothing, a facelift needs to be tailored to the individual.
What will Mr Macquillan ask me about in the consultation?
During the consult for your facelift, Mr MacQuillan will ask you about what you feel are the areas that could be improved on with regards to your neck and face. He will ask in detail about this so it is worth spending some time beforehand writing down the specific things that you would like to address.
He will also ask you about your general health, previous medical history and then go into detail about the surgery, how it is performed and what you can expect from the operation. He will examine your face and eyes and together with you, will formulate the plan best suited to your needs. You will be given plenty of time to ask questions and it is often worth drawing up a list beforehand as quite often people forget on the day.
After the consult, you will receive a detailed letter based on the discussion of the consultation and invited back for a further appointment prior to surgery.
What does facelift surgery involve?
Although there are several variations of facelift, they all share several common characteristics; they all involve elevating the cheek from the underlying soft tissue to create a pocket allowing access to the stronger fibrous layer beneath. This can be moulded with stitches to improve the shape of the neck and face. Depending on how much work is needed in the neck, the size of the pocket differs, as does the stitch placement. Often the surgery will include liposuction underneath the chin.
What happens when I come into hospital?
You will come into hospital on the day of your facelift and be admitted to your room. You will be seen by Mr MacQuillan in your room, and he will run over the surgical plan with you one final time.
You will be reviewed by the consultant anaesthetist who will be putting you to sleep, and given the opportunity to ask any questions you may have regarding the anaesthetic. When you are ready you will be taken down to theatres for your operation.
Following the operation, you will wake up with a protective bandage around your head (though your face including eyes, mouth and nose will not be covered by it) and you will have a drain (a small tube placed beneath the skin to remove any blood collecting there) in either cheek. The bandage and drains will be removed the following morning after which you will be able to mobilise. Most patients go home the day following surgery.
How quickly will I recover from a facelift?
For the first week following a facelift, you will need to restrict your activities and take things quietly. It is essential that you sleep upright (ie several pillows stacked behind you so that you are at least 45°) to help reduce swelling. Your face and neck will continue to swell for a day or so after your discharge from hospital, however, if you are worried that your swelling is rapidly increasing (a sign that you might be developing a haematoma ) or are having difficulties coping please contact the team and you will be reviewed urgently. It is normal to have some bruising to the lower face and neck and this lasts for two weeks usually.
After one week you will be reviewed by Mr MacQuillan in outpatients and your stitches will be removed. You will generally start to feel much better by the beginning of the second week and you will be able to resume normal activities but should continue to avoid bending down, lifting heavy or even medium weight objects and not undertake exercise beyond walking.
By the end of the second week, you should be able to return to work (some patients go back to work after the first week but this depends very much on the individual) and can start to build up activity levels.
The main reason for having avoided lifting, bending down and exercise is that the pocket created between the cheek and the underlying soft tissue can fill up with blood if the venous blood pressure rises sufficiently (which is the effect of the aforementioned activities).
By the end of the second week, the pocket should be well healed and you can start to resume normal daily life. You can start to gently massage your cheeks to help reduce swelling and quicken the healing process and you can apply moisturiser to the scars on your face and neck. A frequent (and important!) question that is often asked following a facelift is, when is it safe to have a hair wash? The answer to this is that provided you use a mild shampoo, it is safe to wash hair from day one and all patients are given the option of a hair wash before going home in their hospital room.
How often will I be seen by Mr Macquillan following my facelift?
You will be seen regularly and on a long term basis. Mr MacQuillan will see you at one week to remove sutures, then at the two-week and six-week post-op time points, to ensure you are healing as planned, then at three months, six months, and at a year. You will then be seen yearly for five years.
Have a question?
If you’ve decided to have cosmetic surgery, you now need to choose a surgeon with the appropriate training, skills and experience to carry out your procedure.
You’ve decided to have cosmetic surgery; you now need to choose a plastic surgeon with the appropriate training, skills and experience to carry out your procedure.
It’s important to talk to your surgeon about what you want to change and why. We will give you straightforward and appropriate advice that you can trust.
Anthony is nationally acknowledged for providing outstanding medical care and achieving results which meet or exceed patients’ hopes and expectations.
We offer exceptional patient aftercare, for five years following your procedure, so you can be sure you have complete support as you embark on your journey to the new you.
Before & Afters
Anthony uses the latest 3D scanning technology to create before and after visuals that give you a realistic view of the results.
Is there anything I should do to look after my facelift results?
The facelift is the cosmetic surgery gold standard for achieving dramatically younger looking results. Patients can hope to look up to ten years younger, with results potentially lasting up to 15 years. However, there are many factors that can influence how long the results last, some of which are out of the patient’s control.
If you’re looking to maximise your facelift results, below you’ll discover some of the steps you can take after your facial rejuvenation surgery.
Ensure you follow the facelift aftercare advice
The most important thing you can do to look after your facelift results is to follow your plastic surgeon’s aftercare advice and, after your operation, Mr Anthony MacQuillan will provide comprehensive guidance and support for your recovery period.
It goes without saying you should also ensure the surgeon carrying out the procedure is appropriately qualified and experienced; the more skilled the surgeon is, the longer the results should last.
Protect your skin against sun damage
While a facelift can generate impressive results, it doesn’t stop the natural ageing process. This means you’re going to need to focus on continuing to protect the skin against potentially damaging extrinsic factors such as the sun.
The sun’s UV rays can cause the skin to start ageing prematurely by breaking down the skin’s collagen and elastin, causing hyperpigmentation and wrinkles to form. Therefore, to protect your results, it is recommended that you use a good-quality sunscreen every day. Ideally, the sunscreen should contain zinc and offer at least SPF 30 protection. You should also limit your exposure to the sun, particularly during peak times.
Consider undergoing additional procedures
Facelifts do generate impressive results by themselves. However, many patients choose to undergo additional anti-ageing procedures to maximise their results.
One of the most effective combined treatments to utilise alongside a facelift is a neck lift. After undergoing a facelift, the neck can appear dramatically older, giving away the patients actual age. A neck lift will ensure that the neck appears just as youthful as the face, creating the most effective results.
Non-surgical aesthetic procedures such as anti-wrinkle injections and temporary hyaluronic acid dermal fillers can also be combined with a facelift for optimal results.
All wound healing depends on the blood supply, but smoking causes the small blood vessels known as capillaries to constrict, decreasing the supply of oxygenated blood to skin flaps and wounds. As a result, healing speed is comprised and scarring can be worse than in non-smokers and, in rare cases, the skin and tissue can die. Studies have found that smokers can also experience more infections, blood clots, increased pain and discomfort and potential issues with the anaesthetic.
The good news is that a recent study published in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery journal found that many patients that follow their plastic surgeon’s instructions to stop smoking in advance of their cosmetic surgery operation and during the healing period are smoke-free five years after their procedure.
For more facelift advice, call 0117 325 5034 to arrange a consultation.