The face is the social parameter of a person. We often judge a person by his or her initial appearance, and it is the face which tells the observer a lot about us, and unfortunately about our age also. The visible effects of ageing appear first on the face, and make the person look older than he or she feels. Brief physiology of ageing The face betrays the effects of gravity and the effect that the beating of the sun has on it. There is an effect both on the skin as well as on the underlying structures such as the SMAS ( the underlying soft tissue below the skin lying over the muscles of the face). The ultraviolet radiation has the ill effect of skin damage and gravity adds the effect of descent of tissues. It is therefore essential that any surgical treatment protocol involves tackling both the skin as well as the underlying SMAS layer. It is possible now to surgically peel off a few years off somebody's face without giving her/ him too many visible scars The Face Lift - what is it and how is it done Surgical face lift is a procedure that can be done under local (under injections + sedation) or general anesthesia. It involves an incision at the junction of skin of the face and the ear. (nowdays short scar face lifts are done, where the scar is very small and over a period of time are rarely visible enough to draw attention). After the incision, the skin and the underlying SMAS is tightened and pulled in an antigravity fashion to oppose the effects of gravity. Once the symmetry is achieved on both the sides, the incisions are closed taking care not to disturb the hair line or disturb the appearance of the ear. In men the side burns can get effected and gets closer to the ear, therefore they are forewarned about the possible requirement of laser to allow hair removal. However it is not required in the vast majority of the population Results Following a face lift, you can expect a role back of almost a decade in your physical appearance. Combined with a PIXEL laser, it gives also a fresh and rejuvenated, soft skin to complement the effect of surgery. A good facelift, is symmetric, maintains the hair line, both in the region of the temple and in the back of head, as well as maintaining the symmetry of the ear. We can expect the effects of a surgical face lift to last for over a decade to almost 15 years if the procedure has tackled both the skin and the underlying SMAS. A number of surgeons do not tackle the SMAS for fear of injuring the underlying nerves, but no face lift is complete, without this, and at best skin only procedure, gives benefit for a few months Revision of a face lift is also possible, and it is also possible to correct a prior poor face lift. Most common effect of a poor prior procedure is a disturbed hair line in the region of the temple, but such cases can be tackled with hair transplant in this area. The face lift can be combined with eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) to give a young look to the eyelids also. Complications of Face lift The most common complication is bleeding and haematoma formation in the post operative period. Therefore it is essential that no patient should be on aspirin therapy prior to procedure and blood pressure should be well under control before surgery. Hospital stay The patient need only stay in the hospital for about 24-36 hours, after which he or she can go home, but under watchful supervision. There is a definite downtime, and time has to be taken off from work/ social responsibilities to allow the incisions to heal and all the post operative swelling to settle down.
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