Turn Back the Clock with a Face Lift

Popular cosmetic procedure in the UAE allows people to look years younger

Over time the face starts to lose some of its youthful and supple appearances as the inevitable ageing process begins – while this process is natural and cannot be prevented, its unflattering effects can be slowed down with a facelift.

“A facelift, also known as rhytidectomy, is a procedure to reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles and other signs of ageing, with the goal of improving the overall appearance of the face and jaw. Facelifts can help reverse the harmful effects of ageing and exposure to the elements,” says Dr Trelles, plastic and surgeon at state-of-the-art dentistry, plastic and aesthetic laser surgery clinic Vilafortuny. “There are many different variations of the facelift procedure that smooth the skin of the face and neck, tighten the underlying tissues and muscle, and remove excess skin, ultimately giving patients a youthful look.”

So are you a candidate?

You might want to consider a facelift treatment if you:

  • Lack a well-defined jawline and neck.
  • Have sagging jowls and loose skin.
  • Have deep nasolabial folds (creases from the nose to the corners of the mouth).
  • Have a “double chin”.
  • Have creases below eyelids

Facelift surgery is a good option if you:

  • Are physically healthy.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Have specific goals in mind for the improvement of your appearance.

The initial consultation

A consultation will help answer any questions or concerns you have regarding the procedure. Your questions and concerns will be addressed during this consultation and you should be prepared to discuss: reasons for treatment, expectations, existing medical conditions including allergies, current medication and use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs, personal and family history and results of previous facial surgeries.

“Additionally, your doctor may also need to evaluate your overall health and risk factors, discuss potential complications, examine and measure your face and photograph it for medical records, discuss options for incision location, anaesthesia and outcomes,” says Dr Trelles.

Preparing for the procedure

Prior to your surgery, you will be given instructions on what you will need to do before your facelift. There are several steps you may need to take:

  • Lab testing and/or medical evaluation.
  • Take certain medications or adjust current medications.
  • Stop smoking at least four weeks before surgery.
  • Avoid taking any anti-­inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen (e.g., Advil, Motrin), and herbal supplements.
  • Arrange for transportation home after the procedure.
  • Scheduling an appointment with your primary care doctor for preoperative clearance.

What to expect

“At Vilafortuny, we perform a face-lift procedure on an outpatient basis,” notes Dr. Trelles. “Our plastic surgeons are board certified by the American Board of Plastic surgery. As a requirement of ABPS certification, surgeons need to undertake advanced fellowship training and should be able to demonstrate expertise in plastic surgery.”

Dr Trelles further advises to expect the following:

Anaesthesia

Anaesthesia will be administered prior to and during your procedure. Choices of anaesthesia include intravenous sedation and general anaesthesia – your plastic surgeon will recommend the best choice for you.

There are several kinds of facelift techniques:

Traditional facelift

The traditional facelift rejuvenates the face, jowls and neck. During the procedure, the incision is made in the hairline at the temples, around the ear and in the lower scalp. The deeper layers of the face are lifted to a more youthful position. The skin is then re-draped over the improved facial contours and any excess skin is trimmed away.
A second incision is made under the chin to improve an ageing neck. The incisions will be closed using sutures and skin adhesives.

Mini facelift

The mini facelift targets the lower part of the face and the neck. Shorter incisions are made at the temples and the ear compared to the traditional face lift.

Neck Lift

The neck lift focuses on excess skin and fat in the neck. An incision is made in front of the earlobe and around the ear, ending in the lower part of the scalp. This technique can correct loose neck skin and fat deposits under the chin.

Brow lift

Small incisions are made within the scalp or along the hairline. The brows are then elevated to create a more vibrant and youthful appearance.

Male facelift

Men have a more difficult time hiding the early scars of a facelift. Meticulous attention to detail is required to achieve a natural look that maintains masculine features. Incisions are usually placed between the natural creases of the ears and sideburns to make the incision lines as inconspicuous as possible. Deep tissues are lifted and excess skin is trimmed. The result is a more defined jawline and neck.

Incision Closure

After the face is sculpted into its new contour, the incisions are closed using sutures. Once healed, the incision lines will be well concealed within the hairline and in the natural contours of the face and ears.

What to expect after

Your plastic surgeon will be available to address concerns and questions after the procedure and will provide written instructions regarding:

  • Post-surgery care to follow at home.
  • Prescriptions for medication.
  • Follow­-up appointments.

“After the procedure, your face will be bandaged to reduce swelling and small tubes will be used to drain excess fluid. You will be prescribed medication to help reduce any pain or discomfort you may feel over the next few days. Recovery time, meanwhile, varies: most patients can return to work after one week, but strenuous physical activity is discouraged for the first two to three weeks following surgery,” says Dr Trelles on what to expect after the procedure.

He adds: “There are risks associated with any type of surgery: bleeding, infection, adverse reaction to anaesthesia are rare, but they can happen. Following pre- and post-surgery instructions will help you to avoid any risks or complications.”

Results

Facelift results are noticeable immediately after surgery. The healing process is gradual and therefore your appearance will improve over the duration of a few weeks as your face settles.
It is recommended to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays by wearing sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more whenever possible.