Ignorance is bliss, the old saying goes, but this is certainly not true when it comes to making important decisions about personal health and wellbeing. The better informed a person can be about potential treatments, the better.
This is as true of plastic surgery as it is of any other procedure. There is a lot of misinformation and misconception about what’s entailed in such operations, and the result is a mish-mash of horror stories and miracle makeovers that between them confuse the reality.
Most people think about a facelift when signs of ageing begin to trouble them. These are commonly, but not exclusively, identified as sagging, displacement of fat in the face that results in a jowly appearance, deep lines and creases, especially around the mouth and eyes, and a noticeable double chin.
Restorative surgeries can correct all of these conditions. However, they cannot change the overall aspect of a person, nor can they halt the ageing process. In other words, they can hold back time, but not halt it. It is critical to be clear on this when considering whether to engage in the process. Plastic surgeons are skilled medical practitioners, not wizards.
Not everyone is a suitable candidate for a facelift. All professionals caution that a person should only enter into the process if they desire the enhancement for themselves. To do so on behalf of another person and their expectations is often fatal. It is also imperative to be physically healthy and a non-smoker. A realistic outlook is also vital. An improvement on what nature gave you is the best outcome, it is not going to be a case of waking up as Marilyn Monroe.
Because of these crucial factors, an initial consultation will be quite probing into the motivations behind the wish to proceed. If you wish to engage in the facelift surgery, the doctor will want to know your reasoning, your expectations, the state of your general health including any current conditions and medications, and your risk factors.
A prospective patient’s face will be measured and evaluated and a photographic record taken. Potential courses of action will be discussed and this will include the possibility of any complications arising.
Anasthesia will have to be used in any operation and this is another aspect which will be discussed.
Should the decision be taken to go ahead then the client will have to stop taking any aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as these can prolong bleeding.
Depending on where the procedure will be performed and how long it will take, arrangements will have to be made for getting to and from the clinic. If attending as an outpatient, someone will need to drive you home again. It is also advised to have a loved one or close friend to stay with you the first night back at home.
The standard facelift takes place around the hairline, whereby tissues are repositioned in the face and the skin is redraped over the reshaped contours and then the excess trimmed off. The incision scars are then well concealed behind the ears and in the lower scalp. A neck lift, or a shorter incision at the temples, will concentrate on precise problem areas.
In all cases, there will be swelling and bruising to come, which will be swathed in bandages. Sometimes a pipe is inserted to allow fluid to drain. It can takes a few months for the swelling to fully disappear. Recovery periods will vary but it will be necessary to book some time off work. It is a good idea to question the surgeon on such topics to get an understanding of the post-operative care required.
Needless to say, any surgeon commissioned should be registered, accredited and with certification and a background (and proof thereof) in successful plastic surgery. He or she should be a graduate from a recognised medical school.
Going ahead with a facelift can be life-changing. Many patients record that they still look five years younger years after they have had the operation. Many professions are punitive toward those who do not fit the mould of a younger looking role model and a facelift can give a person a whole new lease of life in career and also in personal spheres.