Naracoorte Herald

Uplifting explanations: Your facelift queries answered

Uplifting explanations: Your facelift queries answered

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If you're considering a facelift, it's natural to have a few queries. As with any surgical procedure, ensuring that you have done your research prior is vital to ensure you're happy with the final result.

But, how do you know whether you're the ideal recipient for the procedure and if you do get one, what will the ensuing recovery look like for you? Read on to have all the commonly asked queries answered.

How do I actually know if I need one?

So, how do you know whether a facelift is right for you? Well, firstly you have to understand what is a facelift exactly - a facelift is medically known as a rhytidectomy and is a surgical cosmetic procedure that aims to create a younger-looking appearance.

As we grow older our skin begins to sag and our facial shape changes as a result, the facelift procedure will take the two flaps of skin from either side of the face and pull them back to return a tighter and more youthful look to the face.

The optimum candidates for a facelift would be those with prominent jowls or extremely sunken cheeks; as well as those with deep-set wrinkles and folds in the skin as a facelift aims to remedy these problems.

For those concerned with looking too young for their age, a facelift procedure won't act as the fountain of youth, but rather have patients look their age, minus the harsher visual signs of maturing.

What is the recovery process like?

Potential facelift recipients may be ready for the results but can sometimes be deterred by not knowing what recovery will look like.

Generally, the majority of the recovery process takes place over 30 days, although there is no one size fits all answer for each individual person, this is what most people will experience.

The first week is the most high maintenance. On day one post-op it's highly recommended that you get some rest and take pain medication, as with any surgical procedure, you'll likely feel drowsy.

Day two is a day to schedule a follow-up appointment with your surgeon to assess the post-op work including assessing how severe your swelling is, and how the incisions are looking. Should everything look as it should, the area will be redressed, post-care reassessed, and you'll be sent on your way.

On your third to fourth-day post-op, the swelling will generally reach its height, and from day five onwards, it should start to go down.

The end of this week is when you should stop needing prescription medication for the pain, and you can begin to return to your light activities.

Whilst the second week will still involve visible swelling and bruising by the end of the week you should start to feel a lot less discomfort and can begin to return to normal life.

Finally, week three and four is when the swelling will significantly decrease and most people feel normal and comfortable going out and about as they would have done pre-procedure. Whilst some numbness or discomfort may still linger, it's largely minimal and perfectly normal.

When will I see results?

Of course, when it comes to seeing the results of your facelift, each individual is different, but the general answer is that at the four-week mark when the swelling has reduced.

However, like most surgical procedures, it can take up to a year to see the full result, but you will see visible and noticeable changes from at least the four-week mark, if not sooner.

What's the optimum age to get one?

When it comes to the prime age to undergo a facelift, there is no one size fits all number, for example, many younger people in their twenties and thirties are requesting facelifts, as a preventative measure.

However, people in their late forties, fifties and sixties are usually the ideal candidates in order to see the most noticeable results.

But, instead of looking into getting one based on age alone, instead, opt for one to tackle specific signs of ageing that you may be experiencing.

If you find you have deep-set wrinkles under and around your eyes, as well as lines surrounding your mouth, or perhaps a loss of jawline definition that you're hoping to have fixed, then consider a facelift as a way to tackle these problems.

How long will it last?

The lifespan of a facelift can range anywhere from two to ten years. This depends on a range of factors; for example, if you're wanting to minimise your recovery time in order to return to normal life sooner, then more touch-ups may be needed over the years in order to sustain the desired effect.

There are also precautions you can take to maximise the longevity of your facelift, these include staying out of the sun and following a consistent skincare routine tailored to your unique needs.

As with most things, results will vary from person to person. It is imperative that you communicate throughout the entire process with your surgeon to ensure you're both on the same page so that the desired outcome is reached and both parties are happy.