Face lift surgery, also known as rhytidectomy, is one of the most commonly requested procedures by both men and women.
We all age differently. Sun exposure, genetics, weight fluctuations, gravity, smoking and nutrition will affect the way our facial features change over time. These changes not only affect the skin on our face but also the subcutaneous tissues, the muscles and even the facial bones.
When Plastic Surgeons talk about Facelift Surgery, we are referring to the area from below the eyes down to the neck. The forehead, brows and eyelids are also affected by ageing and these are dealt with by other targeted surgical procedures.
The initial or early signs of ageing begin with a descent of the cheek or malar fat pad. This leads to a loss of roundness of the cheek and a lengthened appearance of the lower eyelid. As the subcutaneous tissues and the SMAS layer (a strong ligamentous structure that supports the soft tissue of the face) stretches and weakens the cheek descends below the jawline creating jowls. This causes the shape of the face to change from a youthful oval shape to a square (or harsher) shape.
Additionally the nasolabial (smile lines) become deeper and the lower cheeks begin to hollow. With further descent of the jowls, marionette lines form at the corners of the mouth, giving the mouth a sad appearance. While there is generalised loss of fat in the face, there is accumulation of fat below the chin in the submental area. Bands begin to form below the chin giving a ‘turkey gobbler’ appearance. These are caused by a separation of the Platysma muscle.
Women and men are becoming aware of these early changes of ageing and wish to address them before they become more pronounced. Facelifting techniques have advanced significantly over the last couple of decades. No longer is there one surgical technique for everyone. Individual concerns can be corrected and procedures modified to produce natural long lasting results.
Short Scar Facelift
For younger patients who are beginning to experience early signs of aging, a Short Scar Facelift can return fullness to the cheeks whilst reducing the appearance of jowls and marionette lines.
This is achieved by resuspending the SMAS tissues- not by removing and excessively tightening the skin. The incision starts from the sideburn area, is carried down in front of the ear and stops at the earlobe. This is often combined with liposuction under the chin and repair of the separated platysma muscle (platysmaplasty). This produces a more pleasing and defined jawline.
The effect is a natural looking, rejuvenated appearance. Our aim is not tight and pulled, but smooth and full.
Face and Neck Lift
As the ageing process continues the skin and SMAS tissues progressively sag and stretch. The neck becomes more lax and the platysma bands (turkey gobbler) become more pronounced. This results in loss of the normal angle between the chin and the neck.
For slightly older patients a neck lift can be performed together with the facelift and platysmaplasty to re-drape and resuspend the tissues of the neck. In order to achieve this, the incision must be extended around and behind the bottom of the ear and into the hairline. Once the muscle and SMAS layer is returned to its proper position, they are fixed with internal sutures. This means that the skin does not need to be pulled tightly in order to create a dramatic change.
This procedure gives a natural result without the tell-tale signs of having had surgery. We at Coastal Plastic Surgery believe that the best face and neck lift is the one no one can tell you have had!
The procedure is usually performed as a day case or an overnight stay. You will be required to wear a facial compression garment for 3 weeks to minimise swelling and bruising. You can be back to light work as early as 2 weeks following the procedure.
If you are self-conscious about the appearance of your face or neck and would like to explore your options, please contact Coastal Plastic Surgery today.