There are countless lotions, gels, creams and other products that claim to be able to counteract the profound effect that aging has on our appearance, and in particular, on our face. There are also some non-invasive cosmetic procedures that can help. However, the results of such products and treatments are only temporary and many patients find them disappointing.

If you are unhappy with the appearance of the lower half of your face and feel that your skin could be smoother, tighter and more youthful in appearance, you could benefit from an extremely popular form of cosmetic surgery known as a facelift.

Here is what you need to know about what to expect from this transformative procedure. 

What happens during facelift surgery?

Facelift surgery is normally carried out under general anesthetic. This means that you will be asleep and unaware of what is happening. Neither will you feel any pain. If for some reason you are unsuitable for a general anesthetic, it may be possible to have the procedure using a combination of local anesthesia and sedation.

Exactly what will happen during a facelift tends to vary between patients. However, typically you can expect your surgeon to complete the following steps.

  • The incisions for your facelift will be made above the hairline at the temples and will extend down in front of the ear, around the bottom of the earlobe and back up slightly behind the ear.
  • If your jawline is also being lifted, further incisions will be made under the chin.
  • Any surplus skin will be removed, and the remaining skin pulled backward and upwards before being secured into its new position using sutures.
  • If necessary, any facial far or tissues will be redistributed before the tightened skin is stitched into place.
  • After your procedure is complete, your face will be carefully bandaged to cover the wounds and to minimize bruising and swelling.

The entire facelift surgical procedure usually takes between two and three hours depending on the changes that are being carried out. You should also expect to stay in the hospital for at least one night so that the initial start of your healing process can be monitored.

What should I expect from my facelift recovery?

As with any surgery, you should ensure that you take a sufficient amount of time to recover. In most instances, it is recommended that patients schedule up to four weeks off of work, although depending on the level of bruising you experience and the type of work that you do, it may be possible for you to return to your job after a fortnight.

You may be in some discomfort after your facelift. This is normal and your surgeon may give you prescription pain relief to alleviate your discomfort. This will also start to subside once the swelling begins to subside. After around a week, any un-dissolvable sutures will be removed. Within three weeks, all bruises, scarring, and redness should have faded.

Your surgeon will give you specific advice to follow regarding caring for your face while it heals. You will be asked to avoid showing and getting the bandages wet for the first few days and may need to avoid strenuous activity, swimming, saunas and more for longer.

When can I expect to see the result of my facelift procedure?

Although there may be some noticeable changes in the appearance of your face immediately, typically the full effect of the facelift will not become apparent until between six and nine months after your procedure.

If you would like more information about facelift surgery, or if you would like to schedule a consultation to see if a facelift can help address your concerns, please get in contact with our discreet and reassuring cosmetic surgery team.