Project Description

Facelifts are performed on both women and men who want to turn back the clock.  Superficial treatments (such as skin resurfacing) can be used to tighten skin, but surgery is required to reverse the structural changes of aging that give rise to deep wrinkles and ‘gaunting’.

Plastic surgery forums always include a debate on facelift techniques.  Some believe that less dissection and a quick operation under local anaesthetic can produce a good result.  Others find this procedure is short lived and does not address the problems of cheek sagging, ‘jowling’, and lower eyelid lengthening. I am a believer in the big operation.  I think that this is the only way to produce a good long term, balanced result.

 

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How It Works

I incorporate a mid-facelift with the lower facelift to elevate the cheek pad, shorten the lower eyelid and improve the jowls.  This surgery restores deep facial structure to a more youthful position, the skin is also tightened and the result is a general freshening of the face.

It’s great to hear my patients say that no one has noticed they had an operation, they just look so well.  I think it is important patients still look like themselves after a facelift, only younger and fresher.  Facelifts specifically address the neck and jowl regions of the face.

It is important to note eyes and brows are not improved by the facelift procedure.  Facelifts are often performed in conjunction with a brow lift and blepharoplasty.

Considerations

Many surgeons perform this type of surgery in a private hospital but there are some who will operate in their own private rooms.  Hospitals should be state and federally licensed to operate, they should also have accreditation with an external body such as ISO or ACHS.  Private rooms often do not have this form of license or accreditation and therefore may not be able to provide adequate support in the case of emergency.  So the questions you should be asking are:

  • Where is the surgery performed?
  • Does the hospital hold a State Licence and is it Accredited, or will your surgery take place in the your surgeon’s rooms?  (Consulting rooms often do not have appropriate equipment or adequate drugs to handle medical emergencies).
  • Will the surgery be performed under sedation or general anaesthetic?
  • Is there a qualified anaesthetist present or is the Surgeon managing your anaesthetic as well as your surgery?
  • Are there adequate staff present to handle an emergency (either medical or environmental)?
  • Will qualified nurses be taking care of you post operatively or will you be left unsupervised as you recover from your anaesthetic?

Answeringthese questions should reassure you both the surgeon and the facility can manage any unexpected situations and significantly reduce the risk of your surgery.

The world is moving towards to ‘shorter stay’ surgery but is this really what we want as patients?  Certainly some surgeries are minor, require simple anaesthetic and minimal recovery, these surgeries are well suited to a ‘day stay’ procedure.  However the issue faced by these facilities is the ‘what if’.

  • What if the patient does not recover well from surgery?
  • What if the patient is nauseous after surgery?
  • What if the patient cannot cope with the pain of the surgery?
  • What if something happens in theatre which may delay the recovery of the patient?

Surgery should only be performed as day case if the hospital has the ability to keep the patient overnight or transfer them to a private licensed hospital.  The patient should be made aware of any costs incurred if this is required.

Some surgeons prefer to perform this surgery as a day case, at CAPS we believe in providing an overnight stay.  We want our patients to take their time to rest and recover.  It also provides us an opportunity to ensure their pain relief and post op nausea (if present) is well controlled before being discharged to the care of their family or friends. 

No matter how well prepared you think you are for the morning after facial surgery it will still be a shock when you look in the mirror! You come into the hospital fit and well, looking fine but the next day you are not pretty. Facial surgery produces significant bruising, swelling and distortion of the face. Your cheeks look like chipmunks, your eyes are red and swollen, you have stiches around your ears going up to the back of your neck and possibly staples in your hair line. Overall everything feels foreign and out of place. This takes weeks to recover from. But you WILL recover.

Time is your enemy here. Dr Taylor recommends an overnight stay in hospital, three to four weeks off work (depending on the extent of the surgery) and six weeks of light duties. ie no physical activity or contact sport. You will not be able to drive a car for at least a week and we strongly encourage patients are discharged into the care of family or friends for at least 24 hours following surgery.

Facial surgery is generally not too painful and can be well managed with pain relief. Sutures come out on day five and once this occurs the tightness seems settle quite quickly. Sleeping elevated and the use of cold packs can be an effective method of reducing swelling but really it is just time that works.

Another handy tip “if you sweat – you swell”.

In the excitement of the surgery patients often overlook the importance of preparing for it.  What  patients do in the lead up to surgery and knowing how to plan appropriately for your recovery can make the difference between an anxious process or a more relaxed one.

Because we were frequently approached by patients who wanted to know what they could do in preparation for the surgery we put together a “pre-surgery program”.  Now seven years later we know the value of this program and offer it to our patients as part of the service we provide.

If your surgeons doesn’t offer this then you can do it yourself.  We use a multivitamin to ‘detox’ the body which aids recovery getting patients back on their feet faster.  We also use a herbal medication to reduce the bruising and swelling associated with the surgery, again we have found this to be highly effective.

Knowing what to expect is vital to the planning of your recovery.  Understanding what you can and cannot do will ensure you are not put in a position where you put yourself or the success of your surgery at risk.  All this will depend on your personal situation.  How much time do you need off work? Do you need to drive?  Do you live alone?  Do you have a family that relies on you? Do you have small children? Do you have to lift children or heavy objects in your day to day life? Do you play sport? What is going on in your life for the first six weeks after surgery?

Again answering these questions will ensure you have planned appropriately for your surgery and your recovery.

With the operation behind you, you may be feeling sore and anxious about how you will cope over the next few weeks. The best thing you can do is REST. The body cannot heal and function at the same time – that is why you need to SLEEP.

Taking regular pain medication will ensure you remain comfortable – follow the instructions given to you at discharge – DON’T BE HERO – there are no prizes for not taking it.

Results may be compromised by complications, always contact us if you;

  • are unable to cease or slow bleeding of the wound after applying pressure to the area.
  • feel any heat or increasing pain developing in your wound.
  • notice excessive swelling and bruising accompanying pain and tenderness.

Rapid intervention will reduce the chance of a complication becoming a real issue.  Ensuring you have planned appropriately for your recovery will make an enormous difference.

Most importantly – Relax and ENJOY IT.  When else are you going to get the opportunity to catch up on the lastest DVD series or read that book getting dusty in the corner?

 

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Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner (eg. your GP).