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Facelift

Why do patients request a facelift?

With the passage of time the ligaments that hold the skin of the face in position stretch and there is also a decrease in the natural fat that is present in the tissues. As a result of this, the skin on the face, the brow and the neck begins to sag. Patients do not like the appearance of jowls, deep creases in the cheeks, wrinkles and bands in the neck as these are recognisable signs of ageing. This is a common reason for consultations for facelifts and neck lifts.

Are there any reasons for a patient to not have a facelift?

Patients who are actively smoking or on blood thinning medication such as aspirin and warfarin are at a high risk of complications such as bleeding or wound infections and delayed wound healing. It is advisable not to consume nicotine in any form for six weeks before a facelift and to stop medication such as aspirin or warfarin (if this is not for an essential or life-threatening condition) at the appropriate time before surgery.

What does a facelift involve?

A facelift or neck lift is carried out under general anaesthesia and involves one or two nights in hospital. Following the operation there is a large padded bandage around the neck and face along with a tube drain underneath the skin to remove any blood or fluid that may collect following surgery. The drain is normally removed the day after surgery and so is the dressing around the face and neck. Patients are usually able to shower before discharge from hospital with fresh dressings and an elasticated support for the neck and cheeks. An outpatient appointment is arranged for a few days after surgery for removal of sutures.

How long does bruising and swelling last following the operation?

Bruising and swelling following surgery normally resolves within ten to fourteen days after the operation.

How much time do I need off work?

Most patients are able to return to work and to social activities within two to three weeks of their operation.

How long does the effect of a facelift last?

The effects of a facelift can last up to five to ten years following surgery. A facelift does not stop the process of ageing but can make the effect of the ageing process less obvious.

What are the complications of this procedure?

A small percentage of patients undergoing a facelift can have complications just like any other surgical procedure which include bleeding, haematoma (blood clot under the skin), infection, delayed healing of the wound, asymmetry and scars which are visible in the early post-operative stage but which normally fade over a period of months. There can also be a loss of function or injury to the branches of the facial nerve which is responsible for movements of the muscles of expression in the face. Very occasionally patients may need a small revision procedure.

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I would like to say that my whole experience with Mr Sood and the Hartswood Hospital before and after my procedure was excellent. I felt safe and relaxed throughout.

Barbara S

Diary of a Facelift

“A few weeks ago, when the sun made an early appearance, I awoke with an overwhelming determination that I was not to spend another summer hiding behind sunglasses and chiffon scarves to cover my tired-looking eyes and turkey neck.

It was strange how once these seeds of change had been planted in my mind, all nerves subsided and a really positive attitude set in. I just knew right there and then that surgery was the right choice for me.

On my GP’s recommendation I put myself in the expert hands of Mr Manu Sood at the Essex Nuffield Hospital, who thoroughly explained the procedures that would benefit me and answered all the questions that I had. So I booked myself in for a neck, cheek and jowl lift, together with an endoscopic brow lift.

Wednesday 20th May

Day of surgery – still feeling calm and positive. After a visit from the anaesthetist, who explained what would be happening, Mr Sood arrived and proceeded merrily to draw all over my face and neck with what looked like a black marker pen. I looked a sight but, hey, I wasn’t going anywhere, and he did seem to know what he was doing. Went calmly into theatre at about 11am and woke up at 4.06pm feeling fine, albeit with a bit of a headache (though not bad enough for painkillers). I returned to my room at about 5pm, still feeling fine but just a little jet-lagged, with my head wrapped in bandages. This was not uncomfortable but just a bit hot, a small price to pay for the miracles that were taking place beneath. Had a comfortable but sleepless night, without the need for any painkillers, I figured I had been asleep for most of the day anyway, so just relaxed and watched TV.

Thursday 21st May

Had breakfast and took two Ibuprofen painkillers which wiped out any remains of the headache. Mr Sood popped in, and after assessing that all was well, told me I could go home. After having the drains removed from the wounds behind my ears, the nurse helped me to take a shower and wash my hair – yes, wash my hair. Well I really thought that I would have had to wait for a few days so had not brought any shampoo. Washed my hair with shower gel – felt just as good. Packed my bag, feeling a bit wobbly, only to be expected after the anaesthetic, and headed home with strict instructions to rest and to wear the supplied support bandage at all times. Once home had a snooze, and later a meal – soft food only for the first few days as face feels a bit tight – but surely that is the point!

Friday 22nd May

Lazy day – books, TV, all those little luxuries. Feeling fine but a bit grumpy with the support bandage, it’s not painful, just a bit tight, but very necessary. Slight swelling on my face and lips, and bruising on my neck, but this I am assured is normal.

Saturday 23rd May

Back to Nuffield to have stitches removed from front of my ears (cheek/jowl lift). All the other stitches behind my ears and in hairline on forehead will dissolve in time.

Sunday 24th May

Managed to wash my hair very carefully, all was fine. Feel I have taken another step forward today.

Monday 25th May

Result, able to clean my teeth properly, have been using mouthwash only up till now, as face still a bit tight and very wary of opening mouth too wide, but today it was ok.

Tuesday 26th May

Neck still bruised but facial swelling seems to have gone down a bit. Did a few ‘light’ chores, nothing too strenuous, not because I can’t but because I mustn’t.

Wednesday 27th May

Can’t believe it has been a week since the op. Swelling gone from face and lips now but neck still bruised. I feel somehow that I have been short changed – what is that saying? ‘No pain, no gain’? Well, when I look into the mirror (this has become my new hobby) I can certainly see the gain, but as for the pain… well, I’m still waiting.

Thursday 28th May

Appointment to see Mr Sood. The wounds are healing well and he is delighted with the results, but not, in any way shape or form, as utterly and completely delighted as I am.

So, for anyone contemplating surgery, you will just know when the time is right for you. Take that step forward – you will never look back.”

SW

So, for anyone contemplating surgery, you will just know when the time is right for you. Take that step forward - you will never look back.

SW

Sincere thanks go to all patients that grant their permissions for us to display their photographs.


Face Lift


Face Lift

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