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Neck and face lifting

The impression that many cosmetic surgery procedures come with certain age criteria is not absolutely true. What determines whether a person - male or female - is a good candidate for a lifting procedure is, most of all, the degree of wrinkle formation, laxity and deformation of the facial contour. Age is not such a determining factor. People of the same age may age at different speeds when it comes to their facial characteristics.

A person who is about 45 years old is considered to be at a crucial age but may not develop obvious signs of aging if he/she undergoes some of the available non-invasive treatments, as appropriate (e.g.  Bοtox, implants, Laser, care products with strong pharmaceutical agents, peeling etc.). He/she may gain valuable time and postpone surgical solutions. On the other hand a person of the same age may need to be submitted to surgery to achieve the desired face rejuvenation result. In general, as in all fields of medicine, prevention must always be prioritised ahead of treatment for best possible results.

However, the 4th decade of a person’s life is the most crucial period to decide on face rejuvenation, since there is still time to achieve most natural results, which is out most important goal.

Promises & Goal

As we have already mentioned, the goal is to rejuvenate the face and reach a natural result to the extent possible. In essence, we are able to achieve a “fresh-up” of the face's contour and expression and give the patient a more “relaxed” and youthful appearance.

How do we do it? (procedure - methods, classic and new, - most popular techniques)

It usually takes more than one consultations with the plastic surgeon that the patient has selected for the procedure. The aim of consultation is to allow discussion on the procedure, so that all details of the treatment plan will be clarified and, of course, to answer all questions of the patient regarding the treatment. It is important to identify the exact “problems” that need to be corrected and which concern the patient. It is also important to allow the plastic surgeon to point out any problems that the patient is not aware of but which are visible to the doctor's eye. Thus, depending on the type and gravity of the problems, the appropriate method will be selected.

There are several different techniques that the doctor may select depending on his familiarisation with each one of them and the level of appropriateness for each given case. For example, in case of intense laxity that also extends to the neck, the doctor will propose a classic, regular lifting of the face and neck, while if laxity is not severe and is only restricted to a small part of the neck the doctor will propose some newer and more popular mini lifting techniques (MACS Facelift, S-lifting etc) where the incisions are much smaller and skin detachment is less extended. In general, however, it is important that further to detachment and removal of excess skin from the area, the doctor also performs a thorough preparation, lifting and secure relocation of the underlying tissues for better results.

Before surgery

(Necessary tests – special preparation for surgery, if any) A number of lab tests is performed before the procedure, usually including the following: full blood count, coagulation test, heart examination. However, in case of specific problems based on the patient's medical history a relevant examination must be carried out before surgery. In general, patients are advised to stop taking any vitamins, refrain from smoking and alcohol and avoid aspirin for 1-2 weeks before the procedure as well as after. A healthy diet and everyday habits without exaggerating practices may contribute to a better and faster recovery. Moreover, with the new techniques such as M.A.C.S. Facelift, post-surgical swelling is minor.

Type of anaesthesia (local - general)

In general, a regular lifting procedure is performed under general anaesthesia. However, new and less extended techniques such as MACS Facelift may also be performed under local anaesthesia and sedation.

How long does the procedure last.

The duration depends on the extent of the procedure, the technique used and the surgeon's operating speed. In average, a regular lifting lasts 4.5 to 5 hours while a mini-facelift is at least 1-1.5 quicker.

Recovery time

The appearance of the face straight after surgery definitely isn’t the most pleasant sight. Swelling and bruising will subside within 5-7 days depending of course on each patient's recovery ability. Also, it is possible that some areas as well as incision sites will appear disfigured but will be smoothed out with time. Recovery time is of course also relevant to the extent of the surgery. A patient who has been submitted to a mini-facelift will recover faster. In average, it takes 10-15 days after surgery for the face to look normal and, of course, rejuvenated.

In modern techniques, incisions are made in such manner so that they will be as concealed as possible, e.g. near the sideburn, inside or below the ear. If all goes well during recovery and with appropriate hairstyle incisions may be fully hidden. Also, local massaging with special creams and the use of sun block will help significantly in healing and scar appearance.

Duration of the result (e.g. 5-8 years, lifetime etc.)

Results last for an average of 7-10 years. However, they are greatly affected by age, overall condition of the face prior to surgery and the patient’s lifestyle. In general, skin quality in younger ages is better. This is why the results are also better when these procedures are performed earlier in life, provided, of course, that there is relevant indication. In such cases, results may last 3-5 years further and the outcome of the surgery is more natural since the level of correction is much restricted.

Possible complications

Although rare and almost always manageable, complications are a matter of discussion between the patient and the doctor before surgery. Lifting complications may include haematomas, inflammation, temporary loss of function of the local nerves, deformed scars etc.