Facelift Surgery: Your Questions Answered

Would you like to give your face a new lease of life? Facelift surgery can, on average, take 10 years off your appearance.

If you have sagging jowls, a sagging neck or deep wrinkles that are making you look old, a facelift can help turn back the clock. Here at Ocean Clinic Marbella, we have performed hundreds of facelift procedures on both both men and women and the surgery has high satisfaction levels.

Facelift Surgery: Your Questions Answered

Fillers and fat transfer can address light wrinkles and hollows caused by loss of volume, but they cannot address skin or muscle laxity. If you have any sagging skin or deeper wrinkles, such as nasolabial folds, filler alone will not provide satisfactory results.

A good option, especially for younger patients, is a mini lift targeting the lower portion of the face, combined with fat transfer to permanently replace lost volume.

Everyone ages at different rates, so a younger person could well be a good candidate for facelift surgery. This is especially true for patients who have lost a considerable amount of weight and have been left with sagging facial skin.

Since facelift is a highly customised procedure, your plastic surgeon should be able to tailor a treatment plan to fit your exact specifications.

Every person must be evaluated individually, taking into consideration their skin elasticity and overall health. A healthy seventy year old can be an ideal candidate for a facelift, providing they have realistic goals.

The main risk for an older person comes from the anesthesia. Your plastic surgeon can work with your primary medical doctor to evaluate your suitability.

Downtime for facelift surgery is two weeks and it is recommended you take this time off work if you don’t want people to know you’ve had surgery. Although you may feel fairly normal after a few days and able to go about your business, your face will still be bruised and swollen.

Downtime, therefore will depend on your sensitivity to your postoperative appearance. It will take around two weeks for the noticeable swelling and bruising to subside. Stitches will be removed after 10 days and scarring may be covered with makeup.

Thankfully, modern short scar facelift techniques require far smaller incisions than the cutaneous facelift of old. Rather than one long incision that runs the length of the hairline, two smaller incisions are made around the ears.

For a MACS facelift (our most frequently performed type of facelift), the incision starts in the sideburn area, follows the contours of the ear and then curves behind the earlobe.

How long and how well your incisions take to heal is dependent on several factors, including surgical technique, prevention of infection, not smoking (before or after surgery) and your genetics.

For the most part, facelift incisions heal very well and eventually should be undetectable to everyone but your hairdresser. For the first several weeks after surgery, the scars will be pink and noticeable, but can be covered by makeup and long hair if you have it. After 6-12 months, the incisions fade away to just a pale line.

Minimal incision techniques have reduced the risk associated with facelift surgery, however, as with any surgery there is always a degree of risk. Risks include bleeding, facial nerve injury, facial asymmetry, change in ear position and infection - you will be given antibiotics to help prevent this complication. In the event of complication, there is the possibility that revision surgery will be needed, but risk is significantly minimised in the hands of a skilled surgeon.

In terms of side effects, there will be some pain following surgery but it can be well managed with painkillers. You may experience nausea as a result of the anesthesia. Numbness can be expected in the areas operated on and the ear, which can last for up to a year.

Facelift surgery is not a one-size-fits-all procedure and you might pay anything from €5,500 to €8,500 depending on the treatment you require. While one person may be unhappy with “baggy eyelids”, another person may be troubled by “saggy jowls” or a “floppy neck”. Therefore, your treatment plan will be tailored to you.

For maximum results, your facelift surgery could also include fat transfer to replace lost volume, a chemical peel to resurface your skin and eyelid surgery. Your surgeon will advise which combination of treatments will be necessary to address your specific concerns. It goes without saying, that facelift surgery should not be scrimped on - your face is, of course, the most important part of your body!

Although a facelift can turn back time, it cannot stop it. Once the surgery is complete, you will continue to age but from your new starting point. This means you will always look younger than you would have if you hadn’t had surgery. However, since you will continue to age, you may wish to have another facelift in 10-12 years time. Often a minor skin retuck is all that’s needed to prolong the result.

You can further slow the clock and maintain the benefits of your facelift by adopting an anti-aging skin care regime, including chemical peels, eating healthily, not smoking and minimising sun exposure.