What You Need to Know About Facelift Surgery | ExpatWoman.com

What You Need to Know About Facelift Surgery

Look and feel young with a facelift surgery from Elite Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery Group. Find out more...

Posted on

28 September 2015

Last updated on 12 September 2018
What You Need to Know About Facelift Surgery
Face lift surgery, is one of the most commonly requested procedures by both men and women who want to look as young as they feel. Facelift is very effective in reversing the signs of ageing, it has moved on considerably from the taught, ‘stretched’ look, and most modern facelifts now carefully manipulate the deeper facial tissues and re-drape the skin to produce a fresher, natural, more youthful appearance. 

Facelift Surgery
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But what exactly is a facelift and who can benefit from it? 

To answer these key questions, we spoke to Dr Allen Rezai, Lead Surgeon at Elite Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery Group who is not only an internationally renowned Consultant Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon with a practice in Harley Street, London, but also an expert with many years’ experience in surgical and non-surgical facial rejuvenation treatments. 
Dr Rezai explained that “A facelift, which is actually known medically as Rhytidectomy, is the most extensive and effective way to eliminate or reduce the appearance of wrinkles and facial sagging caused by age. In a traditional facelift procedure, a patient's skin is literally lifted off the face so that the skin and underlying tissues can be tightened, with the skin then being repositioned smoothly over the face. A neck lift, which is often undertaken at the same time as a facelift, tightens sagging jowls and loose skin below the chin.”
Facelift Surgery
According to Dr Rezai, the best candidates are generally considered to be those individuals whose skin quality is still relatively good. Most patients are between forty and seventy years of age, although older patients may also benefit. Indications for having this surgery include looseness of the skin with relaxation of muscles resulting in wrinkles and folds on the face; visible jowls; no longer having a smooth firm jaw line; deep lines in the corner of the mouth, which can often give a “sad” look; and loose skin and wrinkling around the neck. 
Dr Rezai explains that over-exposure to the sun can make these symptoms even worse and further contributes to an aged appearance by diminishing the overall quality of the skin. Also weight loss in later life can create a more aged appearance, because older skin has less elasticity than younger and, without the fat, it will become saggy and wrinkled.

Types of Facelift

A variety of different types of facelifts and facelift techniques are performed today. Some of the more common types are described here. Dr Rezai will discuss with you which type of facelift is right for you, or which combination of techniques will give you an optimal result.

Traditional (SMAS) Facelift 

Traditional facelift addresses the lower face and neck. During the procedure, incisions are made in the hairline, starting above the ear, continuing behind the ear, curving around the ear and ending in the hairline behind the ear onto the lower scalp. Once the incision has been made the surgeon will carefully separate the skin from the underlying tissue, reposition excess fat and use sutures to lift and reposition the muscle layer (“SMAS” – superficial musculo-aponeurotic system) toward the ears.  This allows the structures in the lower face and neck, to be sutured to bone higher on the face, hence tightening the sling running around the lower face and chin/neck. This muscle tightening is thought to provide longevity to the surgical result. The skin will then be lifted and sutured into place along the original incision, the excess skin is removed and the incisions are closed. Most patients will stay in hospital for one or two nights and be able to return to work after two weeks, resuming normal physical exercise a short time later.

The Mini-Lift or Skin Only Facelift

A mini-lift addresses the lower face and neck. This is the most basic of facelifts, and involves little more than a skin tuck. The surgeon first makes the traditional facelift incision, as explained above. He then dissects the skin from the underlying fat and muscle, stretches it back, trims excess skin, and closes the incisions. Due to the skin’s ability to stretch out over time, this facelift is considered to be less long-lasting than facelifts employing muscle tightening. Occasionally, drains may be used. The Mini-Lift has little, if any, effect on folds running between the nose and mouth (naso-labial folds). 

The Deep Plane facelift

The deep-plane facelift is modification of the traditional facelift. During this type of facelift, the surgeon will dissect to a deeper plane of the patient's face before lifting and repositioning the muscle. Additionally, the surgeon will separate certain muscle layers off of deeper muscles and or other facial structures. Some surgeons believe it offers certain advantages to a traditional facelift including a more natural result and improved rejuvenation of droopy skin. However, this technique has a higher risk of facial nerve injury and many surgeons dispute that it offers a significant advantage to the traditional facelift.

Endoscopic (Scarless) Facelift

In addition to “traditional” facelift, in certain circumstances there is also the possibility of opting for an “Endoscopic Facelift”, a very modern technique in facial plastic surgery. This is also known as the “scarless facelift”. According to Dr Rezai, this can be beneficial for certain patients who do not have large amounts of excess skin. Through the adoption of endoscopic techniques, this procedure facilitates not only facial rejuvenation but also facial enhancement. The method makes long incisions unnecessary, resulting in quicker healing with fewer side effects. Dr Rezai explains that the best candidates for this type of facelift surgery are those whose skin quality is still relatively good. Patients are typically aged in their late thirties to late fifties.

Neck lift 

Neck lift surgery targets a drooping or sagging neck area and involves the removal of excess skin and fatty tissue, leaving the skin around the area of the neck and jaw smoother and more defined. Incisions are typically shorter than those made during a traditional facelift and will normally be placed only at the earlobe and behind the ear. Vertical bands and lines can be eliminated using platysmaplasty; a procedure which involves making small incisions under the chin or behind the ears to tighten the muscles of the neck. Excess fat from the neck area is removed by using liposuction or similar techniques. In patients with excellent skin elasticity, a neck lift may be performed alone. More commonly, when skin elasticity is fair or poor, a facelift is performed as well, to remove excess skin that would otherwise remain. 
Alternatively, neck lift surgery, rather than a full facelift, may be sufficient to achieve the results you desire. As with any other cosmetic procedure, your expectations should be realistic. The results of neck lift surgery will depend on the elasticity of your skin and to what degree it has been affected by sun damage.
Facelift Surgery

Other Procedures Combined with Facelift

A further benefit of facelift surgery is that, provided a patient has the appropriate indications, several other related procedures can be performed at the same time. These include neck lift, blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), chin augmentation and brow lift procedures, including the endoscopic brow lift. There is also the possibility of liposuction to the neck, when this would be desirable.
Liposuction is often performed during facelift or necklift to remove excess fat from the neck. When performing liposuction, the surgeon will make a tiny incision, usually under the chin. He will then use a small cannula attached to a suction device to carefully remove the fat to allow optimal definition of the chin and neck regions. 
Dr Rezai adds that “With all my facelift surgeries, I prefer to add PRP and fat transfer, so as to improve the skin elasticity and promote faster healing. The fat transfer also results in a more rejuvenated youthful appearance.” 
Many people will be aware that Dr Rezai's clinic in Dubai was the first to introduce Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatment to the Middle East. Better known as the “Vampire Facelift”, this treatment uses a patient's own blood cells in order to regenerate and rejuvenate skin and tissue from a very deep level. They are still one of the few clinics in the UAE to provide this very advanced therapy. 
“Autologous fat transfer” is a minimally invasive procedure where the patient’s own fat is harvested from one area of the body, such as the abdomen, waist, hips or buttocks, and strategically injected into the patient’s face in order to restore lost fullness. Fat transfer addresses hollowed areas of the face, commonly, under the eyes, around the mouth and under the cheek bones. It is thus an additional aid in restoring the face to its natural, youthful appearance. It can also be used in correcting asymmetrical areas of the face, sunken cheeks and eyelids, and thinning lips.

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The Importance of a thorough Consultation

The importance of the initial consultation cannot be overemphasised. At your consultation, Dr Rezai will fully discuss every aspect of your aesthetic goals and address any concerns you may have; he places the utmost importance on providing his patients with all the information they need to make fully informed decisions, ensuring each one arrives at the outcome that’s best for them.
According to Dr Rezai, the majority of patients who request facial surgery will have been thinking about this path for a considerable amount of time. They will have had long-term concerns about their appearance and understand better than anybody else just how important the results of the surgery will be. For this reason he and his team will spend considerable time with their patients in order to obtain answers to critical questions such as exactly what they desire as a result of surgery; what actually concerns them is indeed the real problem; and whether or not other possible treatments might be more appropriate or beneficial. If all such factors point to facelift surgery as being the best solution, then a bespoke surgical plan will be developed for you. Dr Rezai will explain in detail the treatment options available, the techniques that would be used, and any potential risks and complications you need to be made aware of. Dr Rezai will use his expertise and experience to guide you towards the best option, taking into account your anatomy, aesthetic goals and personal circumstances.

Facelift Surgery

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The Results of Facelift Surgery

The results of facelift surgery, says Dr Rezai, should appear natural with no obvious signs of surgery. His patients usually report that friends and colleagues say they look “well”. Often they will be asked if they have lost weight, had their hair done or even simply changed their make-up. It should not be obvious that they have had “work done”. A facelift will turn the clock back, says Dr Rezai, but it is unable to make time stand still. “You will always look younger than you otherwise would without having had the surgery, but your face will continue to age over the years.”
At Elite Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery Group, they are guided by an artistic vision that emphasizes the natural and is repelled by the artificial. “Our goal is to enhance or restore the intrinsic beauty, which is present in each individual, rather than create a result that appears “surgical”, concludes Dr Rezai. 

For more information about Facelift Surgery and non-surgical facial rejuvenation procedures offered by Elite Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery Group or to book a Consultation with Dr Allen Rezai please visit Elite Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery Group’s website or call +971 4 431 2396.

Elite Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery Group
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Elite Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery Group
Elite Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery Group is headed by Dr.Allen Rezai, a leading Consultant Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon of international renown, who has for many years led a distinguished career both from his well-known clinic in Harley Street, London, UK and worldwide.

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