Over time, the effects of sun exposure, gravity, and aging can transform our tight, energetic, and healthy skin into a tired, wrinkled appearance. As a result of decreased subcutaneous tissue and muscle tone with age, sagging becomes noticeable due to the effects of gravity. Facelift surgery can address the sagging of the face and neck skin, as well as remove excess fat under the chin if present. The procedure can give individuals a younger and more vibrant appearance, but the aging process continues.
It is generally performed on individuals over the age of 40, and it can be done as a standalone procedure or combined with other surgeries such as eyelid surgery, nose surgery, forehead or brow lift. In the same session, fat or tissue injections and liposuction under the chin can also be performed.
It is recommended to perform this surgery in a hospital setting, under the supervision of an anesthesiologist, in the operating room. The surgery typically takes 2-2.5 hours, but if combined with other procedures, the duration can range from 4 to 7 hours, depending on the specific procedures performed. If only a facelift is performed, it is possible to go home on the same day, but if additional procedures are involved, a one-day hospital stay is recommended. After a facelift surgery, there may be faint scars that are concealed within the hairline in the temple area, in front of and behind the ears. If chin liposuction is performed, a 3-5 mm scar may remain under the chin, but these scars are generally inconspicuous and can be concealed.
The postoperative period is generally comfortable. After the surgery, there may be complaints such as pain, tightness, swelling, bruising, and numbness on the facial area. As the facial nerves can be mildly affected by anesthesia during the surgery, slight asymmetries in the face may develop, but they usually resolve within 3-5 days. Some degree of numbness in the facial skin may occur, which resolves within a few days or weeks. A light compressive head wrap is applied, leaving the eyes, nose, and mouth exposed. In rare cases, a drain may be placed to prevent the accumulation of blood beneath the skin. The dressing is removed 2 days later, followed by a general check-up and dressing change. The hair is washed, and if necessary, the dressing is reapplied. The stitches are removed 5-7 days later. It is recommended to avoid strenuous exercise and excessive sunlight for 2 months, and to protect the face from external impacts. Return to work and social activities can usually occur within 10-15 days.
The drain is removed on the day after the surgery, and a loose elastic bandage is applied, which the patient should wear for a few days. The incisions should be kept moist with ointment for 10 days. Antibiotic treatment should be completed for 5 days. If there are any abnormal signs such as persistent redness, pus, or pain, it is recommended to contact your doctor immediately. Stitches are generally removed within 4-7 days. The patient should avoid excessive movement for up to two weeks and minimize sun exposure. Makeup can be applied after two weeks, and the patient will have recovered enough to return to work. Regular follow-up appointments continue until the patient has fully healed.