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Face is the primary occupation of the plastic surgery. Many patients see the first signs of aging on their face when they look in the mirror and feel disturbed. In this context, aesthetic changes in face provide high satisfaction and the most significant aspect in this step is careful planning in the light of complaints of the patient. The primary target of face lifting or rhytidectomy as medically named is to remove any wrinkles or sagginess on the face and neck area.
Even though mild degenerations and wrinkles on certain parts of the face can be removed by filling, fat injections, hanging, and botulinum toxin applications in recent years, the said techniques may not provide a permanent solution for cases with severe deformation or excess skin. Partial restoration that can be obtained especially on the upper part of the face on such patients will not be parallel with the lower part of the face and the neck and consequently may lead to an unnatural look.
YThe aim in face lifting operations is not to make a patient look 5-10 years etc. younger but much better than people of their age.
Who Can Be A Candidate For Face Lifting Operation?
Ideal people for face lifting operation are those who see the onset of saggy face and neck but still have partially elastic skin without no other health conditions. It is generally performed on the patient population above 40 while it can be applied for younger ages who have an apparent deformation in their look.
In the first pre-operation visit, general health condition and face area of the patient will be examined. Herbal or medical remedies used, chronic diseases, past operations, and smoking status will be queried in detail in this step. Patients with no abnormality identified will be informed about the operation and the potential risks of the operation and subsequent protocols to be applied. Patients who are not eligible for surgery will be informed of alternative treatments. If a patient decides to have the operation as the result of first visit, photos will be taken and the operation date be scheduled.
The second pre-operation visit will be scheduled on a date as close as possible to the operation date. Any additional condition or medication that may arise as of the first visit will be queried and a detail information on the operation will be given again. New questions will occur to many patients within this time and this second visit is a very important opportunity to answer them. Anesthesia examinations will be carried out during the second visit and operation date will be finalized for patients with no problem identified in tests.
A patient who is scheduled to have operation the next day should not consume water or food as of 24:00. The patient who needs to come to the hospital with an empty stomach will be accepted to their room and then visited to plan the operation. The patient who is to be re-evaluated by an anesthesiologist in the next phase will be informed in detail about the anesthesia and a tranquilizer will be injected. This injection is to eliminate any feelings of stress, nervousness, or excitement.
Face lifting operation is performed under operating room conditions. The most preferred approach is general anesthesia even though it can be applied under either local or general anesthesia. Patients receiving general anesthesia sleep during the operation.
Face lifting operation is performed first on one side of the face and then the other side. Cuts begin from the hairy skin line on the temporal region, pass in front of the ear to the back of the ear. Hair on the cutting area will not be shaved and the post-operation cut scars in front of the ear can be hidden in natural passage ways as much as possible. The surgeon will separate the face skin from the underlying fat tissue following the cut and pull it to the temples, and determine the excess skin tissue to be removed. In addition, fat tissue inside of the face that has gone saggy over years due to the effect of the gravity will be restored over the cheekbones. In some cases, muscle tissue can be lifted as well to remove the sagginess under the chin. Face skin will be adapted to its new position upon removal of the excess skin, and the operation will be completed upon insertion of a small drain. The operation will last about 2-4 hours and special printed masks will be used as dressing.
It sometimes can be necessary to combine upper or lower eyelid operation (blepharoplasty) or fat injection with face lifting operation to create a sense of youth in parallel with the changes that can be seen in the face appearance during face lifting operations, while they can also be applied individually in future.
Any pain arising from face lifting operation can be controlled by painkillers. Cold compress will be applied periodically to minimize the edema that can occur in the face area which is inclined to edema. The patient will start moving under supervision of the physician the same day following the operation and start eating a few hours after the operation.
Drains inserted will be often withdrawn the 1st day following the operation while treatment with antibiotics and painkillers will continue for 1 week. Like other operations, face lifting operations will cause swelling, edema and bruises the first two days, but these problems will diminish after 3 days. They will completely disappear in parallel with the recovery speed of the patient. Stitches will be removed in 1-2 weeks while the final result can be seen when the edema goes away. Patients must be patient and pay attention to the applications described by the physician within this period.