AESTHETIC MEDICINE AND SURGERY
The face and neck are affected by the ageing process more so than other facial areas. This results in tissue sagging and descent causing grooves, wrinkles and skin folds.
Lower face and neck lifting procedures aim to reposition sagging tissues, following vectors which counteract their descent. They consist of re-suspending and elevating upwards – not backwards – so yielding natural rejuvenation, which results in a youthful appearance without being artificial. It is imperative to avoid the “pulled” and the “done” plastic appearance, which is the hallmark of a badly executed surgical touch-up. Natural results are of the utmost importance. Therefore, it is necessary not to overcompensate, paying attention to natural proportions – maintaining harmony and symmetry.
Surgical incisions, the nature of which depend on the severity of the condition, run beyond the hairline to the temples in a natural groove proximal to the upper region of the ear, inside the ears, around the ear-lobe and behind the ear adjacent to the scalp. Therefore, post-operative scars are well hidden as they are located in areas normally hidden in shadow; scars become almost invisible after a few months.
In order to achieve stable and long-lasting results, the operation relies, not only on skin excision and redraping, but on effective reconstruction of the underlying framework, such as the muscular fascia of the face (this tends to drop with the ageing process). Once the muscles are re-positioned – without cutting through them, so to avoid the risk of nerve or vascular injury – the skin is adjusted and any excess is removed. This results in greater stability with reduced scar tension, facilitating minimal scar formation.
Generally, a face and neck lift is performed under general anaesthesia (the patient is asleep), with a one-night stay in hospital. Less invasive procedures (lower face only) are performed under local anaesthesia with sedation (the anaesthesia is limited to the operation site and a tranquilliser is administered). In this case, the patient is discharged in a matter of hours after the surgery.
Careful administration of pain-killers during and after the surgery ensures that post-operative pain and discomfort are kept to a minimum.