As we advance in age, the skin and tissues lose their elasticity naturally. It leads to skin sagging and getting wrinkled. However, this can get fixed by a process known as rhytidectomy, commonly referred to as facelift. It’s a surgical process that helps to lift and tighten our facial tissues.
For a rhytidectomy, the surgeon removes excess skin that causes jowls and smoothens the folds and wrinkles to tighten and lift the facial tissue. The procedure does not include the brows and eyelift, although they all can be performed simultaneously.
Rhytidectomy primarily focuses on two-thirds of your face, that is, the bottom side and your neck area. There are various reasons why people settle for a rhytidectomy. The most common cause is disguising a person’s age. For a person to qualify for a rhytidectomy, they must have the following qualities;
- Very healthy without any medical condition that might interfere with the healing process after the surgery and anesthesia.
- Individuals with realistic expectations of what the surgery entails and what they want to achieve after the surgery
- Non-smokers and people without a substance abuse history
After you pass all the above requirements for the surgery, you need to look at the cost. The average cost for a rhytidectomy is approximately $7500. This price does not include the anesthesia, the surgical fees, and others, which means the final cost will be higher.
It’s important to note that the rhytidectomy cost depends on; desired results, surgeon’s expertise, and location.
The Rhytidectomy Procedure
The results of the rhytidectomy procedure you get will primarily depend on the desired results. During the process, the surgeon will make an incision on your hairline near the temples. The incision extends to your ear’s front and hanging of your earlobe and the lobe scalp behind your ears.
Excess fat and skin will be removed or redistributed. Also, the underlying muscles and the connecting tissues will be tightened and redistributed. If you have slight sagging and wrinkles on your skin, mini- rhytidectomy will be performed, requiring smaller incisions.
If the rhytidectomy includes the neck, some fat, and the excess skin will be removed. The surgeon will pull back the skin on your neck to tighten. The procedure requires an incision made under your chin.
After the procedure, the incision gets sealed back using glue or dissolvable sutures. However, all the incisions that are made will perfectly blend with your hairline and facial structure. And after the surgery is complete, the doctor will properly wrap you up with a bandage. Often people get some surgical drainage tubes to drain out any blood and fluids.
Risks and Side Effects You Might Face
- Excessive bleeding
- Blood clotting
- Severe pain and scarring
- Losing hair at the incision points
- Anesthesia-related risks
- Wound taking longer to heal
- Prolonged swelling
- Not feeling your face
Expectations after a Rhytidectomy
After the surgery, your doctor will give you a prescription for pain relief medication. Some people will experience mild to severe pain, while others will not feel any pain. That is perfectly normal, but if you feel any pain, follow the doctor’s prescription keenly.
Your doctor will instruct you on how to remove the dressing, the bandages, and the drains. Ensure you remove them as per the instruction to avoid any chances of injuring yourself. After the swelling subsidizes, you will start seeing the differences in your look. But your face regaining normalcy will take you several months to a year.
After the surgery, it’s advisable to take at least two weeks off before you resume your regular schedule. Wait at least a month before you start working on more strenuous and demanding tasks. However, we are all different, so it’s essential to consult with your doctor for further assessment and instructions on the matter.
After the procedure, you should consider moisturizing your face daily to help protect it from sunburn and ensure you generally live a healthy lifestyle. Exercise often and make sure you drink plenty of water and a healthy diet.
Before the surgery, it’s essential to have a lengthy consultation with your doctor and ask all the questions you might have about the surgery and the expectations. It will assist with accepting the results and guide you on what to do if you don’t get the desired results. Sometimes one might be required to schedule for subsequent surgery.
Reasons You May Take Months or Years to Regain Feeling on Your Face after a Rhytidectomy
Your face will take longer to go back to normal after a rhytidectomy surgery because of the tiny nerves distributed throughout a person’s face. During the surgery, a few of the nerves get cut. Also, some of the larger nerves will be cut, and others stretched.
When the nerves are cut and stretched, you will feel numb, and your sensation will diminish. The nerves will regenerate and get back to their usual functionality, but the regeneration process takes time. Depending on the amount of stretching and cuts on the nerves, the process may take weeks, months, and even years before they could get back to their normal states.
In addition to tingling and the numbing sensation, you might feel sharp pains, burning, cold, and pulling hints. The feelings will be on your forehead, cheeks, and neck areas, days and a few weeks after the surgery. It’s expected, although not everyone will experience it.
The Recovery Process
After the surgery will need to take good care of yourself. Pay close attention to the incision sites. Ensure they are always clean and moist. Clean them gently with mild hydrogen peroxide and use some antibiotic ointment to keep the incisions areas moist.
You may see some clear and bloody discharge which is entirely normal. However, a yellow discharge or pus coming from the incisions is a sign of infection, especially if you are experiencing a fever. Ensure to visit your doctor for a checkup and treatment.
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